I teach Tai Chi in the Li style tradition and belong to the Taoist Arts Organisation.
The Li style is a very traditional form of T’ai Chi similar in its size and frame to the Wu style. The various T’ai Chi styles evolved in the different Chinese families that developed them to suit the physical characteristics and lifestyle of the family. However all styles of T’ai Chi embody certain basic principles which ensure effectiveness as a martial art and maximise the health benefits of the movement
All styles of Tai Chi adhere to a set of fundamental principles, which give the movement coherence, natural grace and power. When these principles are not integrated into practice, the movement lack substance and the health benefits are les.
In our teaching we aim to show the beauty, subtlety and power in the li-style system when students have been taught to integrate these principles in to their movement the benefits can be seen and felt.
The Taoist Arts Organisation (TAO) was established in 1995 by Tony Swanson, its Technical Director. Under his leadership and inspiration it is dedicated to preserving the quality, purity and completeness of the Li style Arts and providing teaching of the highest quality to students.
In the years since its inception, students from the TAO have clearly demonstrated the power and beauty of the Li style, winning medals at National, European and World-class level in both sparring and forms categories
Tai Chi is a form of exercise and moving meditation developed in ancient China that has been practiced for centuries as a therapeutic, healing routine. Its mindful movements are the perfect antidote to the stresses and anxieties of our busy modern lives.
Instead of jarring, high-intensity exercises, Tai Chi uses low-impact, slow moving, naturally flowing movements that are done softly and thoughtfully. Movements are often circular and muscles are relaxed during the exercises. Since it is such a gentle flowing exercise, it offers benefits for people at all fitness levels–from young practitioners to older adults to those living with chronic pain. Our relaxed and friendly classes are based on the Yang style of Tai Chi. The classes follow carefully structured syllabus that ensures that you will always be developing at your own pace and ability. From your first lesson you will be shown simple exercises and routines that will lead to better balance and posture, increased strength and flexibility, and calmness and peace of mind. Martin Gatter is a senior, international Tai Chi and Kung Fu instructor. He has trained, researched and studied for 40 years. The programme is put together incorporating a mix of arcane, traditional, knowledge and the most modern science, psychology, anatomy and bodywork. For the more experienced we also offer Advance Forms, Push Hands, Sword and Spear Work. Classes are held at the complementary Health Centre on Mondays at 11am.
I have been training in all aspects of the Li-Style Family Martial Arts system for over 10 years, under Master Tony Swanson, Technical Director of the Taoist Arts Organisation. I am a Black Jacket (Black Belt) Instructor in both Tai Chi and Sanshou (Sanda).
I have been training in Martial Arts for 20 years, previously training in Shotokan Karate before discovering the Li-Style system.
I was immediately drawn to the breadth, depth, beauty and power of the Li-style internal Martial Arts and Health system, and continue to experience its benefits in my everyday life.
Tai Chi can help develop the quality of your movements, emotions and interactions with others, bringing a sense of tranquility and joy.
– There is always more to discover!
I compete at National and European championships in Tai Chi, Tui Shou, Qingda, and Sanshou and currently hold British and European championship titles in these.
I am a trained and qualified Martial Arts Coach with the BCCMA in accordance with Sport England Martial Arts Coaching standards through my National Governing Body, the BCCMA. I am fully compliant with Sport England Martial Arts Safeguarding Code. I regularly attend training and residential courses with the Taoist Arts Organisation to continually develop.
I feel lucky to be able to coach and help my students develop and achieve their personal goals.
Your first class is free!
This class covers Tai Chi and Qi Gong breathing and movement exercises (Kai Men and Tao Yin). The main focus is on improving and maintaining good health.
Class starts with a Tai Chi warm-up followed by work on Tai Chi principles, posture, alignment, balance and flexibility, incorporated into Tai Chi Form and Qi Gong. Students have opportunities to test posture and understand martial applications.
All are welcome, whatever your ability or experience, whether aiming to boost health and wellbeing, train towards Forms competitions or self-defence training.
Please wear loose trousers and clothing and flexible flat non-slip footwear. Home practice is encouraged to help increase the benefits and your understanding of Tai Chi.
** This class is currently on hold due to Covid19 restrictions **
Tai Chi Ch’uan is often translated as ‘The Supreme Ultimate’.
Tai Chi form consists of a sequence of smooth and flowing movements performed at a slow rhythmic pace with co-ordinated breathing, full concentration and attention to good body alignment. Tai Chi can have a number of health and wellbeing benefits. By using a natural range of movement it is designed to improve the flow of ‘life energy’ – Chi (or Qi) – through the body.
Tai Chi’s gentleness helps to ensure that anyone practicing does not suffer strain or other muscular injuries. It can improve flexibility, coordination and balance. A moving meditation, T’ai Chi Ch’uan can help with managing stress, and promote a sense of inner peace and tranquillity. Tai Chi benefits people of all ages, culture, religion, lifestyle and belief who practice throughout the world.
The gentleness of the Taoist physical culture helps with increasing strength, stamina, co-ordination, and flexibility whilst developing a flexible and supple body. All styles of T’ai Chi keep to certain basic principles to ensure effectiveness as a martial art and maximise the health benefits.
By adhering to these principles, good body alignment and natural range of movement and articulation can develop without force or impact. The lack of force leads to relaxation and can improve circulation, reduce blood pressure and stimulate the immune system.
Regular practice can lead to an improvement in stress related illnesses; it may also have a positive effect on general health and well-being, and may help to bring increased vitality.
Taoist exercise develops the physical body, enabling it to achieve and maintain it’s natural potential for health and fitness with coordination of movement. Coordination improves, as does sensitivity and balance. Self-discipline and bodily control are the first steps to personal growth and development.
The growth in physical control and stability is reflected in the form of a balanced mind, capable of making rational decisions and taking responsibility. T’ai Chi calms the spirit. Sharpens the faculties and improves sensitivity and awareness. Meditation stimulates and clears the mind, which becomes free, active and spontaneous.
Good breathing, balance and a calm mental state help to stabilise the emotions. The physical and mental exercise provides a healthy channel for emotional energy. The Arts can help stimulate and release blocked energy and facilitate positive emotional expression.
The Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang is inherent in all phases of growth and development. In it’s highest application the Taoist Arts teach the principles of natural spiritual growth.