The Attaining Harmony School offers authentic training in the Yang style of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, as taught by Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing. We offer beginning classes (in which students learn the Short Form, consisting of 37 postures), Advanced Form Correction, Push-Hands (Tui Shou), Sword Form and Da Lu. We teach San Shou as a simulated combat practice for advanced students.
We understand and practice T’ai Chi Ch’uan (the Great Ultimate Fist) as an internal discipline, emphasizing three aspects: health, martial-arts training and spiritual development.
We chose Attaining Harmony as the name for our school to emphasize the central Taoist idea of returning to balance. The word attaining points to a process; we emphasize studying T’ai Chi Ch’uan as a Way, or a lifestyle, rather than a final achievement. The word harmony evokes the idea of balance.
We learn to find balance literally in our physical practice of the form; by relaxing and sinking energy (qi) to the tan t’ien we develop a lower center of gravity. We also seek balance mentally and spiritually: transcending one’s ego and returning to the harmony of the Universe.
We believe that internal exercises based on relaxation and slow movement allow us to eliminate blockages of Qi—or Vital Energy—in the body and direct that energy towards the internal organs, thus strengthening the organ systems responsible for health, longevity and an overall sense of happiness and well-being.
Our training is rooted in Taoist practices, such as Tan T’ien Breathing, and supported by our knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Classical Homeopathy.
We look on Push-Hands (Tui Shou) as a practice of conflict resolution. By practicing Push-Hands one learns how cultivating softness and yielding can help one to understand and follow the energies involved in any situation and to harmonize oneself with the environment (the opponent) on emotional and physical levels. When the false idea of ego is out of the picture, such notions as opponent and opposition disappear and Push-Hands has no connotation of fighting. When anxiety and the necessity to defend those false self images are gone, martial-arts training becomes a satisfying game that transcends its own form.
The Attaining Harmony T’ai Chi Ch’uan school offers students at all levels a safe environment in which to develop deeper insights about their true natures. We hope, through our teaching, to help our students refine their breathing, posture and awareness to achieve higher levels of concentration and relaxation and to reach a state of maturity as a human being.
Attaining harmony is the process of learning to be in a state of mind that can see harmony in disharmony and unity in opposition, that can transcend the dichotomy of conscious and unconscious, that one can live life fully, moment by moment, and be most effective and creative.