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Finding balance with Tai Chi

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There’s a willing way to the heart and it cuts like a tai chi saber.  For centuries, tai chi, chi gung, and "internal" martial arts practices have been known to improve mental and physical acuity.

At Riverwalk Park in West Sacramento, every other Sunday, at 12:30 p.m. Daniel Quincy Sifu  will be sharing this art form with the public.

Quincy has been teaching tai chi since 1986. He has taught many students through Tai Chi Club in UC Davis, Experimental College, and public parks in the East Bay and Sacramento.  He was first introduced to the art form while doing his post doctorate research in biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

He was active in all kinds of sports from boxing, wrestling, skiing, to bicycling as a college athlete. Tai chi was an activity he took up after enduring injuries that forced him to find low impact alternatives to these sports.

According to Quincy, some of the most common "Family Styles" of "T’ai-Chi Ch’uan (Taijiquan)" are "Chen Style", "Yang Style" , "Wu Style", and "Sun Style".  

All these "internal" Martial Art styles which fall under the heading of "T’ai-Chi Ch’uan (Taijiquan)" are of relatively recent Chinese origin, seven-hundred-and-fifty years or less.

The Mayo Clinic refers to tai chi as "meditation in motion" because it promotes serenity through gentle movement  that connects mind and body.  It is generally non competitive.  The benefits include gentle physical exercise and stretching that aids in breathing, sleeping, strenght, stamina, and stress relief. It is particularly useful practice, if you have problems with joints, spine, or the heart.

He walks through the relaxed movements with his class, embrace tiger pose, grasp sparrows tail, leopard pose transitions one to the next with ease and fluidity.  

"Sometimes, he balances on one foot longer than the rest of us can handle, " jokes one of his students, Eduardo.  

This is quite impressive as Quincy will be three and a half years short of his seventieth birthday in May. 

"Strengthen from your core," Quincy explains. 

"Our own will disrupts the flow. Inhale for inspiration then exhale for expiration."

To confirm group class times  or arrange for private lessons, call Daniel Quincy Sifu at 916-670-0176.  He teaches tai chi throughout the region in Sacramento, Woodland, and Davis.  Follow him via twitter @tccsac.

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