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By use of the words "Tai Chi", most people actually mean "T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan)", or possibly "T'ai-Chi (Taiji)".
Usually, "Tai Chi" is used when actually only some particular aspect of "T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan)", — the highly disciplined, extensive and varied, so called "internal" martial practices are meant, or when only one of the various specific "Styles" of the Martial Arts that go by that name are meant. Some of the most common "Family Styles" of "T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan)" are "Chen Style", "Yang Style" (pronounced with a short "aa" sound; and where "Yang" here has nothing to do with the "Yang" in the "Yin/Yang Symbol"), "Wu Style", and "Sun Style" (pronounced with a short "uu" sound). All these "internal" Martial Art styles which fall under the heading of "T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan)" are of relatively recent Chinese origin, seven-hundred-and-fifty years or less. The Wikipedia article on Tai Chi Chuan is definitely worthy of a read.
When "Tai Chi" is used to mean "T'ai-Chi (Taiji)", this refers to the Taoist (Daoist) symbol, or what in American English is often called the "Yin/Yang" symbol. This symbol refers to an ancient philosophical concept regarding the nature of what "is" actual reality, and dates back possibly two thousand years or more. If you are interested in learning more about this Chinese philosophical system, look to the sources of Taoist (Daoist) philosophy, at the least as refered to in Tao Te Ching and the I Ching.
T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan) in Davis, California
In Davis, there are quite a few teachers and groups offering classes, courses and guidance, both on the University of California (UC) Davis campus, and in the City.
At UC Davis there are many opportunities for obtaining quality instruction, including
- SPAC undergraduate and graduate student Tai Chi Club at UC Davis;
- Experimental College classes taught by Daniel Pfister — see the Winter 2016 schedule for details;
- Sifu Jim Clingingsmith's Quan Ping Style course (EC#202) runs every weekday at the rear of the Silo Building, near the Craft Center, at 06:00 A.M. - he's a good master and always welcoming to new students.
Sifu Daniel Quincy's Yang Style courses (EC#201-1, #201-2,..., and others) are taught at various times of the day, — including:
- at Sunrise ~ 7:30 A.M. (Tues & Thurs, at the Eucalyptus Grove, North of Mann Laboratory; and Weds, on the North-East terrace/patio of the Carlson Health Sciences Library, — check with Sifu Quincy for exact "sunrise t'ai-chi" times during the current season of the year!);
- mornings ~ 11-11:50 A.M. (Tues & Thurs) under the Mullberry Tree in the Young Hall courtyard;
- at Noon ~ 12:40-12:55 P.M. (Tues in the "Half-Circle/Triangle" between SciLab & Briggs, and Thurs on the lawn or the patio East of 194 Chem);
- afternoons (~ 3:20-4:50 P.M., Tues & Weds at the ARC in the ARC Martial Arts Room — but not Fall Quarter!); and,
- evenings (Tues 5:20-6:30 P.M. (Ch'uan (quan) solo Form) & 7:30-8:50 P.M. (T'ui Shou & San Shou martial play) by the Surge IV Buildings, — in Fall & Winter on the Surge IV central deck area, in Spring & Summer on the field So. of Surge IV; Weds 5:20-6:30 P.M. (Gan/pole, Dao/sabre, Jian/sword) by East Quad Drive on the Quad; and also some Fridays ~ 7:00-8:50 P.M. at the ARC in the ARC Martial Arts Room).
There are classes not affiliated with UCD, as well, including:
- Davis Kung Fu where instruction is given Shifu Daniel Pfister in Taijiquan (Tai Chi) as well as other Chinese internal boxing arts like xingyiquan and baguazhang. He teaches a beginning Tai Chi class at the Davis Senior Center Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30pm. Call the Senior Center at (530) 757–5626 to register.
- Pushing Hands is a two person training routine. It works to condition a body's resistance to force, teaching it to yield, neutralize and redirect it. Pushing Hands develops 'listening power' to feel the direction and strength of the partner's intentions. We meet every Friday 4:00pm at the UCD East Quad and the 4th Sunday of the month, 10:00am in Central Park, Davis, CA
- Simu Denise Platt Lichtig teaches Tai Chi Chuan and owns the Lien-Ying Tai-Chi Chuan Academy IV. She continues to teach in the tradition handed down to Master Kuo, with beginning and continuing classes at 1904 Humboldt Avenue Tuesday mornings at 7:00 am or Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm. http://www.deniselichtig.com/tai-chi.htm
- Wu Tai Chi forms (Short Form and Long Form), Chi Kung, and Push-Hands are taught Wednesdays and Saturdays at Aikido Institute Davis. Wednesday classes focus on Chi-kung and other internal work, and Saturday classes focus on the forms. Additional workshops are offered throughout the year.
Private lessons in the arts of Tai Chi and Xing YI are offered by Keith Grzelak with Form-Mind-Spirit.
In the above comments regarding the use of the term "Tai Chi" the following words are in the standard English written Romanization transliteration of the Mandarin Chinese words (i.e. the Wade-Giles system"): "chi", "ch'i", "ch'i kung", "T'ai-Chi", "T'ai-Chi Ch'uan", "Taoism"; and the equivalent words in the standard mainland Chinese Mandarin Romanization transliteration of the Mandarin Chinese (i.e. the Pin-Yin system) are: "ji", "qi", "qigong", "Taiji", "Taijiquan", "Daoism".