Phoenix Feather School of Tai Chi

    Your Tai Chi Instructor
My name is Anna Dashwood. I've set up the School to share enjoyment of movement and health benefits which can be experienced with regular Tai Chi practice.

Born in Minsk, Belarus, where from the age of 7 for a decade I did gymnastics winning gold and bronze in a number of national tournaments. My studying of Tai Chi started in 2004, first with Catherine Robinson in the East Kent of England.

In 2007 I went to an intensive course given by Master Wang Hai Jun, who was teaching Chen Style 18 Movement form at Tai Chi Caledonia in Sterling, Scotland. I was taken by the fusion of softness and power radiated from the silk reeling, spiralling movements of the Chen Style and impressed by the level of skill and the quality of Master Wang's coaching. Since then I practice Chen Style Tai Chi under the guidance of the Shifu to deepen my understanding of the art.

Gold medallist in hand form of 2018 Tai Chi Tournament in Chen Village, Henan province, China (Birthplace of Tai Chi).

About the School, Classes and Training

Phoenix Feather School of Tai Chi was set up in 2008 with the aim of promoting Chen Style Tai Chi in the East Kent of England. The School received a warm welcome and currently offers a variety of Tai Chi classes in Canterbury, Folkestone and Hawkinge and boasts of growing numbers of enthusiastic and hardworking students.

Who Can Join
Anybody who has an interest in Tai Chi can join the School. There is no restriction on level of fitness, age or gender. The School's youngest pupil is 10 and the oldest, well, difficult to say as Tai Chi practitioners always look younger than they really are. You have to be prepared to do some practice at home and show commitment by regularly attending the classes.
  Teaching Methods
Tai Chi instruction is given in a traditional way, with emphasis on training and understanding one set of movements before progressing further. The students are encouraged to ask questions and take their time to enjoy Tai Chi, because according to a Chinese proverb: "To learn slowly is to learn fast."

Classes and Syllabus
Designed, firstly, to relax a usual class would start with some breathing movements taken from Chen Style Qigong, Wu Qin Xi (Five-Animal Qigong) or other appropriate health systems. Next comes a warm up including exercises to stretch the muscles and open up the joints, making the body feel loose and flexible. A Silk Reeling session would follow, offering spiralling, turning and twisting movements which, amongst having other positive effects, massage the internal organs, improving their function. Then the students continue their training with a tai chi form, bettering balance and posture, toning and strengthening the muscles. The form also gives a good cardio-vascular work out to suit different levels of fitness. The final part offers co-ordination and breathing movements to enhance a positive feeling after a balanced work out.

The School's syllabus includes various Qigong systems, Silk Reeling exercises, Push Hands, Chen Style 18 Movement form, Chen Style Old Frame 1 (Laoja Yilu), Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan.


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