Master Rod Ferguson –

Woodford Folk Festival – FOR ALL AGES – Although this blog was written for the Out of the Box Children’s Festival the information below and the video previews are still relevant. To see pictures and posts from Tai Chi at Woodford Festival “CLICK HERE”

The workshop production we have developed for the Out of the Box Festival 2016 is the traditional Chinese exercises of the Five Elements Animals Play.

Our workshop is a new and easy, fresh, fun and inspiring look at five animal exercises based on the movements of the Tortoise, Phoenix, Tiger, Dragon and Snake plus energy-point massage.

Through these exercises we develop an awareness of our self and our surroundings. With each exercise we learn about anatomy including our joints and the five main groups of internal organs. Through role playing we will explore the emotions and how our feelings affect ourselves and others, while also allowing for individualised expression in a group activity. We learn stress processing techniques and relaxation enhancement skills.

This workshop is such a special experience for young people as it will help to develop a culture of wellbeing and responsibility to nurture health. The curriculum topics we will learn about include, culture, history, language, drama and health promotion techniques.

The foundation movements used are precursor patterns to more specialised and complex skills required for many complex activities. They provide the foundation for confident and safe physical activity. The fundamental movement skills that could be developed through the Five Animals exercises include: Standing, balancing, stepping, squatting, reaching, lifting, pulling, pushing, flexibility, dexterity and core strength all based on learning a wholistic concept of alignment and coordination

Our Academy like many other established organisations is celebrating our longevity in business. Although we think that the forty years since the founding of our Academy is a long time, many of the arts we teach have histories going back hundreds or even thousands of years. The essence and philosophies date back to the era of the Xia (Sha) Dynasty and the Yellow Emperor 4,500 years ago.

Science has now shown that our bodies are packages of energy made of the same stuff as our environment. However ancient artefacts reveal that the Chinese understood something about this concept over four millennia ago.

I feel it is an honour and privilege to continue these traditions and to share them with future generations.

Playing comes naturally to children and makes great use of the imagination and can help foster a sense of marvel and the pursuit of lifelong learning. Through play they exercise their motor coordination and learn about interactions with others.

Team sports are wonderful but most children stop team sports once they leave school. Individual activities such as Tai Chi are more likely to continue for a life time. Starting Tai Chi and mindfulness could lead your child on a lifelong path to a healthier, more relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle.

OotB Tai ChiClick the above picture for the Out of the Box website and bookings

Wudang Five Animals:-

Wudang Mountain is the cradle of many famous traditional internal health exercises; including Tai Chi. Over hundreds of years the Wudang Monks have developed this particular group of internal practices to combine physical fitness, internal work and self-defence into one simple set of five exercises.

Wudang Five Animal Qigong is one of the most important exercises practiced by Wudang Taoists. Historically Wudang Taoists were required to practice these five forms daily. This practice is comprised of five major forms: Tortoise, Snake, Dragon, Tiger and Bird. This grouping of forms is derived from some of the most powerful and treasured creatures in traditional Chinese culture.

The form of Tortoise
The tortoise, in Chinese traditional culture, could predict the future, enjoyed a long life and was clever, to do everything in a steady and quiet manner. In the five elements, the tortoise belongs to water; so playing this movement can increase energy, strengthen the kidneys and bladder, and make the back strong and flexible.

The form of Phoenix
The phoenix, in Chinese traditional culture, had the following characters: transcendence and escaping from the common world, elegance and purity. In the five elements, the phoenix belongs to fire; in the body, the heart and circulation. Practicing this regimen often, gives strong and vigorous energy in the chest, with a salubrious mind and mood.

The form of Tiger
In Chinese traditional culture, the tiger was the symbol of power and unruliness. In the five elements, the tiger belongs to metal; in the human body, the lungs and large intestine. Practicing the regimen often can cultivate the breath and make the body soft.

The form of Dragon
In Chinese traditional culture, the dragon was a creature of wisdom and cloud, with the characters of predicting the future and ordering the clouds to rain. In the five elements, the dragon belongs to wood. Practicing the regimen often can cultivate the liver and gallbladder and makes the qi vigorous in blood and breath.

The form of Snake
In Chinese traditional culture, the snake and the tortoise were a unity, called Xuan-wu. In the five elements, the snake belongs to the earth. Practicing this exercise cultivates the spleen and stomach and strengthens the bones and muscles.

  • The Five Animals Qigong Exercises are available
    on DVD or as a download from our online shop

    Click here to buy now

    Click the picture to buy now !

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