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International Tai Chi Symposium Tai Chi through the lens of science Nashville Tennessee  July 5 – 10, 2009

Tai Chi History in the Making!

The lineage holders of the five major Tai Chi Styles – Grand Masters Yang Zhenduo (Yang), Chen Zhenglei (Chen), Wu Wenhan (Wu/Hao), Sun Yongtian (Sun) and Ma Hailong (Wu) gathered in Nashville. It is a rare phenomenon, even in China, to have all five Grand Masters present at the same event.

The symposium attracted more than 400 Tai Chi masters, teachers and practitioners from 15 countries. With a jam-packed schedule from dawn until late evening daily, the participants were tired but very happy and fulfilled simply because they learned such a vast wealth of information and Tai Chi & Qigong skills.

What made this event even more significant is that approximately 50 medical specialists, doctors and researchers  who use western research methodologies  presented their evidence-based information at the symposium. 15 Tai Chi expert practitioners also presented their knowledge, experience and findings related to the efficacy of Tai Chi & Qigong practice.

It was truly a convergence of ancient Chinese arts with modern western technologies with global participation.

Much interest was generated by Rod’s presentation, with many health professionals and Tai Chi instructors eager  to learn more about the successes achieved by the Australian Academy of Tai Chi & Qigong (AATCQ).  The Academy is already  taking Tai Chi & Qigong to the next stage by putting research outcomes into practice with Applied Tai Chi classes for the Community.

Click on picture to see more Symposium pictures
Academy National Chief Instructor Master Rod Ferguson presents “Distilling the Essence of Tai Chi to a Practical Usable Context”

Click here to see Rod’s poster presentation PDF – Tai-Chi-Distilling-the-Essence-poster-A4

Deputy Chair recognises Rods Presentation PDF – Quote-from-Dr-Sandy-Matsuda

The themes of the 2009 International Tai Chi Symposium are art, culture, health and education.

Its purpose is to foster continuing interest in and growth of the art and science of Tai Chi. This Symposium will offer opportunities to observe the highest levels of skill and performance of this art as well as to learn about the evidence based foundation and best practices of Tai Chi for art and health promotion. Knowledge of the research- and theory-based foundation of practice is considered critical for both the acceptance of Tai Chi as a health promoting modality within the Western paradigm of medicine and health care as well as for the modern validation of Eastern health and health maintenance theory.

There are two tracks to be developed: Researcher Track, Tai Chi/Qigong Practitioner Track

It is a mission of the International Tai Chi Symposium to bring together leading researchers and master instructors/practitioners to promote evidence-based Tai Chi research of the highest academic standards. In order for researchers to develop valid hypotheses and efficiently design studies, it is imperative that master practitioners share their knowledge of Tai Chi practice with the scientific community.

Tai Chi/Qigong Practitioner Track of the Academic Arm

Presentations will be offered in oral and poster formats topics include but are not limited to:

Ø  Hypotheses on mechanisms and benefits of Tai Chi Practice

Ø  Best Tai Chi practices

Ø  Pedagogy

Ø  Teaching special populations

Ø  Dissemination

“Distilling the Essence of Tai Chi to a Practical Useable Context”

This methodology teaches how to simplify the learning and understanding of Tai Chi and Qigong. This is achieved by structuring a public community class to make it easy for new beginners to follow while maintaining the interest so that even the most advanced student will still be totally absorbed in learning new knowledge and techniques.

This methodology also facilitates taking Tai Chi to the community through empowerment of the individual.  My interaction with the masters has enabled me to develop the skills to focus on the essence in a practical and useable context. My teaching maintains the individual focus by utilizing the group dynamic, giving individuals the means to explore their unique potential for personal benefits. These benefits are so individual and varied that they are ongoing and beyond measure. The testimonials from participants in my classes are evidence of the above benefits.

Master Rod Ferguson Australia

Rod Ferguson is National Director of Training with the Australian Academy of Tai Chi. Since 1978, Rod has conducted Tai Chi and Qigong in Australia and overseas. Rod has won many awards, yet his teaching style is very natural and inspires students of all levels. Rod continues to learn and train under his mentor Grandmaster Gary Khor founder of the Australian Academy of Tai Chi and Qigong.

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