Sifu Tony Dove
Contact: 0788 663 0436
Balance and energy for mind, body and spirit, in Bristol & the West Country.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the benefits?
- Better balance
- Improved circulation
- Improved co-ordination
- Improved general fitness
- Increased stamina
- Reduced stiffness
- Easier serenity of the mind
- Deep relaxation of the body
(Most people experience tangible benefits within a few months of starting).
- Many students make new acquaintances. There is time to explore feelings and issues around ageing too.
- Tai Chi is very individual, I run the classes to promote good health, independence and for enjoyment. You are not too old to 'learn a few new tricks'.
Q. What should I wear?
Two simple rules: no high heels and no mini skirts. Otherwise wear something comfortable and loose. Flat shoes are best.
Women may feel more comfortable wearing trousers, especially in seated classes.
Q. What happens in a class?
There is usually a mix of seated and standing exercise. There is time for talk and the classes are informal.
All exercises are performed slowly and gently, and at a pace that suits. Some individuals find certain exercises unsuitable for them, and are encouraged to rest and watch.
Classes run for one hour, with an warm up and warm down included in that time. Students often find they leave the class relaxed and energised, with a sense of satisfaction and joy!
Q. Do I need to attend every week?
No, most over 50's classes are run in a drop-in fashion. Beginners can therefore join at any time.
I have also learnt that life in the 'Golden Age' can become very full. I expect people to have family, holiday and other reasons to miss some weeks. You only pay for classes you attend.
The advanced classes, and Form based classes, require fairly regular attendance, and can be paid for monthly at a reduced rate.
Q. Should I practice at home?
Yes, but it is not essential. Five to ten minutes a day is a good amount, more if you feel comfortable. Exercises for specific conditions and times of the day are explained in class.
Q. Do I have to remember the exercises?
No. Tai Chi is more about how one moves, than the specific movements themselves.
Q. What is a Form?
A Form is a set of preset movements like a dance.
I teach are the 15 Step Small Circle Form, which takes 10 weeks - one year to learn, and about 3 minutes to perform. The second, 48 Step Lam Form, takes one - three years to learn, and about 8 minutes to perform.
Q. Should I consult my GP before attending?
If you have any doubts about your ability to take on exercise, I would strongly urge you to consult your GP. Your GP will know about Tai Chi, due to the volume of medical research proving its beneficial effects.
Tell the doctor that you are considering taking up a special Tai Chi class for over 50's, and do give my contact details, and this website address for information.
Q. What if I have not exercised for some time?
Then it is about time you started! Like any new activity, it may take a few weeks to settle in, but classes are run at an achievable pace. You should not get out of breath. Tai Chi is not competitive, and practices relaxed movement, not athleticism. This makes it ideal for those who wish to improve physical capacity.
Q. I have a very arthritic shoulder, will I be able to exercise?
Yes, the movements are performed in a manner that will not put strain on any joints. Students who practice regularly, often report relief from stiffness and pain around joints.
Q. I have had a stroke.
If you have had a recent stroke, please confirm with your medical professionals that your condition is stable.
Once stabilised, then Tai Chi will improve your circulation, co-ordination and muscle tone in unaffected areas. It may even help the recovery process. You may find the specific seated classes more appropriate.
Q. I am unable to stand for more than a few minutes.
There are specific classes with a mostly seated curriculum, please see the list of classes.
Any further questions?
Please do contact me with any questions, I'll be happy to talk with you.