Real Taoism - Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Ba Gua classes workshops and retreats in London, UK and France

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Life Arts
Why Real Taoism?

At REAL TAOISM we teach authentic Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong (Chi Gung), Hsing-i, Ba Gua Zhang and Taoist meditation systems which have been transmitted from generation to generation of practising Taoist teachers in China for the past 2500 years.

This living tradition has been passed on to Studio Director Chris Ray Chappell who has spent over 30 years practising both eastern and western mind and body disciplines.

Those of you who choose to cultivate a Taoist Life Art practise in your life will experience for yourselves the real and quantifiable benefits that regular practise of authentic Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Gung, Ba Gua Zhang, Hsing-I Chuan and Taoist meditation can bring under the guidance of a genuinely experienced teacher.

Why Life Arts?
Taoists believe that each of us has the potential to be the author of our own lives. They discovered ways of consciously achieving mastery of those forces that would otherwise have controlled their lives.They sought mastery of these forces in order to free themselves of their influence and so live in a state of harmony and balance.

To describe these techniques for developing the mind and body beyond what we ordinarily assume are their limits we have coined the term Life Arts.

Regular participation will enable you to remain the author of your own experience, even in the midst of the relentless pressure and tension of city-life.

* Our word ‘technique' is derived from the Greek word tekhne or ‘arts'.

The Metropolitan Taoist
Contrary to popular belief the most respected Taoist teachers lived in Chinese cities such as Beijing or Shanghai.

Taoists developed their techniques in times which, like our own, were extremely turbulent and demanded of everyday people strong minds and bodies to help them withstand the fear and violence generated by the constant threat from feudal insurgents.

Taoism places a great emphasis upon living in harmony with our environment by skillfully responding to our circumstances whatever they might be, whether we find ourselves in the bustling heart of the city or the tranquility of the countryside.

In fact, one of the highest tests of a Taoist practitioner was his or her ability to discover and then maintain a deep sense of internal stillness in the midst of everyday life in a demanding urban environment.

Taoist techniques were also used to enhance or ‘turbo charge' martial arts applications and at REAL TAOISM we can teach you how to apply these techniques to your everyday life or your athletic or sporting practise.

It is to this tradition that REAL TAOISM belongs.

Achieving Balance
Many of us have come to feel that we are personally impoverished by the relentless pace of life today.

Regular practise of a Taoist Life Art will bring a renewed sense of authority and balance by cultivating a special kind of ‘personal power' which is unknown in the West. This sense of personal power or ‘chi' is generated not by cultivating the will but learning to ‘let go' and trust the innate receptivity, intelligence and responsiveness of the mind and body.

The Life-Arts we teach are designed to help us redress our imbalances in a gentle and manageable fashion so that we can become more effective in our personal and professional lives.

We will learn how to use the mind not to inflame the body and emotions but to soothe and cool them, creating a smoother and more efficient nervous system.

This incremental approach to mind and body training and integration can circumvent burnout before it occurs and, in the long run, increase longevity and our ability to enjoy it

What is ‘Chi'?
In western psychology or physiology there is no concept equivalent to the Taoist concept of Chi.

This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to communicate what chi actually is.

So rather than trying defining chi we invite would-be practitioners to put their thinking minds aside in order to learn to feel the flow of chi in their own bodies.

However, although the concept of chi is difficult to describe we can describe the personal characteristics exhibited by people who have cultivated their chi.

People with ‘cultivated chi' exhibit extra-ordinary presence of mind, bodily vitality and an awareness and sensitivity to their own environment and the people around them.

Such people are also likely to possess an enhanced sense of responsibility by which we mean the ability to respond appropriately and skillfully to the challenges posed by life.

When I originally started training with Chris I was suffering from a very painful occupational related repetitive strain injury type condition (RSI). I can't emphasise enough how scary RSI can be, especially if it manifests early in ones career. When I started studying Ba Gua my main concern was that it wouldn't aggravate the condition, I never thought it could actually reduce and then remove it.
Tom Kirby-Green, Software Engineer, London

I've found that Tai Chi has given me a toolkit that helps tackle some of the more unwelcome aspects of London life. It has not only helped me create calm spaces in myself to counteract the grinding stress of working in the city, but has also developed my confidence and physical strength to confront random urban aggression
Chris Fox
Director of Corporate Relations for a Leading UK Company

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