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We're Utah's largest Tai Chi community - a local community that practices Tai Chi every week as a group. Over 7-years strong! We offer local classes, books and the only Tai Chi group with our own exclusive virtual reality smartphone app to help you learn and understand this exercise. I've been doing martial arts for over 25 years. I'm the owner of Shao Long Academy of Chinese Martial Arts, based in West Valley. I briefly lived in China, and was trained and certified as a Tai Chi Instructor by the China Wudang Kungfu Academy in Wudangshan, Hubei, China - Shifu Chen Shixing. I'm Master Cheng Tsang Lu's Disciple of Master Lu's Health Studio, the only certified Wudang instructor in the state, and a Master in Northern Shaolin Kungfu. I've trained with Jade Xu (Wushu champion/actress/performer), I'm a former Western Nationals Champion in Freestyle and Traditional Forms and also a former Marine Corps Sergeant Martial Arts Instructor (MCMAP). \ I noticed Utah doesn't have a big following of tai chi practitioners, nor understand it like how it’s taught in China, and I want to change that. I want to see more local Utahns practice this amazing art that I grew up with to learn and teach. It was refreshing to see so many groups in Beijing practice as a community, and I want that same environment here in Utah - completely community-based, all ages welcome. \ My goal is also to remove all the mysticism behind Taiji; I try to keep classes down to earth, practical and understandable for the newcomers, yet enlightening and challenging for the experienced. === \ **FAQ** **Q: I've never done Tai Chi before... is it beginner friendly?** *A: Yes! It's a slow-paced moving exercise, combining meditation with traditional martial arts. Think of it like a slow dance routine. It's follow-the-leader with our movements. Every class has 1-3 new people rotating each class, with enough veterans for you to watch and imitate. No pressure at all, and you're more than welcome to spectate or step to the side if it gets too confusing. Tai Chi classes are about 1 hour; Kung Fu 2 hours.* **Q: What exactly is Tai Chi Chuan/Taijiquan? Why the different spelling?** \ *A: Tai Chi Chuan (pronounced tie-jee-chwen) is an old traditional Chinese exercise that combines meditation, daoist philosophy, breath/energy control (Qi Gong) and self-defense techniques in a slow, controlled choreographed routine. It's "meditation in motion", or formally known as Path of the Body, as it requires you to focus on your bodily movements to concentrate and stay in the moment, allowing you to relax while lightly exercising. Tai Chi Chuan and Taijiquan are one and the same, and translate to the same thing - "Supreme Ultimate Fist"; Taijiquan is the most accurate translation to how it's pronounced and should be spelled (Chinese use the Pinyin system to romanize their words in English, and "Q" is pronounced with a "ch"), but most Americans already know it as Tai Chi Chuan as that was how it was originally translated when it first came to the US and is the most wide-spread spelling. \ * ***Q: What is Qi Gong? What's the difference with Tai Chi?*** *A: Qi Gong literally translates to "life energy work." It's the coordinated movements synchronizing your energy with your body. Easiest way to understand it on a basic level (without getting into the intricacies of Chinese medicine's understanding of the human body) is learning how to breath properly with the right movements. Like yoga, breath control is very important in Tai Chi. Qi Gong focuses on small movements & breathing to harness energy, whereas Tai Chi uses Qi Gong along with Meditation and Self-Defense techniques. Consider Qi Gong a building block - all Tai Chi has Qi Gong in it, but not all Qi Gong is Tai Chi. Sometimes we incorporate separate Qi Gong exercises after our Tai Chi just to focus on breathing.* **Q: What is the difference between Tai Chi and Kung fu?** *A: Kung fu (pronounced "gong fu"), is the external arts, so it focuses on heavier training and exercises. It's more accurate to real-life self defense training, and it's designed with cardio conditioning, strength training and fast movements. With Tai Chi being the internal arts, it's more so designed with internal healing, so it involves focus on breathing, meditation and slower movements.* **Q: Will I learn self-defense in the classes?** \ *A: In short - no. The classes are designed to focus on things that typical gongfu doesn't give much attention to, such as slower movements, breathing and meditation. While the roots of Tai Chi are rooted with self-defense movements in a choreographed routine, there needs to be a lot of application time and real-life scenarios to make use of the techniques. Instead, due to the lack of time in the classes and students rotating frequently, we put a primary focus on the internal healing portion of Tai Chi, not the self-defense applications. For fighting applications, students would have to attend our gongfu classes at the school.* **Q: What style of Tai Chi do you teach?** \ *A: For the sake of time (1-hour classes) and because most students want to get as much as they can in 1 hour, I teach the Wudang style, San Feng-Pai Tai Chi 13 Form (13 movements). This is different than the typical Yang forms you'll commonly see. Biggest problem with Yang Form is the length (the form I know is over 108 movements long) which takes up too much time for new students. A lot of students just want a taste of Tai Chi, not be stuck only doing 1 part due to length. The form I teach is short, and it only takes about 12-15 minutes after we go over basic movements.* **Q: Isn't Tai Chi just for older people?** \ *A: Absolutely not. However, it's very popular among older people as it's a very low impact exercise than can increase flexibility, balance, energy and heart condition - all of which older people look for but can't do with other high-impact exercises. One of my goals as a young instructor is to dispel this stereotype; in China, we'd have people as young as 12-yr old kids doing Tai Chi with us. I was 15-years-old when I first started learning Tai Chi. I'm a very active person that trains at least 3-hours a day, and even I can attest to its benefits. Attend any of my classes and you'll also see that this exercise is for all ages - from children to senior citizens.* **Q: What do I wear?** \ *A: Loose clothing, specifically pants since leg-movement is paramount, such as shorts or baggy breathable pants; tights and yoga/running tights work great as well as long as they stretch. Flat shoes preferred, like Tom-Toms or basic sneakers (running shoes have too much padding on it, making it harder to balance). For the indoor classes, no dark-sole shoes, please; it'll scuff our indoor flooring. Here are links to help you out, but these items aren't mandatory - I just want you feeling comfy!* [Women's Pants]( \ [Women's Shoes]( [Men's Pants]( \ [Men's Shoes]( **Q: Where are the classes held?** \ *A: All outdoor Tai Chi classes are held in Sugarhouse Park, Fabian Lakeside Pavilion, on the concrete area when it's warm. All indoor Tai Chi classes are held at our studios at Shao Long Academy, 6980 S 400 W #3, Midvale, UT 84047. Please RSVP classes for indoor as we're limited with space; if you're wait-listed, please post-pone coming unless someone cancels in time for you to squeeze in the RSVP list.* **Q: Do you offer personal training sessions?** \ *A: At this time, I won't be able to accommodate individual private sessions as I'm working on getting us a studio and work full-time. We do offer seminars every now and then, so keep an eye out for them on our calendar. In the future I'll announce any openings for individual private sessions.* **Q: Is your style of Tai Chi Chuan/Taijiquan legitimate?** \ *A: Trust me - I'm not a fan of fake instructors either. Unfortunately Tai Chi isn't well-known enough to be regulated by formal committees in the US... which leads to unqualified instructors. It takes much more than a few local classes, books and videos to teach it. I'm not a fan at all of "get certified" quick programs that churn out low quality instruction. The last thing I want to do is incorrectly teach a national treasure that's not even mine.* *I wanted to go to the source, so for the sake of formality and knowing you're working with a legitimate instructor, I'm certified by the China Wudang Kungfu Academy in Hubei, China, the biggest and most well known school in Wudangshan - the birthplace of Tai Chi. It was pretty much college for martial artists. We'd train 6-8 hours daily working on Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and all aspects of Chinese martial arts, from learning Mandarin, to meditation, to watching Chinese cinema. I was taught and surrounded by experts in Taiji in the heart of China, where everyone lives, eats and breaths Taiji daily.* *I graduated with a Taiji Instructor Certificate, and I also received an honorary Coach Certificate. We were all held to incredibly high standards, and to this day I'm still humbled with my experience. I have a very pragmatic approach to teaching Tai Chi. I want to offer results, not magical promises. My certificates are in the photos section. You can visit their website for more info: \\ I've referred students in the past to go to the same school I went to in China, and they have loved the experience.* *I know Old Yang Style, Wudang Style, Xuanwu Style, Baghuazhang and select Qigong exercises. For Shaolin, I know over 30 forms and 10 types of weapons, from sabers to staffs to spears to swords.* \ **Q: How can I learn more about Tai Chi outside our classes?** *A: Ahem...we have an app for that! Designed by our group and lead by our veteran students. It's the exact same form and basic movements we practice in class, in the convenience of your smartphone. Download today, and you'll learn Basic Movements, the form we do, and even meditation. If you have a VR viewer, it'll allow you to practice our Tai Chi form from me in virtual reality, giving you the feeling of training in a group in the comfort of your own space. Want to learn Gongfu? We also have an app for that! Now you have no excuses not to exercise! Check it out at:* *[iOS:](* *[Android:](* [Tai Chi Trainer XR]( Gongfu Fit! === \ For any other questions, feel free to contact me through Meetup messages. \ -Shifu Lei Shao Long \