Overview of Classes
The Taoist Sanctuary offers classes in Chen style Taijiquan and Qi Gong/Taoist Meditation.
Taijiquan classes offer a great opportunity to jump start your way to health and fitness! Taiji has many proven health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving respiratory and cardiac function, stabilizing blood sugar, and contributing to overall strength and flexibility of the body. Taiji classes at the Taoist Sanctuary are taught by Bill and Allison Helm, who make your experience challenging and fun!
Start your beginning Taiji class now and learn the original form – the Laojia Yi Lu! Once you’ve learned this form, you can progress to the intermediate and advanced classes and try weapons and push hands! Taiji classes are ongoing and offer individual and small group instruction to the student who is just starting out.
Qi Gong classes are ongoing. You can start Qi Gong classes at any point in the session. Class content varies, and you can learn exercises from several different systems, including Healing Sounds and Frolics of the Five Animals. Qi Gong has many of the same health benefits as Taiji, so invest in yourself and start classes now!
What style of Taijiquan/Qi Gong is taught at the Taoist Sanctuary?
The main curriculum is the Chen Family style Taijiquan set as taught by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and the Chen family.
Qi Gong classes include a variety of systems and exercises, including the Tao Tan Pai system, Dr. Xie Peiqi’s Yin Fu Bagua system, Hua To’s Frolics of the Five Animals, andChen style standing post and silk reeling exercises.
What is the lineage of the Taijiquan teachers at the Taoist Sanctuary?
Bill and Allison Helm are 20th generation indoor disciples of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, the 19th generation Standard Bearer of the Chen family Taijiquan. Bill and Allison are also holders of 6th Duan certifications, awarded by the Chinese Wushu Association in 2011. The Chen family created Taijiquan, and the family has carried on the art as it was originally meant, teaching the full system with weapons and fighting applications. Members of the Chen family regularly visit San Diego to work with Bill and Allison and to teach seminars to the general public. Bill and Allison also travel frequently to China to study with the Chen family. Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing, Master Chen Ziqiang, Master Jan Silberstorff, and Masters David Gaffney and Davidine Sim travel to San Diego periodically to teach seminars.
What is the progression of Taijiquan instruction?
Classes initially focus on relaxation, correct alignment of the joints, and understanding the basics of movement. The Laojia yilu is taught over approximately a 9 month period, providing the student with an introduction to the fundamentals of taijiquan while learning the choreography. Once the form is learned, more focused work on the structure and internal aspects of taijiquan can begin. The student can also start working with a partner to develop sensitivity and listening skills. The student may progress to a weapon form at this point. Classes will begin to focus more on developing power, and the difficulty level of the class will increase. There is always something to learn, and students who have learned all of the forms taught still return to regular class to continue working on the higher levels of skill.
Are there belts?
Traditional Taijiquan does not use the belt system. There are no formal levels other than the ones the students set for themselves. Practice is considered to be lifelong, and improvement is always possible. The Chinese Wushu Association offers level certification, but these tests are administered outside of the US for the most part.
Are there contracts?
The Taoist Sanctuary does not require a contract. Class fees are pre-paid monthly, per term (3-4 months) or yearly. At the end of the pre-paid period, you may choose to stay or go, no strings attached. If you plan to miss more than 2 weeks of classes, your monthly due date can be adjusted if you call and speak with someone prior to missing the classes. All fees are non-refundable.
What should I wear?
Comfortable loose clothing is best. Shoes are optional – one of the classrooms has a wood floor and one is carpeted. We have AC and heat, but we rarely use them. Layers are suggested in the colder months.
Shoes should have smooth soles. Turning is difficult with the thicker soles found on cross trainers and/or hikers.
When can I start classes?
Our classes run on 3-4 month sessions, and we take new Taijiquan throughout the term. You can start anytime, and we have plenty of teachers who can work with you at your own pace. Qi Gong classes are also ongoing and can be started at any point in the semester.
How do I sign up?
Come to a class about 10 minutes before the starting time and check with the person at the front desk. You may try one Taijiquan and Qi Gong class for free, then if you wish to enroll, pay your fee either online before the next class, or in person at the next class. We will ask you to sign a paper agreeing to your pay date (not a contract, simply a way to track the due dates), and this paper will also ask for your address, phone number, and information about any injuries or medical conditions. There is an injury waiver included. To take your free class, simply show up at a scheduled Beginner’s class time.
To register and pay for a month or a session, please visit our shop, or feel free to pay in person at the desk.