T’ai Chi Classes

T’ai Chi Classes

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“I have known Jill Corcoran for many years as both a Tai Chi teacher and a friend;  Jill was quite versed in Tai Chi Chuan before beginning in my practice and since has broadened her insights in numerous ways to practice, teach and share Tai Chi. I know she has developed perspectives from time spent with the five Grandmasters of the five families at the 2009 International Tai Chi Symposium and a more therapeutic approach from certification in the energy Tai Chi she has learned. I have found Jill to be a thoughtful student and teacher, one to not just do because it is promoted “that way”, and that anyone can benefit from her experience and teaching”

Master Warren Allen

“I have known Jill Corcoran for many years as both a Tai Chi teacher and a friend;  Jill was quite versed in Tai Chi Chuan before beginning in my practice and since has broadened her insights in numerous ways to practice, teach and share Tai Chi. I know she has developed perspectives from time spent with the five Grandmasters of the five families at the 2009 International Tai Chi Symposium and a more therapeutic approach from certification in the energy Tai Chi she has learned. I have found Jill to be a thoughtful student and teacher, one to not just do because it is promoted “that way”, and that anyone can benefit from her experience and teaching”

Master Warren Allen

Tai Chi Fundamentals Program

Tricia Yu, MA, started studying T’ai Chi in 1970 with Taoist Master Liu Pei Ch’ung in China. Upon returning to the US, she continued her Yang style studies with Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and William C.C. Chen. Master Chen certified her. When teaching, Ms. Yu realized some students were repeatedly physically challenged with some parts of the Cheng Men Ching form. She was able to modify the original form, while maintaining its principles to create the T’ai Chi Fundamentals (TCF) Program in 1996. TCF is based upon the Yang Style.  For Tricia Yu’s book “Tai Chi Mind and Body”©, Grand Master William C.C. Chen is quoted as saying “Tricia Yu’s form is the simplest and easiest to learn. It is a unique exercise suitable for all ages…”

This is a program I am certified to teach. There are a dozen individual exercises taught first which are great for breathing, releasing tension, balance, strengthening your body, helping your posture, stretching muscles, coordination, improving joints, expanding breathing, some cardiovascular benefits, and flexibility of joints.  Once these exercises are learned there is a continuous tai chi form which parts of the exercises are included.

Learning these forms will also help you should you want to take traditional T’ai Chi. I’m focusing on this program now because I think it’s a great option for everyone, but particularly anyone who has health issues.  I’m the only one  in Oregon certified to teach it.

There is ongoing research as to the specific benefits of the TCF Program.  It’s been shown to be helpful to people with balance issues, arthritis, pain management, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and other issues. More research is underway.  It can be adapted for people who are in wheel chairs or need to utilize a cane, or walker.  I think it’s a great gift to share and hope to meet you soon!

Tai Chi Fundamentals Program

Tricia Yu, MA, started studying T’ai Chi in 1970 with Taoist Master Liu Pei Ch’ung in China. Upon returning to the US, she continued her Yang style studies with Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and William C.C. Chen. Master Chen certified her. When teaching, Ms. Yu realized some students were repeatedly physically challenged with some parts of the Cheng Men Ching form. She was able to modify the original form, while maintaining its principles to create the T’ai Chi Fundamentals (TCF) Program in 1996. TCF is based upon the Yang Style.  For Tricia Yu’s book “Tai Chi Mind and Body”©, Grand Master William C.C. Chen is quoted as saying “Tricia Yu’s form is the simplest and easiest to learn. It is a unique exercise suitable for all ages…”

This is a program I am certified to teach. There are a dozen individual exercises taught first which are great for breathing, releasing tension, balance, strengthening your body, helping your posture, stretching muscles, coordination, improving joints, expanding breathing, some cardiovascular benefits, and flexibility of joints.  Once these exercises are learned there is a continuous tai chi form which parts of the exercises are included.

Learning these forms will also help you should you want to take traditional T’ai Chi. I’m focusing on this program now because I think it’s a great option for everyone, but particularly anyone who has health issues.  I’m the only one  in Oregon certified to teach it.

There is ongoing research as to the specific benefits of the TCF Program.  It’s been shown to be helpful to people with balance issues, arthritis, pain management, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and other issues. More research is underway.  It can be adapted for people who are in wheel chairs or need to utilize a cane, or walker.  I think it’s a great gift to share and hope to meet you soon![/read]

“It has been a great class. I have learned a lot and want to continue.”

Shelly E, OR

Jill’s T’ai Chi Ch’aun Story

In 1977 I was a college intern for a City’s Historic Landmarks Section. My supervisor was really great.  One time when I was showing up for work after lunch, he was just coming back on a nice spring day with his dark sunglasses on, looking incredibly relaxed. He asked if I knew what T’ai Chi was. I did not; he said I must take it. Well I never felt I had time then or for many years later, given jobs, moves, and life.

Feeling settled in Milwaukee, WI in 1991, I saw a notice for a T’ai Chi presentation for future classes.  I went and decided I’d try it, remembering the advice given to me years ago.  I had recently recovered from a very bad foot issue which at times I was unable to walk a block without great discomfort. The night before the class, the pain came back. I had prepaid (for three months) and so I went.  I thought, if I have to sit it out, so be it. However, the teacher focused mostly on foot work. By the end of class my foot was fine. It so happened I had a follow up appointment with a chiropractor the next day. He knew of T’ai Chi and suggested the foot work presented in the class fixed it. (Years later I met another student who had an arm issue which was also healed via basic practice.)

I continued learning T’ai Chi for several years until moving to Salem in 1997.  I had heard and seen someone who returned to the Milwaukee school, that it was “different” out here. So I practiced on my own for some time until I found Pacific Martial Arts, founded by a great teacher who allowed me to join his class.  It did seem very different to me.  However now that I have practiced so long, I realize the basics are there, it is somewhat of an “accent” to the forms that differ. I felt lucky the teachers I had also shared the martial aspect of T’ai Chi Chaun when an appropriate level was obtained. T’ai Chi Chaun is skill, utilizing the opponent’s energy to hurt themselves, essentially.  I found some hard to believe, but would test it on a large male student, and each time it worked!  One does not have to be a physically strong, muscular person to be successful in defending themselves.  I appreciate that.  Beyond daily health, eventually you learn to use some of the “forms” to make other work easier on your body, like shoveling, lifting and raking leaves.

Of course sometimes health is not always in our control. Years later, I ended up having a knee issue from a somewhat unclear diagnosis, of which the only medical word I could understand among the many was “minor arthritis”.  It was too painful to continue to use for a lot of my normal activities, so I had to take a break from T’ai Chi, walking any distance, stairs, etc.  I was in Physical Therapy learning to strengthen specific muscles to support the knee.  I REALLY missed T’ai Chi. One day I sat on the middle of the couch and did the upper body part of the form. I felt better and thought there must be a way to learn and teach T’ai Chi to people who are not able to stand. Eventually I did get better, and rejoined my regular classes.

The Grand Master teachers do not come to the U.S. often, but they came to Louisville, Kentucky in 2014.  I was able to go to the International T’ai Chi Symposium for the week for a LOT of practice in the different Family Styles (Yang, Sun, Chen, Wu/Hao, Wu, He Styles) as well as listening to educational presentations.  As luck would have it, there were two women speakers talking about a new type of T’ai Chi modified with physical therapy for people with special issues. One was my very first Milwaukee teacher, Pat Corrigan Culotti. She was speaking with Tricia Yu who developed the form and protocol for practicing, then teaching it. In 1999 Ms. Yu coauthored the first “T’ai Chi Fundamentals”© book with Jill Johnston, a Physical Therapist and T’ai Chi Teacher.

I found what I was looking for and started the process to get back to Wisconsin over the years to take classes. I became certified to teach the T’ai Chi Fundamentals Program which includes exercises, a form and mind body principles based on the Yang Style.  Although mostly based in the Midwest, it is spreading to other areas of the country. You can find out more about this at:  www.taichihealth.com.

I continue my regular practice at Pacific Martial Arts and teach T’ai Chi Fundamentals.  It’s all enjoyable, and it has helped me and others stay healthy.  Go beyond thinking about trying traditional T’ai Chi, or the T’ai Chi Fundamentals; try it!

Jill’s T’ai Chi Ch’aun Story

In 1977 I was a college intern for a City’s Historic Landmarks Section. My supervisor was really great.  One time when I was showing up for work after lunch, he was just coming back on a nice spring day with his dark sunglasses on, looking incredibly relaxed. He asked if I knew what T’ai Chi was. I did not; he said I must take it. Well I never felt I had time then or for many years later, given jobs, moves, and life.

Feeling settled in Milwaukee, WI in 1991, I saw a notice for a T’ai Chi presentation for future classes.  I went and decided I’d try it, remembering the advice given to me years ago.  I had recently recovered from a very bad foot issue which at times I was unable to walk a block without great discomfort. The night before the class, the pain came back. I had prepaid (for three months) and so I went.  I thought, if I have to sit it out, so be it. However, the teacher focused mostly on foot work. By the end of class my foot was fine. It so happened I had a follow up appointment with a chiropractor the next day. He knew of T’ai Chi and suggested the foot work presented in the class fixed it. (Years later I met another student who had an arm issue which was also healed via basic practice.)

I continued learning T’ai Chi for several years until moving to Salem in 1997.  I had heard and seen someone who returned to the Milwaukee school, that it was “different” out here. So I practiced on my own for some time until I found Pacific Martial Arts, founded by a great teacher who allowed me to join his class.  It did seem very different to me.  However now that I have practiced so long, I realize the basics are there, it is somewhat of an “accent” to the forms that differ. I felt lucky the teachers I had also shared the martial aspect of T’ai Chi Chaun when an appropriate level was obtained. T’ai Chi Chaun is skill, utilizing the opponent’s energy to hurt themselves, essentially.  I found some hard to believe, but would test it on a large male student, and each time it worked!  One does not have to be a physically strong, muscular person to be successful in defending themselves.  I appreciate that.  Beyond daily health, eventually you learn to use some of the “forms” to make other work easier on your body, like shoveling, lifting and raking leaves.

Of course sometimes health is not always in our control. Years later, I ended up having a knee issue from a somewhat unclear diagnosis, of which the only medical word I could understand among the many was “minor arthritis”.  It was too painful to continue to use for a lot of my normal activities, so I had to take a break from T’ai Chi, walking any distance, stairs, etc.  I was in Physical Therapy learning to strengthen specific muscles to support the knee.  I REALLY missed T’ai Chi. One day I sat on the middle of the couch and did the upper body part of the form. I felt better and thought there must be a way to learn and teach T’ai Chi to people who are not able to stand. Eventually I did get better, and rejoined my regular classes.

The Grand Master teachers do not come to the U.S. often, but they came to Louisville, Kentucky in 2014.  I was able to go to the International T’ai Chi Symposium for the week for a LOT of practice in the different Family Styles (Yang, Sun, Chen, Wu/Hao, Wu, He Styles) as well as listening to educational presentations.  As luck would have it, there were two women speakers talking about a new type of T’ai Chi modified with physical therapy for people with special issues. One was my very first Milwaukee teacher, Pat Corrigan Culotti. She was speaking with Tricia Yu who developed the form and protocol for practicing, then teaching it. In 1999 Ms. Yu coauthored the first “T’ai Chi Fundamentals”© book with Jill Johnston, a Physical Therapist and T’ai Chi Teacher.

I found what I was looking for and started the process to get back to Wisconsin over the years to take classes. I became certified to teach the T’ai Chi Fundamentals Program which includes exercises, a form and mind body principles based on the Yang Style.  Although mostly based in the Midwest, it is spreading to other areas of the country. You can find out more about this at:  www.taichihealth.com.

I continue my regular practice at Pacific Martial Arts and teach T’ai Chi Fundamentals.  It’s all enjoyable, and it has helped me and others stay healthy.  Go beyond thinking about trying traditional T’ai Chi, or the T’ai Chi Fundamentals; try it!

” I found my T’ai Chi experience in Jill’s class to be calming to the mind as well as improving my flexibility, balance and strength.”

Craig F., OR

” I found my T’ai Chi experience in Jill’s class to be calming to the mind as well as improving my flexibility, balance and strength.”

Craig F., OR

T’ai Chi, T’ai-Chi, T’ai-Chi Chuan, Taiji, and Taijiquan
Which One????

All refer to a slow graceful Chinese exercise designed to enhance relaxation, mental focus, and proper physical alignment.  The actual translation means “supreme ultimate”, or the center of things – the common source unifying opposites.  T’ai Chi is a form of Qigong, an energy practice utilizing various movements with proper breathing and mindfulness in the present moment.  In T’ai Chi, one must be focused both physically and mentally in each movement.  “Chi” and “Qi” describe vital energy where breathing is central. T’ai Chi views the body as expressions or states of Qi – a vital energy or life source for the entire body.

T’ai Chi is an ancient Chinese exercise which is now practiced worldwide.  It provides many health benefits. T’ai Chi improves a person’s balance, posture, strength, endurance, stability, flexibility, cardiovascular system, and reduces stress.  Regular practice can improve or eliminate many other health issues as well.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when Chinese Masters developed T’ai Chi; however some say it started as an exercise more than eight centuries ago. T’ai Chi is founded on a concept of “yin” (female energy ) and “yang” (male energy); when equally combined this creates the “Grand Ultimate”. It is commonly represented in the traditional T’ai Chi symbol we often see today. Original Qigong movements were stemmed from watching animals, known as the “Five Animal Form”. This was available to Dr. Hua Tuo who lived in the 2nd and 3rd century and was particularly interested in the deer, tiger, bear, monkey and bird movements in the form. He recommended these stretching and breathing exercises for his patients to better their health. The form is still practiced today.

Chinese Masters developed T’ai Chi around the 13th century to complement their martial art skills with exercises that included punches, kicks and blocks. As before, some moves were developed by watching weak and strong animals. It was noted a bigger animal moving quickly could be outsmarted by a weaker or small animal utilizing a slow movement.  Sitting meditations were also introduced to martial artists. Different styles developed and were named after the original founders.  Historically the family style was passed on to the sons. Eventually, it was shared with women, and nonfamily members.

Today there are many family styles. The three main styles are: Chen, Yang, and Wu. Each style still bears the family name of their form. In the mid-1800’s Master Yang Lu Shan, who founded the Yang style form began teaching it to the public as a health exercise. Grand Master Cheng Man Ching of the Yang lineage brought it to New York. It grew in popularity in the United States (U.S.) and Europe during the late 1960s.  Masters Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and William C.C. Chen were instrumental in continuing its teaching in the U.S.

T’ai Chi, T’ai-Chi, T’ai-Chi Chuan, Taiji, and Taijiquan – Which One????

All refer to a slow graceful Chinese exercise designed to enhance relaxation, mental focus, and proper physical alignment.  The actual translation means “supreme ultimate”, or the center of things – the common source unifying opposites.  T’ai Chi is a form of Qigong, an energy practice utilizing various movements with proper breathing and mindfulness in the present moment.  In T’ai Chi, one must be focused both physically and mentally in each movement.  “Chi” and “Qi” describe vital energy where breathing is central. T’ai Chi views the body as expressions or states of Qi – a vital energy or life source for the entire body.

T’ai Chi is an ancient Chinese exercise which is now practiced worldwide.  It provides many health benefits. T’ai Chi improves a person’s balance, posture, strength, endurance, stability, flexibility, cardiovascular system, and reduces stress.  Regular practice can improve or eliminate many other health issues as well.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when Chinese Masters developed T’ai Chi; however some say it started as an exercise more than eight centuries ago. T’ai Chi is founded on a concept of “yin” (female energy ) and “yang” (male energy); when equally combined this creates the “Grand Ultimate”. It is commonly represented in the traditional T’ai Chi symbol we often see today. Original Qigong movements were stemmed from watching animals, known as the “Five Animal Form”. This was available to Dr. Hua Tuo who lived in the 2nd and 3rd century and was particularly interested in the deer, tiger, bear, monkey and bird movements in the form. He recommended these stretching and breathing exercises for his patients to better their health. The form is still practiced today.

Chinese Masters developed T’ai Chi around the 13th century to complement their martial art skills with exercises that included punches, kicks and blocks. As before, some moves were developed by watching weak and strong animals. It was noted a bigger animal moving quickly could be outsmarted by a weaker or small animal utilizing a slow movement.  Sitting meditations were also introduced to martial artists. Different styles developed and were named after the original founders.  Historically the family style was passed on to the sons. Eventually, it was shared with women, and nonfamily members.

Today there are many family styles. The three main styles are: Chen, Yang, and Wu. Each style still bears the family name of their form. In the mid-1800’s Master Yang Lu Shan, who founded the Yang style form began teaching it to the public as a health exercise. Grand Master Cheng Man Ching of the Yang lineage brought it to New York. It grew in popularity in the United States (U.S.) and Europe during the late 1960s.  Masters Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and William C.C. Chen were instrumental in continuing its teaching in the U.S.

” I liked that Jill incorporated some exercises for shoulders and back into her T’ai Chi lessons.  I was having shoulder and back pain at the time and these exercises helped.”

Jill F., OR

” I liked that Jill incorporated some exercises for shoulders and back into her T’ai Chi lessons.  I was having shoulder and back pain at the time and these exercises helped.”

Jill F., OR

“School sports, hard martial styles, and a tractor accident left this old body (60) in poor disrepair. I found Jill’s fundamentals class offered though a wellness program fun and light, it introduces basic postures, movements and basic body mechanics. With these postures and some effort one can improve balance, strength, mental focus, and better joint function. This class with Jill has given me the confidence to enroll in more tai chi classes to advance in my rehab work.”

Bill D., OR

“School sports, hard martial styles, and a tractor accident left this old body (60) in poor disrepair. I found Jill’s fundamentals class offered though a wellness program fun and light, it introduces basic postures, movements and basic body mechanics. With these postures and some effort one can improve balance, strength, mental focus, and better joint function. This class with Jill has given me the confidence to enroll in more tai chi classes to advance in my rehab work.”

Bill D., OR

T’ai Chi Classes

T’ai Chi Classes