About Taiji Classes

There are three Taiji classes per week run in Norwich by Paul Fretter, and the focus of each class is different.   These correspond to three levels of Taiji practice:  the Human, Earth and Heaven levels.  These words are fairly direct translations from the Chinese texts, but their connotations are perhaps misleading in modern English.  Certainly the word 'Heaven' would normally have religious connotations, but in Taiji this is absolutely NOT the case, and so some alternative descriptions may be better understood.


Wednesday Class - The Human Level

This is concerned with WHAT to do and includes basic alignment, relaxation, balance, choreography, accuracy and timing.   This cultivates the correct structure, into which the next level can then be applied.

Suitable for: Beginners, intermediate and advanced.  This is the most appropriate regular class for beginners to attend.


Friday Class - The Earth Level

Here the deeper internal aspects of Taiji which teach us HOW to do it are cultivated within the structure; e.g. sinking, cultivating a 'root', 'borrowing' from the ground and creating all movement from within.

Suitable for: Intermediate and Advanced.  Beginners are advised to attend the Wednesday class for several weeks before attending the Friday.


Saturday Class - The 'Heaven' Level

This level is concerned with WHEN or WHY to move in a certain way, and is mostly cultivated in partner work (push hands).  Generally it is advisable for beginners to have trained for several weeks in the Wednesday class before attending this one.  Ideally the student will already have a basic grasp of the Short Form up to the "Raise Arms" movement. 

Suitable for: Intermediate and Advanced

Beginners are advised to attend the Wednesday class for several weeks before attending the Saturday afternoon.