Testimonials - Tai Chi Form, page 1
Hun Yuan Tai Chi 24 form
Chi form is the union of internal energy (qi) with the physical body,
especially the tendons, ligaments and muscles. Once you have
learnt the 24 movements, the whole form takes only 8 minutes to
complete. Busy people can easily fit it into their lifestyles. The
massaging effects on the whole body will both relax and energise you.
Relaxation, a sense of well being, true freedom of movement and better
health are all within your reach!
owe many thanks to Brett and Fontane for teaching me Hun Yuan Tai Chi.
This form of Tai Chi has allowed me to achieve calmness, relaxation,
flexibility and a balance between work and family life.
in a very busy Neonatal Intensive Care Unit caring for premature babies
and their families. This work is very rewarding but very intense at
times. Also, I have a busy family,
with life throwing unexpected obstacles in the way.
March 06, I was on the verge of
with high blood pressure, tense neck and shoulder muscles and generally
that Hun Yuan Tai Chi is a holistic form of exercise that enables me to
and become healthier into the bargain. Since learning Hun Yuan Tai Chi,
my blood pressure is back to normal, and I have a feeling of
peacefulness and well being that I carry into my work and family life.
I would recommend everyone to give Tai Chi a go. You have nothing to
lose and so much to gain!"
Natalie, Neonatal Nurse (March 2007)
have been a student of Tai Chi for three or four years. Since learning
the Tai Chi Hun Yuan Style, I have finally begun to understand the
feeling of relaxation! I still have a long way to go but I have really
noticed the difference in my flexibility, particularly the greater
freedom of movement in my neck, shoulders and arms. I very much enjoy
the classes and I always feel relaxed and energised at the end of each
Rob, Public Servant
learning the Hun Yuan Tai Chi form, I have experienced subtle changes in
myself. I am more relaxed, better balanced, and feel a sense of inner
calm. I look for the positives in negative situations. And I am more
aware and appreciative of the natural beauty that is around us every
"I've been going to Tai Chi classes on and off for about twenty years -
often 'off' for several years at a time when things seemed 'too busy' or
I was away from Canberra. But since I've come back to Tai Chi on a more
regular basis over the last few years, painfully tense neck and shoulder
muscles keeping me awake at night are a thing of the past. Also, my
overall fitness is much better, and I feel far more relaxed and at ease
with myself and my life generally.
However, I discovered a completely unexpected benefit recently, during
my two-yearly mammogram check. This is not a comfortable experience,
despite the care taken by the friendly and experienced radiographers.
As we went through the routine of 'move forward ... this arm here … move
forward a bit more ... chin up ... other hand here, please ... relax
your shoulders' four times, the radiographer complimented me: 'You're
really good at this!' I asked what she was talking about, and it turned
out to be 'relaxing on order'. I attributed this to Tai Chi, and she
wasn't surprised. She's noticed that women who practise Tai Chi or yoga
seem to be able to relax into the rather awkward positions required and
lessen the discomfort of the procedure."
Lisa, Science Writer and Editor
taking up Tai Chi eleven months ago, I have noticed great improvements
in my health and general well-being. The relaxation and quiet standing
has helped me to deal with stress in my life and I feel calmer and more
centred. I am a much happier person because of Tai Chi! I remember in
the Beginners class that Brett encouraged us to try and practise
something every day, even if it was for a very short time – for example
doing some warm ups when waiting for the kettle to boil. I get a lot of
tension in my neck and shoulders, probably from sitting at a computer
all day, and so I decided to at least do the warm ups that target the
neck and shoulders and back, every day. I am happy to report that I
have experienced great benefits from these exercises and have a lot more
movement in my neck and less tension in my shoulders. I thoroughly
enjoy all parts of the Tai Chi experience and I know that it will
continue to make a big difference in my life."
came to Tai Chi with a degenerative back problem and after a diagnosis
of osteoarthritis in both knees (in my early forties!). I had been
interested in the practice of Tai Chi for some years since participating
in a demonstration class run by Brett in 1991! and I had seen the
classes advertised around Canberra. As is often the case however, it is
only when the issue becomes acute that intention becomes action!
I have been practising Tai Chi for almost a year now and I noticed
positive improvements from the very first class. I remember feeling
great after the first class – relaxed and as if every joint had been
moved around a bit. I really liked the gentle and graceful movements of
the form, even if I was a bit worried about whether I would ever
remember them. This
learning actually proved to be quite easy, as Brett and Fontane have
broken down the Tai Chi form into learnable movements that they teach
and demonstrate at each class. And, of course, with some practice at
home, it starts to come together into a continuous
– this definitely improves with time and practice.
I remember in the first few weeks noticing the significant freeing up of
tension in my shoulders and becoming more aware of when I was tensing up
– while driving for example. I also felt really good after each class –
more alive and centred. It was definitely the combination of the
teaching, the relaxation/balancing of the Qigong and the beauty and
gentleness of the Tai Chi form that kept me coming back.
I really enjoy the
classes, and try to attend at least two or three times a week. The
teaching is excellent, with lots of encouragement and good information
about how the practice fits into the broader context of the philosophy
of Tai Chi. It is also great being able to practise the form with
others, very absorbing and relaxing – a great antidote to a tough day at
In terms of other results I have noticed over the past year, there has
been a big improvement in my leg strength, joint mobility and balance.
I now have no trouble in picking up the bath mat – something that I was
not able to do without pain and difficulty twelve months ago! I am also
able to do a greater range of activities, and my blood pressure has
decreased to 110 / 70!
I am so pleased to be involved in Tai Chi because it really has made a
significant difference to my life – and I intend to keep practising
until I am a very old lady!"
Kate, Public Servant
I first saw the movements of Hun Yuan Tai Chi, I did not immediately
understand their power. However, following the first lesson, I became a
total convert as I immediately felt the subtle but strong effects of
this new form. The smooth movements are so carefully designed to
activate an immediate flow of energy, promoting an almost instant feel
of moving meditation, bringing with it a sense of calm and centeredness.
With other meditative methods, this can only be achieved following a
long period of practice. It is a very accessible form, where for the
first time, it was easy to feel qi, and understand its connection to the
principles of Chinese medicine and philosophy."
have been practising Tai Chi with Brett and Fontane on and off for eight
years now and I totally enjoy this seemingly gentle yet very effective
exercise. I suffer pain in many of my joints, which tests now show
to be rheumatoid arthritis. I returned to Tai Chi practice this
past year, since having a break after my last child. It is hard to
explain the feeling of total relaxation and calm that ensues, not only
right after practice, but generally as well. In every day life,
just sitting in the car or working at the keyboard and being aware of
posture and of keeping my shoulders relaxed really makes such a
difference. I am an anxious and easily stressed sort of person,
but I must thank Tai Chi for genuinely
developing feelings of increased self-confidence and general
well-being. I am actually much calmer and able to cope with day to day
The Hun Yuan form I am practising consists of gently flowing movements
which especially loosen and free the joints of the upper body. In doing
so, there seems to be a release of tension in problem areas for me such
as the spine, shoulders and neck. This, I find, makes it so much easier
to 'move' through my day. I am on arthritis medication which is
normally prescribed for people at least in their sixties, so I am twenty
years ahead of my time. I have gradually been able to reduce the
medication to only one tablet per day since resuming practice and I have
the determination and the foresight, based on my past experience with
Tai Chi, to envisage the probability of ending the medication altogether
as time goes on."
Lyn, Housewife and Mother
more I relax, the more I enjoy Tai Chi - and the more I practise, the
more I relax! I've become more aware of tension in my body and more
instinctive about the need to relax my muscles throughout my day's
activities. Tai Chi has enabled me to manage a shoulder injury without
surgical intervention and I'm sure it has generally strengthened my
whole body. The more I improve, the more it feels like I'm dancing in
water which is quite a joyful experience!"
found the Hun Yuan Tai Chi form challenging, but not impossible to
learn. It has resulted in a definite improvement in my physical
and general well being. After only a few months of training, I felt my
joints loosening up and becoming stronger and my stress levels melting
away. The form also teaches you how to use your body more
effectively in everyday situations, and promotes a calm relaxing state
of mind. I also have more energy and a better quality of sleep. Now
having learnt and practised the form for nearly eighteen months, I find
there is still so much more to learn from each movement and the form in
general. Tai Chi has opened my mind to a whole new approach to
improving my fitness, health and general well being.
Try it - you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results."
Carl, Public Servant
I have noticed since starting the Tai Chi form is that it keeps me
supple. I really notice if I don’t practise for a few days. Another
thing is that it has helped me to be aware of tension in different parts
of my body, particularly in the shoulders when driving etc. As I get
nearer to finishing learning the complete form, I’m starting to notice
the benefits of performing the movements - the flow and sensations of
relaxation, peace and well being. I particularly notice this now when
I’m doing the early stages of the form that I now know reasonably well.
I don’t have to think and remember what comes next. I’m looking
forward to finishing learning it. The practice and effort is definitely
Jon, Registered Nurse
left the comfort of the traditional Yang Style with a great reluctance.
We had been companions for several years. I knew the movements of the
form, knew the many improvements still to be conquered and it seemed a
pity to be deserting an old friend for a new and chancy encounter.
Initially, the Hun Yuan Tai Chi form just did not seem to have a
recognisable structure (particularly after the familiarity of the Yang
Style). I was well into learning the moves in Level 2 before I began to
relax and enjoy the more fluid and subtle experience of the form. I
came to understand there definitely was structure, but of a different
In my years of learning and refining the traditional Yang Style, I had
heard repeatedly about the importance of ensuring that the waist moved
continuously. With the change of style, I really did discover how much
I needed to achieve more movement and fluidity. I have been
concentrating on the waist and have found that I am slowly getting to
the point where it is acting as the anchor for the rest of the body.
Let me emphasise, slowly!
On those occasions now when I have the waist moving correctly and the
arms and legs in concert, I find the form a joyful expression of my body
in motion. Perhaps a slightly over enthusiastic comment, but I did not
embrace Tai Chi to add a sporting scalp to the belt; I was looking for a
way of maintaining a feeling of physical well being.
I enjoy the sensual nature inherent in the Style as I engage all parts
of my body and I enjoy the restfulness of the mind when I am
concentrating on the form. I enjoy good health and my life generally,
and am very conscious of the contribution that the traditional Yang
Style and the Hun Yuan Style of Tai Chi make to my feeling of well
Bryan, “Life Enthusiast”
my story isn't the average one, I believe I must express how much the
Tai Chi and the Internal Martial Arts courses have changed my life.
Coming from a childhood of divorce, abuse and fear, I spent a decade of
my life addicted to drugs and alcohol with a very low self-esteem and
relatively no hope for a positive future.
years ago, I had become so angry as well as anxious and depressed that I
took up Tai Chi, just to try and calm down. This was truly the
beginning of my journey down the positive path of life. The Qigong as
well as the slow moving traditional Yang style form
'tricked' my mind
into looking at life at a different pace. They also taught me how to
focus on the moves so intensely that my
'wild elephant' mind could no
longer wander aimlessly through innumerable thoughts. The positive
vibes given off by the serene instructors were also infectious as well
as inspiring. I never knew humans could be so happy!:)
The Martial Arts course has been the true epiphany in my life's story.
Growing up in the USA, I never learnt the concepts of discipline,
motivation, dedication or determination. I'm no master – very far from
It – but the 'old
didn't even think I would last one lesson of Kung Fu. At first, I found
it very hard to come to class as I knew the workout was quite intense;
sometimes I just felt so low on energy it took everything I had to just
show up. Now I look forward to the lessons as I know no matter how bad
I am feeling, I'm going to leave feeling great. The mix of meditation
and hard training has made me a much more positive, confident and loving
person. I have a long way to go before I'll feel truly proficient as a
martial artist, but I look back at myself when I started and I can't
believe how much I've improved mentally, physically, spiritually and
I have to say, this training has been a major factor in turning a lost
and negative individual into a happy person with integrity and who
contributes to society. I only hope that one day I will achieve the
level of tranquil peace and internal power that the instructors exude
every time I am in their presence."
Jesse, Professional Writing Student / Internet Journalist
retirement some years ago, I took up Tai Chi with Brett and Fontane of
the Tai Chi Academy. I had no idea it would provide a new approach to
life on both the physical and mental levels. Through gentle exercise
and meditation you step on a path of ongoing learning of a joyful,
challenging and rewarding art. The results speak for themselves as you
become aware over time that you move more easily, creak less, are
stronger, have more energy and feel healthy. At the same time, daily
stresses are easier to cope with. You will find that your inner calm
will free you from being competitive or aggressive and makes you less
judgemental and more accepting. You are able to enjoy other pursuits
more fully. For example, feeling calm, strong and focussed has improved
my enjoyment of fly fishing.
Hun Yuan Style of Tai Chi certainly provides a testing, yet entertaining
way of achieving this feeling of strength, flexibility and calm. The
grandmasters will tell you about diligence and perseverance. Practising
daily initially took some determination, but I found that, after a short
time, you can’t go without doing a daily routine of Tai Chi and Qigong.
In addition, I find it enlightening to read about Tai Chi and the
principles and philosophy that underpin it. I wish I had discovered Tai
Chi twenty-five years ago, but you obviously can start at any age and
Do it, for it will be one of those decisions that will change your
not easy to think through in words and sentences what Tai Chi has given
to me over the last two years or so. I'd enjoyed pilates, I'd quite
enjoyed yoga and weight training, but fairly quickly, I realized that
this was different. I thought about it all the time, going through
movements in my mind, while I was walking to work (I looked a sight).
When I didn't attend class or practise, I could feel my body tense up.
I did two Beginners' Courses and two weeks of Level 2 and then I was
diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery, I had to have 18 weeks of
chemotherapy and several more of radiation. I tried to come back to
class, but I was just too tired so all I did during that period was pop
into a Beginners' Workshop. I kept in touch with Fontane – her tips and
encouragement were gentle and welcome.
When I did come back (no hair), it was quite difficult to move my arms.
One was still stiff from the surgery and the other was badly damaged by
the chemotherapy and an associated DVT (deep-vein thrombosis).
My treatment ended a year ago. I am now in Level 3 and I make the
- both of my arms have improved immeasurably. I have no problem from
lymphodema which is common for women in my situation.
- I am coping well with the uncertainty I now live with day to day. In
Quiet Standing, quite naturally my qi appears to me as the essence of me
that stays the same whether I am sick or whether I am well and this is
- my body feels well – as I move through it, I sense this and again,
this is enormously comforting.
I don't think that Tai Chi has cured me. But it does help me to accept
where I am in life, to accept my changed body and to gain insights into
what a life threatening illness can offer me.
I love it! And I feel sure that it will continue to add to my life for
however long that life is (hopefully decades).”
Claire, Public Servant
"After an awkward beginning, I am now starting to see the benefits of
consistent practice of the Hun Yuan form in many areas of my life. As
well as the positive effects on my general health such as increased leg
strength, better balance and straighter posture, I am also able to relax
more while doing everyday things.
Kendall, IT Manager
"Hun Yuan Tai Chi is a set of simple exercise with emphasis on
well-coordinated graceful movements which I find very relaxing and
rewarding. Its slow, spiral movements give me a great sense of deep
physical and mental relaxation. My whole body feels as if it has been
rejuvenated after each session. Regular practice has reduced my blood
pressure and cured me of insomnia and backaches. I now sleep well and
wake up feeling fresh every morning.
I had a dislocated shoulder and a sprained ankle when I attended my
first lesson in October 2003. As I learnt from Fontane, an excellent
instructor, how to relax and exercise the joints without force, my
injuries healed faster than they would have if I had gone to a
physiotherapist or masseur. This has demonstrated to me the healing
power of internal energy generated by the Tai Chi movements.
Since I have learnt to 'unlock' my knees, my body no longer aches from
long hours of standing, waiting for some action before scrambling on
unfamiliar ground to take some photographs. When I get worn out sitting
in front of the computer, editing some urgent work from one morning to
the next, I replenish my energy by doing Tai Chi, Qigong, Fa Soong Gong
and Chan Si Gong. A little exercise each day goes a very long way.
As I have gained lots of benefits from the Hun Yuan Tai Chi system, I
would not hesitate to recommend anyone to learn it. Having some martial
arts background, I can safely say that Fontane and Brett are highly
skilled instructors. They also give the students value for their
Nancy, Writer, Freelance editor and Photographer
was drawn to Tai Chi primarily for relaxation. However, over my two
years with the Tai Chi Academy, I have become aware of the much greater
depth and variety of enjoyable and meaningful experiences to be found
within Tai Chi and Qigong. It is a pleasure to explore the movements
and to notice subtle changes in feeling and focus. In a world that
seems more and more focused on dramatic short term goals, it is humbling
(and exciting) that the development of these skills is endless and life
long. Tai Chi shines direct awareness on the essential internal aspects
of everyday life, such as being centred, calm, mindful and disciplined.
The flowing and rhythmic flavour of Hun Yuan Tai Chi makes it a joy to
practice. The circular, open and close movements of the form really
help to develop the connection between legs and upper body. Looking back
now, I don’t think I ever really appreciated (or used) my waist before
Claire, Landscape Architect
commencing the Hun Yuan Tai Chi, I have experienced relaxation of the
body and mind. Focusing the mind on the execution of the movements
brings about a ‘meditative’ state where all other thoughts are
inconsequential. This concentration allows the body to relax which then
allows further relaxation of the mind. This refinement is progressive
and continual with each practice. All movements in the Hun Yuan Tai Chi
may be developed further by the individual, as the basic principles are
simple to adhere to, but may be expanded to any complexity the
practitioner desires. This makes the form constantly diverse,
interesting, challenging and pleasurable. I would recommend Hun Yuan
Tai Chi to anyone as the instructors are knowledgeable and welcoming,
the students are relaxed and friendly and the benefits of the form are
effective and positive.”
Alex, Project Manager
wife and I have been practising Tai Chi for a period of over eighteen
months. In that time, I have experienced a change in my body. The
spiralling motions of the Hun Yuan Style have relaxed my joints and
strengthened muscles. I now have a suppleness of body that I cannot
remember having before. Combined with the quiet meditation of Qigong, I
enjoy a calm mind and relaxed body. An arthritic shoulder condition has
improved to the extent that the joint is fully mobile and there is no
am finding that taking up Tai Chi is one of the best decisions I have
made for improving and maintaining my health and well being. The warm
ups and practising the form have given me a way to revitalise if I feel
or I have been sitting for
long periods working at my desk.
The Hun Yuan
form is great for unwinding tension and stress that build up for all
sorts of reasons. I am learning at my own pace and feel encouraged and
supported as I
slowly improve my coordination and awareness.
really clear indicator for me of the improvements I have made so far, is
that I was having problems with pains in my hands and wrists and the
pains have now gone. There is so much to learn and appreciate -
physically and as an internal art - that it becomes more fascinating and
rewarding the more I am involved."
Lynda, Public Servant
started Tai Chi almost three years ago, upon the recommendation of my
osteopath. I suffered constant muscular pain all over my back and my
osteopath suggested it would be good for strengthening my lower back. I
found I really enjoyed the low impact and safe nature of the exercise,
and I also found the meditation and relaxation aspects extremely
beneficial. I was surprised at how disciplined I was with practice, and
within a year all of my back pain was completely gone, as well as
stiffness in my joints. My posture improved, my legs grew stronger, and
I learnt to release tension throughout my body, and especially in my
I first learned the Yang form, but I particularly enjoy the Hun Yuan
form, which is more dynamic.
I find this
makes coordination of the whole body easier and I now really understand
the importance of using the waist to generate movements. Learning Tai
Chi really is a journey and there always seems to be so much more to
learn. I love starting the day with Tai Chi and am excited about the
fact that I will be able to do it for the rest of my life, in the
convenience of my own home."
Tai Chi Testimonials, page 2
Easy-to-follow Tai Chi DVDs
Tai Chi Beginners'
Course for Relaxation and Good Health