We offer instruction in taiji (tai chi) and qigong from the the heart of tradition in China. Our group is the continuation of classes Dr. Yang Yang started in 1996 when he was a doctoral student at the U of I conducting research on the benefits of taiji and qigong practice. The classes are led by Scott Grubisich, co-author with Dr. Yang of the renowned book Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power.

Dr. Yang, now centered in New York, is one of the world’s preeminent practitioners and teachers and now teaches internationally. Many of the students in our class are senior students of Dr. Yang, and continue to study and assist teaching at his national seminars and camps. He, in turn, was a student of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang, one of the greatest masters of the previous generation in China and a historical figure in taiji, having fused the Chen style of Chen Fake (the 17th generation Grandmaster of the Chen style of taiji) with the qigong and xin yi of the renowned martial artist and clinical qigong practitioner Grandmaster Hu Yaozhen.

The Nine Pearls

Our introductory program is based on what we refer to as the Nine Pears – the Five Steps to Internal Power and the Four Things that are Always True. Together they are the basis for all internal martial arts movement and a path to more lasting inner peace and tranquility.

Taiji is far more than slow choreographed movement and in our introductory classes we do not emphasize style (a more accurate word would be “brand”) but rather the Five Steps to Internal Power that are essential for and define not only all movements of all forms of taiji but the efficient movement and power all internal martial arts practices. We teach or practice nothing without an explanation and thorough understanding of *why* it is done and how it is an essential component in the multidimensional (mind/body/spirit) and multimodal continuum of traditional taiji exercise. “The Five Steps” to Internal Power are distinctive to CUTQ curriculum and represent our understanding of internal power from over 35 years of training with instruction from the heart of taiji tradition, combat sport training, and study of kinesiology.

Meditation is the foundation of all qigong exercise, and our curriculum includes meditation in sitting standing, and lying-down postures. As Grandmaster Feng’s xinyi and qigong teacher Hu Yaozhen wrote, “when the mind is still the qi will move,” and the purpose of all meditation techniques is to still the mind and enter quiescence. Our unique approach to sitting meditation is based on awareness and contemplation of the Four Things that are Always True. Also distinct to CUTQ curriculum, the list of Four Things underlie all human experience and thought, are the foundation of all universal spiritual precepts, and are the explanations for a “big picture” understanding of, and approach to, taiji practice.

Well, that’s our lineage and approach to teaching, but mostly the CU school is a just great bunch of people who have benefited in many ways from practice and the class energy, and who live Socrates’ saying encouraging lifelong learning recently shared with the group by Paul Schupp, professor emeritus of mathematics at the U of I:

“Γερισο αει διδασκομενοσ”, “I grow old always learning.”

Champaign Urbana Taiji (Tai Chi) Qigong class photo

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