Taiji With Eldan



Tàijíquán (太極拳, t'ai chi ch'üan) is a centuries-old martial art which is mostly trained at a slow pace to support relaxed, easy movement with good structure. There are many traditional family styles, all of which are good ways to develop one’s balance, flexibility, strength, posture, and sense of calm. While it is not a religious practice, there is a deep spiritual underpinning: by learning to stand, breathe, and move in harmony with our own bodies we also bring ourselves into harmony with the world around us.

I teach Chen style, which was the first to be codified; all the other main styles are descended from it in some way. I have been practicing in Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei’s lineage since 2011 and was certified as an instructor by his federation in 2022; the way I practice and teach reflects his interpretation and that of my main teacher, Viola Brumbaugh.

Chen Taijiquan for beginners

Time: 9-10am on Tuesdays.

Dates: 19 September - 24 October inclusive and 7 November - 12 December inclusive (2 x 6 class sessions), 2023. No class October 31st.

Venue: James Bay Community School Centre, 140 Oswego Street, Victoria, BC V8V 2B1.

Cost: $10/class if you register for either whole session. $14 to drop in to individual classes, with a free trial option for the first day.

Registration: Online via Active Network, by phone at 250-389-1470, or in person at the James Bay Centre during office hours.

Class description: We’ll use Chen Zhenglei’s 18 step essentials form to get an overview of Chen Taiji without needing to memorise a long sequence. There will also be stretching, breath work, short standing meditations, and posture exercises. Each class will be a dose of gentle movement to start the day right, and students who come to a whole 6 class session will leave with some exercises you can practice on your own.

We’ll train outside on the James Bay Centre grounds when the weather permits (shade and washrooms available), and we have an indoor space booked for when it’s raining or too cold.

Map of the venue showing the main entrance and outdoor area at the James Bay Community School Centre. Click for a scrollable & zoomable web map.

Who this is for: Anyone 16 years or older, all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds welcome.

This class is suitable for complete beginners, no previous experience with Taiji, martial arts, or any other movement practice is required. If you have any injuries or movement limitations please talk to me at the start - everything can be adapted for many different needs, but it’s important that I know so I can plan accordingly. If you complete both sessions (the full 12 weeks) you will probably be able to practice the 18 step form on your own; if you get the bug you can spend the rest of your life refining it and learning the longer forms.

What to bring: No special outfit is needed, but wear flat shoes, comfortable clothes that you can move around in, and bring a bottle of water. Although we move slowly this can be surprisingly sweaty work, so bring a change of clothes if you’re continuing on with your day rather than returning home afterwards.

COVID policy:

Questions: Please email me with any questions about the classes or subject matter, or the James Bay Centre with any questions about the venue or registration.


Qìgōng (氣功, ch‘i kung) is a very varied set of exercises that gently cultivate energy and stretch the body. They’re rooted in Classical Chinese culture, some are part of martial arts traditions and some are purely practiced for health. Most are practiced slowly and meditatively. They can be used as a foundation for martial arts or other movement work, or simply as an antidote to all the ways that desk work is unhealthy.

Five Animal Frolics

Five Animal Frolics (五禽戲, Wǔqínxì) is one of the more widely practiced qigong sets. It’s about 1800 years old, old enough that many different versions exist and it’s not quite clear who first put the sequence together. It consists of 10 movements altogether, a yīn (陰, gathering energy inwards) and a yáng (陽, moving energy outwards) movement inspired by each of Tiger, Deer, Bear, Monkey, and Crane. There’s no set order to the animals, and the usual custom is to repeat each movement three times.

Time: 2-2:30pm on Tuesdays.

Dates: Every Tuesday until Christmas 2023. No class on October 31st.

Venue: theDock coworking space, meet in the third floor reception area.

Cost: Free for theDock community members; membership starts at $15/month.

Registration: Join theDock online or email community@thedockvictoria.com; no need to register for this class specifically.

Class description: Each week we go through a simple warm up routine to get our bodies moving in a relaxed and comfortable way. Then we’ll pick one or two of the Five Animals and go through their movements together, with time for questions and refinements.

We practice outdoors in a shaded public plaza when the weather permits, and have a sheltered semi-indoor space available for when it doesn’t. theDock has washrooms, tea, coffee, and water available.

Who this is for: Any theDock community member 16 years or older, all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds welcome. Complete beginners welcome, and every class is a drop-in so you can start at any time. We can also adapt the set for a wide range of movement limitations, just let me know your needs at the start of the class.

What to bring: No special outfit is needed, but wear flat shoes and comfortable clothes that you can move around in. This isn’t sweaty work, you won’t need a change of clothes.

COVID policy:

Questions: Please email me with any questions about the classes or subject matter, or theDock with any questions about community memberships.