What is the art of Tai Chi Energetics?
The Chinese concept of "Qi" (氣) is akin to that of a life force energy. For thousands of years, Chinese have developed numerous exercises, integrating body movements with breathing exercises to strengthen the flow of Qi, promote vitality and healing in the body. These exercises are broadly referred to as Qigong (氣功) or Neigong (內功) practices.
Tai Chi (太極) is a martial art composed of various sequences of soft flowing movements. It works with the flow of Qi in the body and trains the body to move in a balanced and integrated way.
Bernard’s Tai Chi Energetics classes provide a structured and evidence-based way of experiential learning about the traditional principles of Tai Chi and energetic Qigong practices.
What are the benefits of regular practice?
A regular practice of Tai Chi has been shown to:
- reduce stress
- improve sleep quality
- strengthen the body
- enhance balance and prevent falls
- reduce inflammation in the body
- deepen sensitivity and correct imbalances in the body
- raise energy levels and improve overall vitality
What does a session of Tai Chi Energetics with Bernard look like?
Bernard’s approach is to provide a practice tailored in accordance with each student’s body conditions. His objective is to provide the student with simple tools and practices and allow the student to deepen the learnings over time and through regular practice. He empowers the students to define their own support system through martial arts, so that they can navigate through the daily challenges (whether at work or in personal life) with ease and grace.
For a beginner, Bernard will start with the simple exercises like focused breathing, basic exercises and stance work to raise the student’s awareness of own sensitivity to energy. Where necessary, Bernard will incorporate certain Qigong movements into the practice to assist the student to deal with his/her own areas of focus (e.g. complications from past injuries, strengthening weak muscles etc.).
As the student becomes more familiar with the basic practices – i.e. begins to move with a degree of fluidity and assurance – Bernard will introduce further applications and Tai Chi sequences.
For those who want to advance further on the art of energetics, Bernard will incorporate Taoist and traditional Chinese medicine concepts into the teachings, allowing the student to identify own imbalances and heightening self-awareness of their own healing potential (at mind, body and spiritual levels). Eventually, the student will have a good grasp of:
- the concept of Yin and Yang (i.e. feminine and masculine energy); and
- the practical application of the five basic elements of life – i.e. how the five elements relate to our physical and energetic anatomy (including, associated organ systems, meridians and accupressure points in the body).
His teaching emphasises the path of the warrior, using martial arts as a spiritual and healing practice and a way to maintain peace and equanimity within oneself, regardless of how chaotic the external world may be.
About Bernard Kwan
Bernard has had a lifelong interest in philosophy, spirituality, martial arts and body work. His journey has led him to study many different paths such as yoga, Buddhist philosophy, meditation, Aikido, shamanism, Taoism and Chinese martial arts.
In 2008, he sustained several serious injuries to his back – which led him to explore various modalities to heal himself on the physical and emotional level. One of the key elements in his rehabilitation is Qigong and Tai Chi practice.
Bernard was born in Malaysia, works in finance, read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and obtained a master’s degree in Buddhist studies from Hong Kong University. He has close to twenty years’ experience in Tai Chi, Baguazhang (八卦掌) and Aikido.