Category Archives: T’ai Chi

Taiwan 2019 – Wednesday

The adventure begins! Most of us arrived on Tuesday, and there was time for some sightseeing before dinner, including the famous Lung-Shan Temple. By 7pm we had all checked into the Sunrise Business Hotel in downtown Taipei, which is only a short walk from the main train station. It’s the same hotel that several of us stayed at back in 2012 before the last celebration. Several bags took alternative routes to Taiwan, but eventually everyone was reunited with their luggage. There was talk of heading to the Night Market, but by 8:30 dinner was done and everyone was ready to head towards bed. Continue reading

T’ai Chi and Tennis

Many thanks to Qian Cai for sharing how T’ai Chi has helped her on and off the tennis court.

“Relax the body,” “bend the knees,” “turn the center,” Sensei Hiromi’s soft voice spoke to me in my head, as I tried to remind myself of a few fundamentals. No, I was not practicing T’ai Chi. I was on the tennis court, body lowered, eyes on the ball in my opponent’s tossing hand, and getting ready for the next point.

An enthusiastic tennis player, I tore my ACL a few years ago on the tennis court. The surgeon told me firmly that without an ACL replacement surgery, I would not be able to play tennis anymore. My physical therapist, on the other hand, suggested that I might be a “coper”– someone who could bypass the surgery by improving the leg muscle strength and balance to compensate for the lost function of a critical knee ligament.

I thought of trying T’ai Chi – a series of slow movements I deemed an “old person’s pastime.” As a young child growing up in China, I watched my grandpa do it every morning at the community park with many other seniors. But at that moment, T’ai Chi’s gentleness, or old-people-friendliness, beckoned to me and seemed to be exactly what I needed.

From the 14 steps, to 33, 66, and 100 steps, four long years passed. What a learning and enriching experience! Despite several internal struggles to give up at the beginning, I stuck with it and gradually noticed the mental and physical benefits, including the keen recognition that it was having an amazing, unexpected positive effect on my tennis game. I considered myself, in hindsight, truly fortunate to have stayed on long enough to experience first-hand the beauty and wisdom of T’ai Chi.

Because of T’ai Chi’s slow and highly deliberate movements and the emphasis on correct posture and stance, my quadriceps become stronger, which has helped to significantly control my knee movements and reduce knee stress. My posture is more aligned with the energy flows, known as “qi”, which, when the paths are cleared, nourish and soften the joints. My mind has become more relaxed, calm, and clear and less reactive.

In addition to these great health benefits, T’ai Chi taught me valuable tennis lessons I would never have imagined. As a direct result, not only am I able to continue to play tennis contrary to my surgeon’s prediction, I play better, rising from 3.5 to 4.0 last year in the United States Tennis Association ranking. I was thrilled to realize the similarity and connection between the two seemly opposite forms of exercise.

  1. With an ACL rupture I may not run as fast or pivot/cut as sharp, but I learned to be more strategic and purposeful with every shot, or “move” as in T’ai Chi. I also learned to be more relaxed, focused, and not hurried on the court.
  2. I learned that “bending the knees” and “sinking the body low” are good preparation and make it easier to move around on the court more quickly.
  3. I learned in order to generate power and speed, “center turn” is much more effective and critical than swinging an arm or shoulder.
  4. I applied the rule of “70-30” often. Instead of going all out and playing aggressively, I remembered to save 30 percent of the energy/effort for the situations when more is needed.
  5. Through T’ai Chi, I came to appreciate my tennis coach, Jim Labinski’s motto of “zen tennis”, which is also his email address. For a fast-moving sport like tennis, “zen” is, surprisingly (or not surprisingly), the key, not “faster” or “stronger.” Often before a match, I do a quick T’ai Chi warm up and when I anticipate a highly competitive match, I make myself mentally ready with a standing meditation. It is amazing how effective these techniques are.

I love tennis, and I love T’ai Chi. I couldn’t be more grateful that through a knee injury, I discovered and developed a new passion, which in turn, quietly helped me to further another.

World Tai Chi Day 2019

World T’ai Chi Day is an annual free event where participants around the globe practice T’ai Chi at 10 a.m. (local time) on the last Saturday of April.

We will gather in front of the McIntire Park Brooks Family YMCA 9:30 a.m. to warm up and then start the 100-Step T’ai Chi form at 10 a.m., followed by 10-15 minutes of Ch’i Kung.

Note: If it rains, we will meet at the CTCC Dojo.

If you are interested in trying T’ai Chi, please join us for this free chance to experience the relaxing flow of chi through your body!

World T’ai Chi Day
Place: McIntire Park Brooks Family YMCA
Date: Saturday, April 28
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00
Cost: FREE

2 Weeks Free January – March at CTCC

Now is the time to begin!

Interested in trying T’ai Chi? With this special offer, new students can attend T’ai Chi classes free!

If you’ve never taken classes at CTCC before, you are eligible for up to two free consecutive weeks of unlimited T’ai Chi classes at CTCC between January 1 and March 31, 2019!

Please note that we validate for two hours of free parking at the Water Street garage.

  1. Check out the CTCC schedule to choose the classes you would like to attend. Our T’ai Chi classes are highlighted in green.
  2. Download, print and fill out the Registration Form below and bring it to your first class — or just fill out one at CTCC when you arrive.
  3. Review the “Dojo Code” below for further information (e.g. what to wear).
  4. Feel free to email any questions to registrar@charlottesvilletaichi.org or call (877) 880-2479.
  5. Check out the links on the right for more information about T’ai Chi and CTCC.

>> See the weekly Charlottesville T’ai Chi Center schedule here

>> Download the Registration Form here

>> Download the Dojo Code (information about what to wear and the Dojo guidelines) here

Grandmaster Wang’s December 2018 Workshop

The Charlottesville T’ai Chi Center is very proud to once again host Grandmaster Wang Fu-Lai for a weekend of T’ai Chi and Hsing-I seminars!

The workshop will be held from Friday, December 14 through Sunday, December 16. All events will be held at the CTCC dojo, except for the two Saturday sessions at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

To register online, please see instructions below.

Download the brochure and registration form here.

Download the lunch order form here.

Friday, December 14 (evening)
6:00 – 9:00pm Ba Gua (note – there are prerequisites for this workshop) (at CTCC dojo) $90
Saturday, December 15
10:00am – 12:30pm Hsing I – Empty Hands (at Westminster Presbyterian Church) $80
Lunch Break at Westminster Church – download order form above
2:30 – 5:00pm Hsing I – Weapons (at Westminster Presbyterian Church) $85
Both Saturday Sessions $160
6:00 – 8:00pm Demonstrations and Pot Luck Dinner (at CTCC dojo) Free
Sunday, December 16
10:00 – 11:30am 1 – 14 Steps (at CTCC dojo) $65
11:45am – 12:30pm 15 – 33 Steps (at CTCC dojo) $40
 Lunch Break at Dojo — download order form above
2:30 – 3:30pm 34 – 65 Steps (at CTCC dojo) $50
3:45 – 4:45pm 66 – 100 Steps (at CTCC dojo) $50
5:00 – 6:00pm Entire Form (at CTCC dojo) Free
All Sunday Sessions $200
Full Workshop $430

Online Payment for Workshop

You can register for Grandmaster Wang’s upcoming workshop using your PayPal account or a major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover).

Please fill in the total amount for the sessions you wish to take and click the Pay Now button. You can either log into PayPal or click the “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” option.



Please bring a completed registration form to the first session you attend.

Mildred W. Spicer Arts Award

Mildred W. Spicer Arts Award

The Mildred W. Spicer Arts Fund was created in 2013 in honor of Spicer’s retirement from Charlottesville’s Department of Parks and Recreation after 33 years as therapeutic recreation supervisor.

On November 5, 2018, Hiromi Johnson, Director of the Charlottesville T’ai Chi Center, was awarded the fifth annual Arts Award from the Mildred W. Spicer Arts fund for her efforts in promoting the art form of T’ai Chi.

“Hiromi represents the spirit of the Mildred W. Spicer Arts Award through her dedicated support of individuals with disabilities and seniors in a variety of settings and through her commitment to positive awareness of artistic expression, improving the lives of others, and fostering inner growth and creative development,” Spicer fund officials said in a prepared statement.

Additional details found in an article at the Daily Progress.

Hiromi’s Thoughts on the Award:

14 years ago, when T’ai Chi and Qi Gong were not well known, Mildred was interested in having classes at Carver Rec Center. I felt a sense of destiny coming full circle, starting a class with Mildred then, and receiving the Mildred Spicer Arts Fund Award on Monday at City Space as a representative of CTCC.

I am grateful for the recognition we have received for our work. However, I didn’t make this journey alone. I was accompanied by all the dedicated teachers and staff who believed in us and gave us inspiration to work with the community. Instructors and students at CTCC have supported my vision and passion, too.

Why am I so interested in sharing T’ai Chi with the community? It is because you can see each person has something special inside. We introduce T’ai Chi as a means of help people express themselves. In return, we receive beautiful smile, voice (which we couldn’t hear in the beginning of semester), and movement that make you smile back.

Serving the community has been a joy and privilege and we will continue working with them and keep improving our skills so more people will benefit from T’ai Chi and Qi Gong practice.

With Gratitude,
Hiromi

Two Workshops with Hiromi Johnson

Come join us for two workshops with Master Hiromi!

The first workshop will be a deep dive into Grasp the Peacock’s Tail – a fundamental movement in T’ai Chi. Come deepen your understanding of this movement.

The second workshop will focus on refinement of the T’ai Chi Sword form. Master Hiromi received updates to this form in Taiwan and will provide details and refinement during this workshop.

To register online, please see instructions below.
>> View the flyer here

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Place: Charlottesville Tai Chi Center Dojo
206 East Water Street — Google Map
2-hour parking validation available for the Water Street Parking Garage next door

Mini T’ai Chi Grasp the Peacock’s Tail
Time: 10:15am – 12:15pm
Cost: $40

T’ai Chi Sword Refinement
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Cost: $80

Cost for both workshops: $100

Online Payment for Workshop

You can register using your PayPal account or a major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover).

Please select your option and then click the Pay Now button.


Seminar Options




2 Weeks Free Sept-Nov at CTCC

CTCC 2 Free WeeksNow is the time to begin!

Interested in trying T’ai Chi? With this special offer, new students can attend T’ai Chi classes free!

If you’ve never taken classes at CTCC before, you are eligible for up to two free consecutive weeks of unlimited T’ai Chi classes at CTCC between September 1 and November 30, 2018!

Please note that we validate for two hours of free parking at the Water Street garage.

  1. Check out the CTCC schedule to choose the classes you would like to attend. Our T’ai Chi classes are highlighted in green.
  2. Download, print and fill out the Registration Form below and bring it to your first class — or just fill out one at CTCC when you arrive.
  3. Review the “Dojo Code” below for further information (e.g. what to wear).
  4. Feel free to email any questions to registrar@charlottesvilletaichi.org or call (877) 880-2479.
  5. Check out the links on the right for more information about T’ai Chi and CTCC.

>> See the weekly Charlottesville T’ai Chi Center schedule here

>> Download the Registration Form here

>> Download the Dojo Code (information about what to wear and the Dojo guidelines) here