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Tai Chi Forest Martial Arts

Neijia, meaning internal school, is a term in Chinese Martial Arts that groups together practices involving Neijing, or internal strength. Usually translated as internal martial arts, it refers to the conscious control of the practitioner’s chi, or life-force energy, for the purposes of health and fighting. Neijing is developed by using Neigong, or internal cultivation methods, as opposed to Waigong, external exercises cultivated in external martial arts.

At Tai Chi Forest you can learn internal martial arts and their weapons forms. We teach Tai Chi, Bagua and Xingyi, as well as Yiquan as part of the standing post practice. If you would like to know more about where these arts originate from, please visit the Zhong Ding Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Association website. Note that although there is always an emphasis on self defence and applications, the main focus of these arts is for health and self development.

Tai Chi Chuan

The art of Tai Chi can be seen as the interaction and convergence of the polarizing forces of yin and yang. Its soft and fluid practices incorporate all elements of the internal energy work, which are practiced in short or long sequences known as forms. Translated as Supreme Ultimate Boxing, Tai Chi Chuan is the softest of all internal arts. Yet this softness not only releases stress and clears your mind, it also conceals a strength that when cultivated through practices like Tai Chi Pushing Hands, makes Tai Chi a very effective martial art. We teach:


  • Wu Style Short Form
  • Cheng Man Ching 37 Form
  • 54 Step Straight Sword
  • Tai Chi Pushing Hands

Xingyi & Yiquan

Xingyi, or Form/Intention Fist, embodies the five elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth. It focuses on developing demonstrable power and is the most direct of all internal art. Great for strengthening and developing focus and the ability to get things done, Xingyi is the most direct of all internal arts. It’s forms are done more or less in a straight line, though there also exists a lesser known circle walking practice known as Pan Gan.

Yiquan, or Intention Boxing, is an internal martial art that was developed from Xingyi. It focuses on developing internal power through a practice of standing and exploring the connections between different areas of your body, which in turn strengthens those connections and the internal circulation of energy. We teach:


  • Five Elements
  • Twelve Animals
  • Five Elements Linking Form
  • Eight Forms Of Punching Xingyi
  • Sabre Form
  • Yiquan Standing Postures

Bagua Zhang

Based on circle walking and palm changes derived from the eight trigams of the I-Ching, baguazhang literally translates as eight trigram palm and is the most circular of all internal arts. It’s spiraling movements and quick unexpected turns and twists are designed to deal with multiple opponents simultaneously. This and the precise footwork required makes bagua the most aerobic of the internal arts, making it great for blood circulation and organ health. We teach:


  • 64 Hands
  • Old Eight Palms
  • Broadsword
  • Yin Yang Axes

Weapons Training

Using weapons is a superb way to condition your body and increase energetic and muscular strength. They are tools that teach you more about the arts in terms of how to move using the whole body. They also teach about the different dimensions and flows of movements. As well as the weapons forms done in Tai Chi, Bagua and Xingyi, we also teach the following:


  • Hongmen Fan Form – a fan form designed for fighting
  • Staff Form – thirteen moves to train explosive power (fajin)
  • Stick Form – to teach specific body movement methods
  • Knife Techniques – for disarming knife attacks

“As we progress in our study of the martial arts there can arise a tendency to believe that through our training we are becoming more special. We are stronger, fitter, smarter, more intuitive than others. This is a trap. The aim is not to become different, but to realise that we are just the same as everyone else, in fact our training often brings us to a point where we realise that our faults are greater than others. Be careful, this too is a trap; we are neither ‘specially talented’ nor ‘specially flawed’. We are becoming, through our training, human beings with all that entails.”

– Nigel Sutton, UK/Malaysia

© Tai Chi Forest 2024

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