Yang Family Tai Chi Classes @ Internal Arts Institute

Classes taught in Stuart, Florida

Sifu Dimitri is one of a rare, select group of practitioners sanctioned to teach the following Yeung (Yang) family forms as they were taught by Vincent Chu and Gin Soon Chu, one of the disciples of Grandmaster Yang Sau-Chung, firstborn and heir of the legendary Yang Cheng-Fu. Classes are available in private or group lessons, and via video critique. Apply here.  Online membership classes coming in 2021: Register here.

Solo Forms

The solo form is distinctive to Chinese martial art. Generally, a form can be done alone, with a partner, or with one (or more) weapon on hands. Each movement is created and executed based on the martial art's offensive and defensive meanings. The development of a solo form is the result of many generations of practice and training experiences. A good solo form has many effective martial art techniques, applications, and variations as well as tactics. Therefore, it is kept secret and not revealed to the public. There are some solo postures where the emphasis is on strong and powerful techniques, and there are others emphasized on soft and yielding techniques. Dimitri teaches several versions of the solo form; the 108 Long Form, The Large Frame, and the Medium Frame.

Push Hands

The basis of Push Hand exercises is the Solo Form. Push Hand exercises is the next step from the Solo Form. The two are inter-related. One should apply the experiences in Push Hand exercises to the Solo Form and vice versa so that one's Tai Chi Chuan will improve. When we practice only the Solo Form, not the Push Hand exercises, the chi which gathers in the practice of the Solo Form, will not clear inside the body. If someone practices only Push Hand exercises and not the Solo Form, the chi will not significantly increase. In Yang Style, the emphasis of the Push Hand exercises is on the techniques of sticking, adhering, following and connecting, giving up oneself and following the opponent, borrowing power from the opponent. In this exercise, we intend to direct the chi so that it can develop ward off power.

Dynamic Push Hands

Push hands is a method employed by two people to work on various concepts and principles from martial arts to better oneself and develop skill for combat. Therefore, it is a training method to bridge the gap between bare hands form and free sparring. In Tai Chi Chuan there are several push hands exercises for practitioners to work on to improve the coordination, mobilization, understanding and application of the 13 principles or techniques (ward off, rollback, press, push, split, pull down, elbow strike, shoulder strike, look to the left, look to the right, advance step, retreat step, and center equilibrium) in confrontation situations.

Four-Corner Pulling

The four corners and four directions is an exercise developed to practice all eight hand techniques together in coordination with the foot movements.

Staff

The staff is the original long weapon for all long weapons among Chinese martial art weaponry. One can trace its origin back to pre-historical time when people used tree branch or tree to defend against beasts and for hunting. in the last several decades, experienced Tai Chi Chuan practitioners have begun choreographed staff form based on their experiences. Staff is a weapon shorter than spear and longer than sword and broadsword.

Sword 

For its gracefulness in motion, Tai Chi Sword is one of the most popular weapons in Tai Chi Chuan System. It follows the same principles and concepts as Tai Chi Chuan's solo form. Although it is similar in many ways, there are obvious differences between Tai Chi Sword and the Tai Chi Chuan's solo form. People often describe the sword technique and characteristics as "Flying phoenix or swimming dragon", "sword and body in one unity", and say that "sword is based on nimbleness and flexibility, not on power."

Broad Sword also known as Knife 

Tai Chi Broadsword is one of the short weapons in the Tai Chi Chuan system. It shares the same concepts and principles as Tai Chi Chuan in practice.Tai Chi Chuan practice emphasizes the concepts of: slowness, lightness, relaxation, and calm. The use of intent and not physical force. The sinking of chi down to dantien, concentration and the harmonization of the internal and external.

Thirteen Technique Spear Form

Tai Chi Big Spear is also known as Tai Chi Staff and Tai Chi 13 Spear Set. It is a 10 foot long weapon included in the Tai Chi Chuan system's weapon armory. It is made from a springy wood known as 'white wax wood'. This weapon is usually reserved for advanced training because it requires more power and body coordination from the practitioner in order to execute its movements correctly. Tai Chi Big Spear is not common and most Tai Chi Chuan practitioners today do not know it. Tai Chi Big Spear has 13 techniques that include Four Adhesion Techniques, Four Free Techniques, Four Application Techniques and One Coiling Technique. 

Tai Chi Cheung Chuan (Long Form)

Tai Chi Chung Chuan is an advanced form in the Tai Chi Chuan system. It is considered as such based on its value, objective, and function in martial art perspective. It shares similar philosophy as in Tai Chi Chuan. In the Tai Chi Chung Chuan, the obvious Yin/Yang philosophy is interpreting as fast and slow, and hard and soft movements. When it is slow, the softness is expressing or it is interpreting the concept of the circle. It enables for circulation to carry out the qi and nutrients throughout the body. When it is fast, It is the function to deliver power. Therefore, the Tai Chi Chuan Classic said "First works on the soft component. Later, works on the hard component.

Two Man Sparring Set (A/B)

2-Person Sparring Set is an advanced training beginning after learning the Solo Form and Push Hand Exercises. It teaches the Tai Chi Chuan's combat skills. The 2-Person Sparring Set is pre-arranged. It is the best method to train the eyes, hands, feet and body in a combat situation. When one is in combat, it is the situation to compete for survivor, martial skill and physical endurance. To be successful, one must have mobile feet, a nimble body and a quick hand so that all strikes will be powerful and correctly executed. Therefore, 2-Person Sparring Set is an introductory course for Tai Chi Chuan's martial application, training necessary for students who wanted to understand the Tai Chi Chuan's martial technique and application.

Power Development Training

Generating internal power is guarded, secret information in the history of martial arts. It is the key training technique to determine the quality and survival of style and system. Every style has one or more techniques on how to generate internal power. Because it is so classified, this technique is usually transmitted orally, without writing down, to prevent outside access. Therefore, the students selected to inherit this information are those considered the best and most trustworthy by their masters. to understand how this internal power develops in Tai Chi Chuan, one must first understand human physiology. When all the muscles of the body act together, we call this centralized movement, for it involves the whole body. The power generated from this unified movement is called internal power. This internal power is so potent that people compare it to the power of ocean waves crashing to the shore or losing control of a car on ice, There are many styles of Chinese martial art, each with its own method of generating power.

Tai Chi Chuan Qigong

Qigong is a mind and body exercise that emphasizes the function and application of chi. They utilize chi to improve the practitioner's physical strength and moral character, purify the mind and temper, cure disease, and achieve longevity and physical health by clearing the meridians and channels and improving the physiological functions of the organs as well as the nervous and circulatory systems. Because Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong are two disciplines that share many common benefits, many people assume that they are the same. But there are others who think that the two are not related. The different opinions have created controversy among practitioners of all levels. Both can improve the practitioner's health is that they clear and enhance the channels' function to better and efficiently transport the chi. Today, there are thousands of qigong techniques and five major family styles of Tai Chi Chuan. The objectives for many practitioners are to clear the meridians to balance the body's chi and blood and Yin and Yang, relax the internal organs, and lubricate the ligaments, tendons, and joints to achieve maximum health.

Pan Gu Mystical Qigong or Pangu Shengong

Qigong is one of the oldest healing systems in the world and is a highly effective method of energy cultivation that improves health, well-being, and vitality. This tradition is based on the cyclical flow of vital energy called Qi, and the map flows through our bodies along pathways called meridians. When our Qi is strong and flowing, we experience health. If Qi is blocked, then illness and pain can occur. There are two forms, non-moving and dynamic. Moving, dynamic qigong exercises strengthen the muscles, bones, and joints; and enhance our internal physiological functions. Static, non-moving qigong exercises calm the mind & enhance nervous system function.

Advanced Training

Taught on an individual basis

I started practicing the Yang style Tai Chi Chuan with Sifu Dimitri Mougdis in the summer of 2003 after struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia for twelve years. It was not strenuous and was the only form of exercise I found that did not exhaust me. After several months I noticed the fibromyalgia pain had decreased greatly and by the winter of 2004 the fatigue had dissipated. In August 2005 I was involved in a car accident and was not able to practice Tai Chi. I was hospitalized twice in 2006 for a Crohn's/severe Celiac disorder. I moved to Washington to be with family because I was extremely ill and was hospitalized four more times while there. I tried eleven different Tai Chi classes while in Washington and found only one that had a slight positive impact on the digestive disorder I was suffering from. I have returned to Florida three times (for a total of 15 months) since moving to Washington with the specific intention to practice Yang style Tai Chi Chuan with Sifu Dimitri Mougdis whose method of instruction is personal and exact. Each time the digestive problems (which have been diagnosed as IBS and a variation of Celiac disease) have improved greatly.
The practice as taught by Sifu Dimitri Mougdis not only has a very positive impact on my physical health but also on my mental/emotional perspective. I am calm and experience the joie de vivre that often leaves us when we are ill for so long. At this time I am preparing to move back to Florida in order to continue studying with Sifu Dimitri Mougdis. Always grateful,
Sylvia