Tai Ji Circle classes are back in Venue

Now that government guidelines have changed we are teaching live on Zoom and In Venue Tai Chi Classes and workshops with Shifu Liu. In venue we ask students to wear masks and continue social distancing to ensure that everyone in class stays safe and avoids catching Covid-19. In the photo you can see that Shifu Liu is wearing Chinese medicine herbs around his neck as an alternative to wearing a mask.

We are sorry but we do not now accept drop-in students nor do we accept cash at classes and workshops. All bookings and class payments are to be made in advance online through our Bookwhen site or through Eventbrite for our workshops.

We thank all our students and friends for your cooperation and support through these difficult times of transition.

The year of 2020 comes to an end

What a year 2020 has been, a year of adaptation with the Covid-19 outbreak and Brexit to come. From March to July TJC ran our classes on Zoom and we give thanks that many students stood loyally by to support us during this time. We set up a Vimeo Channel to help our students practice, Shifu Liu taught Mon-Fri online early morning taiji/qi gong classes as well as classes on Sundays and evenings, with Online Saturday workshops and Free monthly taiji classes online.

When we could return to venue we set up online booking, wrote a risk assessment, limited our numbers, took all safety precautions whilst continuing online for those further away or shielding. It’s been amazing to welcome people from a wider circle around the globe joining us online.

Trustees and students give thanks to Shifu Liu Quanjun for his wonderful energy, sharing his skill and adapting to teaching online so brilliantly.

Despite the huge sadness and loss surrounding the global pandemic this has been a time to give thanks for the wisdom of the Chen Taijiquan practice from our Master Chen Xiaowang, to be able to share it with others and to help each of us to find patience and calm, deepen our breathing, stay healthy and be thankful to be alive.

Tai Ji Circle is now closed for the holidays. Classes will reopen online/in venue (if possible) on Sunday 10 January 2021.

Shifu Liu’s Christmas Message from the AGM

At TJC’s AGM on 12 December 2020 we looked back at the changes that had taken place during this challenging year, Shifu Liu’s message seemed particularly important, so we are sharing it with you.

This year thanks to all students attending classes this year through difficult time. Wishes everyone a happy holiday season and Christmas. Reflection on 2020 is good, but consider work for next year and how to prepare. Many middle aged [people] or over 50 should consider that we should live every day as very precious. Have happiness and be fulfilled, build strong and healthy body most important. Build Nei gong, inner strength and build balance and coordination. This will remain for many years into the future. One key is to be happy inside, don’t keep stress and anger in your heart.

Shifu’s responsibility is to find the way to teach all students this, our responsibility is to practice well and learn ourselves. Importance of lower dantian, if full and strong advanced age will be good, that is the focus (in practice). Don’t rush or hurry, do the work each day to improve the dantian. Frustrations in class when can’t remember, don’t worry. This means our gong fu is not right there. You can improve strength and balance and co-ordination to achieve success in dantian.

Every type of Qigong can address different ill health. When practice go inside and the outside world is not important. Many people don’t build up high level as too many thoughts and don’t focus on the simple focus inside them. Goal is to live long and strong life and not waste the ability we have. Many don’t understand when we react with anger in response to anger we waste our energy. This can lead to using up your energy. If you practice for 3 months and don’t see a change in your body you should consider if you are following the teaching properly. 

Two goals of training
1. build up a strong body
2. help other people to get the same strength. Ying and Yang.
How do you measure success? if you can teach others successfully that demonstrates your success. When you help others you progress faster than when training yourself. First learn the correct way then transmit correct method to others. First you might feel teaching is difficult or if giving something away, but it is not. 

Questions for Shifu? –

  • Hard for me to calm my mind, explain more please?

Your breath is important, it comes to your dantian and it fills it up. Pay attention to this calm connection and you will calm down. I had the same experience too. 

  • Is training outside in the park which is not level ok or should I train on consistently flat surface ?

Relax and keep back straight. It doesn’t matter what is beneath your feet as long as relaxed hips and joints.

Tai ji quan, lao jia yi lu and tai ji jian (sword) important forms. Weapon training is important for development of taiji and we need to practice them all. Foundation and short form are prelude to the long forms. The practice progresses balance and movement in different situations to develop fully. The principles are the same at all stages. Schools practice their own interpretation of forms in order to develop their full understanding of the system. In beginning build up chi in body and then use it through weapons. Initially use body to move qi then later use qi to move the body. Balance ying and yang. 
Shifu Liu Quanjun

From notes taken during the meeting, thank you Matt!


TJC Celebrates Taijiquan becoming an Intangible Cultural Heritage

Tai Ji Circle students with Shifu Liu Quanjun and Chris send their congratulations for China’s Taijiquan being included in the list of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on 15.12.2020.

With many thanks to the TJC students for helping to demonstrate whilst maintaining social distance and safety. Big thanks due to Raul Casquet for filming, editing and speedily getting the videos to us to send over to China.

24 September: NHS Covid-19 App in use

NHS Covid-19 App for Track and Trace – In our Venues at Islington Chinese Association and St Paul’s Church Hall

The idea for the Test and Trace QR code is for it to be used by those who attend the premises we use. 

Attendees will need to have downloaded the NHS Test and Trace app. in the first instance. If then someone has tested positive for Covid-19 the NHS will email the QR code holders immediately to let them know that someone who has attended recently has tested positive for Covid-19. We can then take appropriate measures to help ensure that those who have been exposed to the virus can self-isolate as instructed by the Government.        

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/nhs-covid-19-app-explainer

How do I install the app? You should only download the app, from official stores:

What permissions does the app require?

For the app to work, you’ll be asked to allow Bluetooth and Notifications.

Please note that Bluetooth will only work on Android phones if Location Services are enabled, so you’ll be asked to turn this feature on.

The app does not collect any location data.

You only need to give the first 3 letters of your postcode, not your full postcode, nor your personal details.

If you have a smart phone please use the TJC Venue QR Posters to check-in to scan the QR code on entry to class at St Paul’s and ICA (St Paul’s and ICA will also have their own separate posters for their own activities) and also continue to sign into the register book with your name and phone on each day you come to class/workshop. Many thanks for your cooperation. We still have a limit of 8 people attending each class as the recommendations give an exemption to rule of 6 with sporting activity:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

“There will be exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including:

The QR codes do not take the place of the registers and checklists that we have in place for our classes or the measures we are taking for track and trace in our respective risk assessments. They will serve as an additional safeguard for us all and it is a useful tool in combating the virus. 

It is not compulsory for attendees to scan the QR code, and some attendees in any case you may not have smartphones or want to use the app, but it does help the NHS in contacting people who might be affected.

Many thanks and let’s hope by following the guidelines we can all stay safe and well and continue our practice of Chen Taiji with Shifu Liu at our venues.

Our taiji classes not restricted to 6 People

Some good news in these difficult times. We believe that we can have larger numbers than 6 people as our ‘sport’ activity is easily 2 m spaced, face outward and wear masks in and around communal areas and entrances, plenty of windows and doors to open in a large hall, so is in a Covid-19 safe environment, see below for all Government details. We already have a risk assessment on our website, and a booking and payment system (do not drop-ins or cash) in place and can use emails for track and trace, and we are also limiting the numbers in class to 8-10 plus Shifu and myself. Read the Government guidelines below. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

From 14 September – when the new rules apply – it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble). The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

There will be exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/providers-of-grassroots-sport-and-gym-leisure-facilities

We are taking a simple register of names in venue in the old cash book, so please sign as you come in with your own pen, wear a mask on entry and in communal areas, uses antiseptic gel etc. Also bring your own drinking flask/cup. Obviously please don’t come to a venue if you are unwell in any way.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you soon online or in venue.

6 September Term Three Opens In Venue and Online

On Sunday we had our first Chen taiji classes with Shifu Liu live on Zoom with the iPad and in venue at the Islington Chinese Association, lovely to see our taiji brothers and sisters and actually speak face to face, gentle practice after so many months just online. Wearing masks and using antiseptic gel Shifu Liu demonstrated how the opening form of Chen taiji Qi Shi contains martial defensive and attack movements.

First class goes live!

Classes In Venue and Online soon

Term Three starts soon with weekly classes to be held in one of our London venues, and live on Zoom. After a trial run at the end of July we felt that this would be the best way moving forward so that those who live further away or abroad have the opportunity of joining our classes or workshops. It has been great to see our taiji brothers and sisters joining online classes from around the UK or overseas.

Our Early Morning Practice Online with Shifu Liu will continue Mondays-Fridays from 7:30-8:30am, starting from Monday 7 September, the practice varies but basically contains Chen taiji warm up exercises, some Tui Na or various Qi Gong exercise and the Yi Fei Gong, which was created by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang to enhance and strengthen the lungs. This practice has been a wonderful regular support through lockdown life over the last six months and has given structure to our days along with Shifu’s other online Chen Taijiquan classes.

We start Term Three with a new Booking and Payment system for all our weekly classes, triggered by the necessity to restrict numbers of students in venue and avoid taking cash payments and registers in class during the Covid-19 outbreak. We hope that you will find this system easy to use, buying a single or series of classes or buying a class pass. if you set up an account with email and password, you can then easily see what classes you have booked and paid for.

We will follow safety guidelines in our venues, with antiseptic gel, checking temperatures, wearing masks in corridors and facilities, and maintaining social distance at all times.

Shifu Liu and Chris are looking forward to the opportunity to meeting everyone again after so long, and don’t forget to book in your classes!

Book online

Live Zoom and In Venue Tai Chi Classes start 6 September

This is the new booking system for all classes and payments, as we go digital and adopt government guidelines, no drop-in students and we are not accepting cash payments any more.

TJC are starting back for Term Three 2020 with classes both in our London venues and continuing live online. The new TJC Classes Book Pay  schedule page has the timetable of weekly Chen Taijiquan classes with Shifu Liu and Chris and details of how to book your class and pay with your credit card. In lieu of Covid-19, and limited ‘In Venue’ numbers, all classes must be booked and paid for online as we follow the government health guidelines. When booking your first class you can set up an account with Bookwhen giving your email and password, and then you can track all your classes and payments. We hope that this will be a much better method for our students in the future. For security reasons it is also best for a class participant to set up a free account on Zoom before entry to the classes.

Please note that for practical reasons more advanced Chen hand and weapons classes are in venue only.

We look forward to trying out at the venues, remember to wear a mask entering the buildings and remain socially distanced, and we can see how getting back to something like normal might feel. In the meantime stay safe, socially distance, wear a mask and wash your hands!

Face to Face with Zoom test class

Thursday 23 July we tried a test class for our students, with Face to Face at St Paul’s and on Zoom, it was a class of Foundation training and the Chen Long Form, Laojia Yi Lu. We had eight people including Shifu and Chris at the hall, and we all kept safe distances and followed safety procedures. Everyone enjoyed it very much and the people on Zoom liked seeing the class too when Shifu switched the iPad around.

However the incidence of Covid-19 is now rising again in London and Shifu Liu does not wish to take any risks with our health and safety and so sadly we will not have any more FtF classes until the incidence rate decreases again. We will continue on Zoom as with our online timetable and another workshop.

Shifu Liu leads, back view is the easiest way for everyone in class and on Zoom to follow the movements of the form.
Shifu Liu chats to students on Zoom after class.