Skip Course Information

Course Information

Instructor Info:Rob Zilin
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
06:30 PM - 08:30 PM Robert Crown Center 21
06:30 PM - 08:30 PM Robert Crown Center 21

T'ai Chi is an enjoyable exercise which gives a feeling of exquisite mental calm and emotional ease. T'ai Chi does not strain your joints or ligaments, but actually heals them and teaches your body to move with perfect efficiency. T'ai Chi will not strain your heart or circulatory system, but is a gentle and effective tonic to your heart. T'ai Chi is especially beneficial to the functions of your internal organs and builds up your body from the inside out. T'ai Chi has it's origin as a valid martial discipline. Our emphasis will be the contrasts and similarities of the health art and martial art. This 2 hour class is open to beginner and experienced students. During the first few classes students will be sorted into appropriate practice groups depending on experience and ability. More advanced practices and intermediate form work will happen during the second hour of the class. 5-College students will be graded pass/fail.

Course Objectives:

First and foremost - relax and have fun.

Ten Essential Points of T’ai Chi

1. Suspend the crown of the head lightly and alertly.
2. Let the chest be hollow and pluck up the back.
3. Relax the waist.
4. Clearly differentiate the substantial and the insubstantial.
5. Sink the shoulders and let the elbows hand down loosely.
6. Use mind-intent, do not use muscular force.
7. The upper and lower parts of the body must move as an integrated whole.
8. The internal and external must be in coordination
9. Each form must be joined to the next without interruption.
10. In movement seek tranquility.

As dictated by Yang Cheng-fu,
Recorded by Chen Wei-ming,
Translated by T. T. Liang

Evaluation Criteria:

Success in this course is based on attendance.

You must attend.

Additional Info:

OPRA 121 Taiji Reading Assignments
Instructor: Rob Zilin
413 584-4615
There are no office hours.  Feel free to contact me via phone or email.

Text: Drawing Silk, Masters’ Secrets for Successful Taiji Practice, by Paul B. Gallagher  Available from or

It is strongly recommended that you keep a journal of your internal arts experiences. Record your own descriptions of the movements you learn. Write about your own experiences, feeling and sensations. Write down questions that you find in the readings or while you are training.  Use your journal to express the changes that you experience as travel the path of Taiji.  See the article on Tai ji journal writing in the "Wee Wu Tang 1 October 11" news letter in your resources.

Week 1-3 Read chapters 1, 3, 11 and 13, Animal Frolics, Yang Cheng-Fu’s Ten Important Points, the Deer Mountain letter to Beginners, and The Taiji System.
Week 4 Read chapters 12, 14, and 2, Burning Questions from Taiji Students, Chinese Etiquette for Martial Artists, and Reflections on the Art of Supreme Ultimate Boxing While considering the “Burning Questions,” note any questions of your own in you journal; bring them in for class discussion.
Week 5 Read and compare chapters 3, 4, and 5. In your journal begin to record your own list of “Important Points.”
Over break, read the Taoist Tales, chapter 16.
Week 7 Read chapter 8, The Taiji Classics
Week 9 Read chapter 15 How to find a good Taiji Teacher.