Programs & Classes

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 
The "tiger and dragon" motif is common to both Chinese and Japanese art, and represents polar opposites in dynamic union, embodying the creative forces of the universe: yin and yang, east and west, earth and wind, enlightened mind and soaring spirit. The goal of Hunyuan Tai Chi is sometimes expressed in similar terms: to become "a tiger with wings."
By Doan (Yamada Yorikiyo). Circa 1560.
Two large ink-on-paper screens, 65 by 141 inches, possibly decorations from a Zen monastery.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

The Academy offers four public programs:

Foundation Qigong Program
Qigong ('chi-gung') means "internal energy cultivation." It's one of the great traditional arts of China, where many kinds are practiced daily for health and vitality, relief from stress, recovery from illness or injury, and promotion of longevity. Qigong is also the theoretical and practical foundation of Tai Chi, and is essential in developing higher level Tai Chi gongfu. We offer three kinds of Qigong in the Foundation Qigong program:
  • Dynamic Qigong is more rigorous, and helps build the basic strength and skill of body and mind needed for Tai Chi. This is a great place to start your Tai Chi career, either as a stand-alone class, or in conjunction with Beginning Tai Chi. Also known as chansigong, or "silk-reeling". 
  • Primordial Qigong is gentler and more meditative. Its focus is on cleansing and invigorating the energy body, leaving you calm, clear, and energized. Like a spa treatment, but from the inside out.
  • Women's Qigong. We also offer a special Women's Qigong class on Sunday morning, with a focus on self-care in body, mind, and spirit.
Although Qigong is the foundation of Tai Chi, it's also a highly effective stand- alone practice for anyone working on health and harmony in body and mind. Many of our students find that the Qigong program satisfies all their health and recreational needs (if you're recovering your health, Qigong is a much quicker path to wholeness and healing than is Tai Chi). Your single monthly Foundation Qigong tuition covers all Dynamic, Primordial, and Women's Qigong classes. The Foundation Qigong Program is an ongoing program; join at any time. 
Degree of difficulty: 1-star (easy)
Prerequisite: None
Read more about Dynamic Qigong 
Read more about Primordial Qigong
Check the weekly schedule for class days and times
Register for a free trail class here

Beginning Tai Chi Program
The Beginning Tai Chi Program is a two-year program focusing on the first introductory form of Hunyuan Tai Chi, the 24-movement Yilu ("First Road") form. Although the "24" is a short introductory form, it takes the first two terms (six months) to learn the basic choreography of the form, as well as the self-defense applications for each move:
  • Terms 1-2: Basic choreography and self-defense applications
During the following six terms (eighteen months), program members go through the form three more times, each time going into greater depth, and gradually developing the ease, relaxation, and internal power for which Tai Chi is famous. During the first reiteration of the form, the class focuses on body mechanics and major form corrections; during the second reiteration on energy dynamics and fine form corrections; and during the third reiteration on mental intention, internal energy patterns, mind-body integration, and centering, grounding, and flow:
  • Terms 3-4: body mechanics and major form corrections
  • Terms 5-6: energy dynamics and fine form corrections
  • Terms 6-7: mental intention, energy patterns, mind-body integration
After competing the two-year program, you can elect to stay with the program as long as you like, or move on to the Advanced Tai Chi program when you and the head instructor believe you're ready. Beginning Tai Chi Program members can also attend all Foundation Qigong Program classes at no additional charge.
Degree of difficulty: 2-star (moderate)
Prerequisite: Qigong highly recommended 
Read more about Beginning Tai Chi
Check the weekly schedule for class days and times
Register for a free trail class here

Advanced Tai Chi Program
A five-year program for the serious student, the Advanced Tai Chi program offers the complete core curriculum of Chenshi Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan, including the 24, 48, and 83 Yilu ("First Road") forms, the 24, 38, and 77 Erlu ("Second Road") forms, the straight sword (jian), the saber (tao), push-hands (tuishou), advanced elective forms, Taoist philosophy, and Chinese history and literature.   
Degree of difficulty: 3-star (difficult)
Prerequisite: Beginning Tai Chi Program
Read more about Advanced Tai Chi
Check the weekly schedule for class days and times

Teaching Certificate Program
Only for the true fanatic who intends to make teaching his or her vocation. 
Degree of difficulty: 4-star (don't even ask)
Prerequisite: By arrangement with the head instructor only 
 Read more about the Certificate Program