West Wales Tai Chi

Entertainers in Ammanford

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56 Cwmferrws Road
Tycroes
SA18 3UA

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About Us...

My name is Matthew Berry I am the founder of West Wales Tai Chi.
I have been studying Chinese Internal Martial Arts and Health Practises since 1997 and been teaching weekly classes since 2002.

I can safely say that Martial Arts are my main passion in life, having trained in various systems for over 30 years. I started my first Judo class at the age of 5 and from there went on to spend various amounts of time studying Karate, Aikido, Jujitsu, Boxing, Kung Fu, Hsing Yi, Bagua Zhang, Kyusho Jitsu and more...with some great teachers and exponents of their arts but although having trained in so many different arts I always found that something was missing for me. I was still searching for something?

I started learning about and studying Qigong in 1997 and then shortly after I started my Journey with Tai Chi Chuan. I can safely say that I was hooked from day one and I never expected to be! Shamefully I went to my first Tai Chi Class as a complete skeptic I was 20 years old with an average sized ego as to my own martial ability, I thought this Tai Chi stuff was just for old people because it was so slow!
But still there I was, standing in a class as the youngest person by far wondering what it was all about I guess I learnt the hard way because as they say 'My cup was already full!' I left my first class still wondering what it was all about and what had actually happened?! I hadnt learnt any special or secret Martial techniques I didnt even know what I was doing, but as my brain started to let go of all the questions it just couldnt answer I realised something else, how i felt! I was buzzing I still didnt know why because in my mind we hadnt really done anything? I had loads of energy and I felt peaceful at the same time.

I still remember that feeling after that first class to this day as it blew my mind and my preconceptions to bits! That feeling kept me going for at least the next two years, I was hooked by this strange Art and I wanted to unravel its mysteries and find out what it was all about, My teacher at the time concentrated on teaching us Warm up/Stretching Exercises and various Qigong (Energy work) forms/patterns and the Standard Yang style Tai Chi form, we did various partner work exercises and everyrhing we did was centred around Relaxing the muscles through correct body alignment, proper breathing, and Mind Intention. after at least two years I can say I was starting to get a feeling of it, I hadnt learnt anything of Martial value so i thought, but by that time I wasnt so interested and had almost forgot that it was a Martial art at all!

More Information...

Tai Chi Chuan is a Chinese martial art form of exercise with its roots developed from Taoism, one of China's oldest belief systems. The practise of Tai Chi Chuan is very beneficial for health and it is also a subtle, sophisticated and scientific method of self defence. The martial art has evolved over the years into an effective means of alleviating stress and anxiety and it has been considered to be a form of 'meditation in motion' which promotes serenity and inner peace.

The term Tai Chi refers to the ancient Taoist philosophy, of the interplay between the two forces of yin and yang or stillness and movement, night and day, light and dark, hot and cold etc and is depicted in the ancient (tai chi) or yin yang symbol. The term "tai chi chuan" translates to "supreme ultimate fist" or "boundless fist". Tai Chi is safe for people of all ages as it does not put too much stress on the muscles and joints. In addition to being safe

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focussed intention.

The word Qi Gong is made up of two Chinese words. Qi pronounced 'chee' is usually translated to mean breath, life force or vital energy that flows through all things in the universe.

Gong pronounced 'gung' means accomplishment or skill that is developed through dedicated practise over time, together ,Qi Gong means cultivating energy, it is a system practised for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.

Tai Chi is a martial art of the mind -body and spirit and practicing the forms which have limitless martial applications/self defence techniques and practising the two-person exercise called 'push-hands' or 'sensing hands' Tai Chi can be developed to a state where you are sensitive to and responsive of another person's 'chi' or vital energy and intention. Long-time practitioners of Tai Chi can become very adept at self defence. The emphasis in Tai Chi is on being able to channel potentially destructive energy (in the form of a kick, punch, or grab or even just ill intent etc) away from yourself in a manner that will dissipate the energy or send it in a direction where it is no longer a danger.

Tai Chi's training methods predominately focus on soft, relaxed and flowing movements, which paradoxically improve speed and strength in their martial techniques, contrary to the common belief that it has no martial prowess because it is too slow! It is only trained slow to perfect technique, and relax the muscles and iron out any unnecessary tension so that the body can flow very quickly from one technique to another unimpeded and transfer more energy over a shorter distance. Therefore it can compliment and supplement existing training and give a new perspective for practitioners from other Martial systems especially 'hard' styles like Karate and mma etc which focus primarily on the use of muscular force. Practising Tai Chi can also be of benefit for anyone involved in almost any sporting or recreational activity to help minimise gross muscle tension and to use the body as an integrated whole. Many professional sports people from rugby players to professional footballers and golfers have all used Tai Chi to incorporate its techniques to help them maximise their potential in their own sports and also to speed up and aid in recovery and rehabilitation of sporting injuries.

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