It is my belief that Sun Style Taiji should be available for everyone, but due to the nature of Taiji some people are put off thinking that the benefits are in the movements, instead of in the essence of the movements.
The mind is the most important tool we can use and people of limited mobility can still use their mind to stimulate the body, thus gaining the benefits Taiji has to offer. With this in mind I have researched the movements of Sun Taiji and adapted this to a shortened form that it can be practiced by people of limited mobility. This form is done whilst sitting so can easily be learned by someone restricted to a wheel chair or for someone who cannot stand for long periods or who has problems with balance.
The methods for teaching are to initially show each movement, making sure that the student understands how to perform the movements but more importantly how to use the mind and concentration to get the energy flowing and relaxing into each movement.
The movements should be performed very slowly taking into account the age and abilities of the student, as older students may not be able to perform the movements slowly they can be adapted to be practiced at a medium pace.
Another benefit I feel, is that people with limited mobility can be taught in the same class as ordinary Taiji students. This can help, in that the person with limited mobility can visualise how the form is done and so use the mind in a positive way. As they are not able to perform the kicking sequence, but can see the ordinary person do the movements and so can see how they are done and visualise them when they perform the sequence.
Sun style Taiji is a unique form of exercise that can be adapted to suit an individual’s needs. I hope by explaining how it can be adapted that it will encourage people of all abilities to come forward and try, even the Taiji ‘Push Hands’ can be adapted so that benefit can be gained from the practice.