Taijiquan (Tai Chi) is an ancient Chinese internal martial art which is widely practiced for its health benefits and its spiritual-physical duality. Most forget or are ignorant of the fact that Taijiquan has practical applications and is a very effective form of self defense.
The OUTA is a martial arts club practicing the Wudang style of Taijiquan. This is based on the teachings of Master Cheng Tin Hung, who promoted the use of taijiquan as a martial art, unlike his contemporaries. Our instructor, Dave Baker, was a student of Dan Docherty, who was himself a student of Master Cheng Tin Hung.
If you are interested in the health benefits Taijiquan offers or are curious about how the slow movements can be used in practical situations, please click here to find out more about our classes offered.
Oxford University Taijiquan Association
The OUTA is a martial arts club in Oxford practising the Wudang style of Taijiquan. There are weekly university classes for beginners and more advanced students alike, which consist of paired pushing hand exercises, grappling exercises, martial exercises, pad work and hand form.
There are also two weekly public classes: martial classes (focusing on the practical applications and including occasional sparring sessions) and form classes (focusing on the development of core strength, balance and flexibility).
If you haven't already, check out our youtube channel. We explain the theory of tai chi, demonstrate severaltechniques, and show applications performed in full contact fights.
Our latest video is of two students (one of them being me :) ) practicing moving step grappling, where the goal is to either throw the opponent to the ground or push them out of the ring.
We practice moving step every tuesday in the public class. Do come along if you would like to try out your skills! Our classes have a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and we always welcome beginners.
Adam Fellows of the Cherwell newspaper has written a piece about our class. Here are a few snippets:
"My first impressions were different from what I had expected; there were no slow, rhythmical movements, deep breathing exercises or reference to ethereal beings. Instead I was greeted by instructor Dave Baker, who was closer in image to the Worlds Strongest Man than the robed Buddhist I had envisaged."
"After the warm up, we moved on to an activity known as Pushing Hands. Face-to-face with my opponent we put both feet forward and attempted to make the other person move. Those who were experienced gave me some pointers and in just a short space of time I felt myself improving significantly." "...this was great fun, but it also had a relevant aim: to develop flexibility and the ability to absorb the blows from your opponent without moving your feet. Tai Chi involves physical bouts as well as the individual movements one can observe people doing in public parks."
I think that's a very good summary of our class. Read the full article here.
The sports federation very kindly produced this watercolour of our club in the planned addition to the sports centre. It shows sabre, hand and sword forms. I really like how they reproduced our handform kick.
In other news, the university Tai Chi classes have now finished until next term starts in October. The public classes, however, are continuing through the summer:
Martial Class: Tuesday 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Forms Class: Wednesday 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
They both take place in the East Oxford Community Centre on Cowley Road. I hope to see you there!