I am very happy to recommend “Tai Chi and Chi Gong with Fang” to persons of all ages and varying physical conditions. Even for my age. I am 83 years old.
Fangʼs classes are worth it, just for the surprising physical therapy. At 79 when I began lessons with Fang, I was a physical wreck, I was unable to bend my body
down, or bend my neck to look upwards toward the ceiling, without becoming dizzy. I couldnʼt even squat down to reach the lower shelf in the supermarket. In addition I had painful severely injured hamstrings and I had arthritis in my wrists, hips and knees.
Due to Tai Chi and Chi Gong with Fang, I was sufficiently able to overcome these disabilities by the age of 83,so that I was able to join 11 of my classmates in the 20 nation, 5th Tai Chi World Cup, last October in Taiwan. We took second in the group competition.
In addition, I took fifth place , and received a certificate of excellence, in my solo competition in the sword. It was an open competition for competitors of all ages.
While awards are nice, the real reward for me was that studying with Fang had sufficiently enabled me to overcome many of the physical ailments that come with age to most of us, so that I was able to compete. It is proof that Tai Chi worked for me. And an important thing to remember, is that the awards given by the judges were achieved by our slow flowing motions, not powerful or rapid ones.
And because the goal of Tai Chi is slow, flowing, motions, Tai Chi is available for everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. As a result, it is valuable if the student merely wants to overcome, or minimize, the pain and discomfort of arthritic joints.
But Tai Chi with Fang is much more then that. It is not only always interesting, and a great memory builder, it is an excellent way to calm oneself in the hectic every day world. And best of all, because of the way that Fang teaches, it is fun.
I have been a Tai Chi student of Fang-Chih Lee for about 7 years. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to study under such a special teacher. Each class is always a very positive experience.
Fang brings a combination of professionalism, form, spirituality and friendship to each class. She encourages us as a team, not just individual students. This helps us all to benefit from the harmony and expanded positive energy levels felt through the entire team during each class.
She is very patient and encouraging. The classes include people from all levels, however, Fang makes sure we all receive the training and instruction appropriate for our current level.
She continues her own training as a coach and is constantly enhancing our experience and providing opportunities to grow with new forms and movements.
She also provides opportunities for students to compete in regional, state and international individual and team competitions. While some students cannot or do not want to compete, Fang provides each student with World Cup training that meets current World Cup standards, which is unique to Fang's Association.
Fang has made Tai Chi an important part of my life. Tai Chi is not just a class I take once a week. With Fang's help I have seen significant improvements in my health and overall well being.
When I started Tai Chi I was recovering from a medical incident which left me with serious respiratory issues and a paralyzed left leg. My continued Tai Chi practice has helped me tremendously with balance, flexibility and dexterity. Most of the feeling has returned to my leg and I now have almost full use of it. I have seen significant improvement with my respiratory issues. I used to have coughing fits whenever I exerted myself.
Now by incorporating the Tai Chi breathing techniques into my every day life, my breathing is deeper and steadier. I even practice my breathing in the car to relieve the stress of my daily commute to work in Boston.
Tai Chi has been good for me. I highly recommend it.
I have had the good fortune to have been one of your students since July 2011. And I would like to express my gratitude for all your (patient) instruction and to explain what it has accomplished for me.
By focusing on body posture and breathing techniques during Tai Chi and Qi Gong, you have helped me develop stronger muscle strength, deeper more relaxed breathing, and overall improvement in all aspects of my life. Somehow you have also managed to make exercise enjoyable. See you next class.
Thanks so much.
I have been studying Tai Chi and Qi Gong with Fang Chih Lee for nine years. I met her at a small health club and began taking Tai Chi there. I was amazed to find that my heart rate rose much slower when I did aerobic exercises after Tai Chi class than it had when I simply did the aerobic exercises. I also seemed to have more stamina on those days.
I continued with the Tai Chi classes after leaving the health club. I have found that while both disciplines improve our strength, balance and flexibility, I enjoy Tai Chi form more because of the movement and flow of the forms. Performing Qi Gong brings external energy into your body to be used to heal yourself and others. Tai Chi seems to focus on using and projecting your internal energy.
Fang teaches us the martial arts basis for the various Tai Chi steps. We learn methods of self defense that cause the other person to lose their balance. We can then use the other person’s strength against them should the need arise in a situation where you are being physically threatened.
Our classes include a wide range of student ages and abilities. Fang makes each person, whether they are 20 or 80; feel at ease by teaching variations of the steps so that we can all do the whole Eight Step, Thirteen or the Thirty-seven Step form comfortably together. Some of us also learn forms using weapons: Dow, Sword and Fans. The confusion that new members of the classes feel, especially those who have studied at other schools, soon disappears because Fang creates an atmosphere that encourages new students to participate and work with the more experienced.
I have benefited from this both as a new student, as a more experienced student, and now as an instructor. Teaching new students also really helps me to understand the moves and improve my own ability. As we learn to isolate and feel the energy within us, and to gather the energy surrounding us, we learn to focus that energy to heal ourselves; to improve our balance and flexibility; and to develop a positive outlook as we grow physically stronger.
I have always been physically active and have worked out in various health clubs over the years. Since I am seventy-one, I have had several bone density tests. The second one showed a five percent loss. Five years later my test showed a five percent increase in density in my legs and a nine percent increase in my lower back. The doctor said that that was quite incredible because even when they prescribe medication for osteoporosis, the most they hope for is a 5 or 6 % increase. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are the only things I had added to my life during those five years. I am certain that my increase in bone strength has come from practicing Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
At the time, a classmate who is a chiropractor was extremely interested when I told him about my bone density test. He told me that he is inclined to feel, based upon what he understands about the principles of Tai chi and Qi Gong, that perhaps a systemic functional improvement has taken place as a result of improved energy utilization in my body. My organ systems i.e. neuro, endocrine, cardio-vascular, and digestive, have been "enlivened" so to speak In my case, my body must be absorbing calcium more efficiently so that my bone density has increased.
There is more involved than just physical exercise. You learn to integrate your breathing with your physical movements. Doing so seems to create a physical harmony that opens channels to allow energy to move within you. I believe that this helps your organs and muscles work more efficiently. It is quite exciting to have such wonderful results from doing something that you truly enjoy. I love Tai Chi and Qi Gong and look forward to every class.
I didn’t learn to walk until I was two years old. I underwent many surgeries for collective knee deformities. Later, I took dance classes all through my school years and graduated from Boston Conservatory of Music where I majored in dance. But I required more surgeries to rebuild and surgically repair my knees during my studies at B.C.M., and by the age of 25, I was unable to dance because it was too physically demanding and painful.
After much soul searching, I returned to school and received my M.S. from Simmons College as a physical therapist. My career was a long and fruitful one, lasting over 30 years. In my late 50s, though, something began to happen. My prided organizational skills and abilities, together with my memory for detail in P.T. treatment, began to waiver. I forgot appointments and began to notice my increasing inability to make decisions about my clients’ therapeutic needs or record the necessary paperwork. I couldn’t drive without getting lost. I became unable to follow a schedule. I experienced severe depression, anxiety, and fear due to not knowing what was wrong with me. My physical agility and balance deteriorated. After nine months I received the diagnosis of early onset dementia. I was given medications and placed on disability. I was devastated and humiliated.
And then a staff member at the Arthritis Foundation of Massachusetts gave me some excellent advice: Take Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes with a reputable and knowledgeable teacher.
I found Sifu Fang-Chih Lee and began classes with her. It wasn’t long before I could walk up and down stairs without moving sideways and holding on to a railing with both hands for support. The falls stopped. I gained improved agility and flexibility through Tai Chi’s soft, slow flowing movements synchronized with slow breathing that became for me a moving meditation. Whenever I completed a class, I felt calmer, more mentally balanced—happier and less fearful. Soon I could drive a car again, follow directions without getting lost, and maintain a schedule. Pain in my back and hips radically decreased. Although my knee pain waivers in severity, I can follow Master Fang-Chih Lee’s instructions. “You’re getting better, you can do this, and don’t give up” are words of encouragement I receive from her and her professionally trained instructors daily.
When in January 2014 Fang announced she wanted to bring a team of her American students to compete in the Tai Chi World Cup held in Taipei, Taiwan, I knew instinctively I needed to go. I explained this to Fang. She felt I was ready to perform the 13-Form in a group demonstration and a group competition. None of us had done this complicated form before, but we had ten months under Fang’s coaching to prepare for this most prestigious Tai Chi tournament that attracted practitioners from all over the world. Thus, I went to Taiwan with 11 amazingly spiritual, kind, and loving friends, whom I now consider family—especially my sifu, Fang. I performed the demonstration and competition with joy and without pain. Our performance took second place among the international competitors. I also competed individually in the 13-Form and received pure spiritual bliss as I stood on the World Cup podium and received the international silver medal in my 13-Form division.
This experience for me has been life changing. Confidence, balance, flexibility, global muscle strength, improved calm and mental and verbal clarity, pain management abilities, and the sheer determination to move forward and face life with courage and hope are now mine. I have also gained an incredible spiritual community and lifelong friendships.
Thank you Tai Chi and Qi Gong with Fang Association. You have saved my life!
When I first viewed Master Fang-Chih Lee’s video 30 Minutes of Qi Gong: The Daily Path to Health and Tranquility, I saw a beautiful woman personify the energies of earth, sea, and the heavens surrounding her. I heard the harmonious voice of her husband, Peter Trenouth, narrating as I watched her move like poetry in motion. My feeling could only be described as awe and wonder. I wanted more. I had taught yoga and meditation with the intention to bring peaceful energies throughout my day. But this was something entirely new.
When the student is ready the teacher appears. I started taking Fang’s classes. Through her, one gets a deep sense of Tai Chi and Qi Gong as art forms and spiritual traditions handed down from great masters that have gone before.
After less than two years of my following Fang’s instruction in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi weapons, she invited me to join the America’s Hometown Team going to the World Cup Tai Chi Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan. I competed and won medals in two individual and two team events. Now I can testify that my own personal experiences offer a host of reasons why Tai Chi and Qi Gong can benefit others:
• My body feels strong, supple, and flexible.
• My posture has improved.
• I am maintaining a healthy weight for myself.
• I feel there are unlimited opportunities to grow and learn.
• I balance body, mind, and spirit because Tai Chi and Qi Gong are delightfully peaceful and relaxing.
• I am feeling so healthy. I am thinking healthy.
• My diet has improved based on my new sense of wellbeing.
• I feel refreshed and renewed with youthful energy.
• Tai Chi and Qi Gong enhance my self-confidence and my self-esteem.
I have learned to participate in Tai Chi performances and demonstrations, becoming like so many of Fang’s students a happy advocate for this beautiful exercise. I have competed alongside the most accomplished Tai Chi practitioners in the world, even though I had previously never considered myself a competitive person. It is the purpose of both Tai Chi and Fang’s teaching to make us better persons. I belonged at that tournament.
My colleagues in the Tai Chi and Qi Gong with Fang Association have become a wonderful part of my universe of good friends and family. Learning various Tai Chi forms is similar to any other worthwhile challenge. It requires concentration and practice, yet we gain successes everyday. I am inspired. Tai Chi and Qi Gong people are wonderful. They feel like a spiritual community of friends who deliberately create harmony in their lives.
I am deeply grateful to Fang and Peter, and I am eager to learn more. This has only been the beginning for me.