Our program is based on using Tai Chi Chuan as a generalized training system for the development of superior characteristics. These characteristics include vitality, attention, discretion, reason, intuition and thoughtfulness; in other words, the best qualities of useful, happy human beings. Tai Chi works by utilizing the physical framework of your own body as a way to learn and practice applying the principles of Taoism. Taoism is not a religion. In fact it is Science. In short, the principles of Taoism describe how the universe is composed of opposites and the dynamic balance between them. Everything has a 'positive' and 'negative' aspect and the totality of a thing is a combination of both. To understand the totality, one must understand the combination. This 'nature of existence' has been confirmed by advances in physics. In fact, the laws of Taoism and the laws of physics show many parallels. The language of Taoism is often confusing to the Western mind, but in fact, it is really just a non-technical way of applying the laws of physics to everyday life; a way to consciously understand and balance the positives and negatives in every situation in the most practical fashion. It's somewhat like learning how to apply engineering to your life without doing any math.
At Silent Dragon, we believe in developing the fundamental skills that carry on into everything else, before introducing more advanced forms of study. That is why we teach in the traditional Temple Method. In the Temple Method, the student first practices single isolated exercises consisting of only a few moves each (called 'Forms' and sometimes 'Postures') before learning them as a sequence, in a set (also called 'Forms', they come in long and short). Most modern teachers present the material in reversed order, attempting to teach the sequence first, thus confusing the student and making it more difficult to learn. Indeed, this is so much more difficult that "simplified forms" had to be developed. Unfortunately, the simplified forms only hide or ignore all the important details that must be learned. If students were taught in the original way, there would be no need to simplify things. Another unique feature of the Silent Dragon program is that it is built upon the original Yang Style Tai Chi and other "old school" systems. That means that our curriculum contains the full information intended by its designers, without the losses and dilution endemic to so many other methods.
The objective of every Silent Dragon class is to impart the students with a little more understanding of their relationship with the Universe. How do we do that? By helping the students understand a little more about themselves. The technical aspect of Tai Chi is a matter of continuously examining and adjusting the body-mind as it moves through space and time. In English that means expanding your awareness and refining your control over your attention and actions. Tai Chi practice is really more about training the mind than the body. The exercises are designed to increase awareness and concentration. In fact, the physical benefits might be considered merely a beneficial side-effect. Our classes are conducted with intelligence and good humor. Tai Chi may be good medicine, but laughter is the best. Let us come to your meeting place and show you just how good it can be.
The Silent Dragon curriculum spans the complete range of training across both mental and physical regimens. The program includes meditation and breathing exercises, done moving and while still; internal organ stimulation; mind-body control; Chi development and internal power.
General classes for adults cover all areas of the Silent Dragon curriculum. Students are introduced to new material gradually. There is no timeline for learning or doing, so each person progresses at their own natural pace. Although sessions follow established patterns, the individual lessons are always dynamic and timely.
Sometimes, women want classes that are tailored to their special needs. Like men, they appreciate the bonding of sharing an activity together. Also, certain aspects of exercise and interaction become more difficult to learn near a distracting group of men. Especially in physical or hierarchical situations, mixed genders can cause confusion when social factors creep into the mind while training. Specialized classes can be arranged for groups of women who would like to train together for exercise, meditation, self-defense or anything.
Many senior citizens have already heard about the wonderful benefits of Tai Chi. The Silent Dragon program for seniors is unique because we focus on the things that have the most effect on the quality of life. Specific attention is paid to breathing and mobility, cultivating energy and improving health and vigor. Studies show that improvements can be noticed within a few months and only get better with more practice.
Children face greater challenges than any before. Bombarded by myriad upon myriad of sounds and images from video games, TV and the world around them, the development of their lives and even their brains are in jeopardy. The Silent Dragon program for children is a based on the same program as the adults. The focus of the children's program, however, is on developing the mind. Children's bodies do not yet need the rejuvenation that adults do. But they do need the same mental training. In fact, with the increasing rate of information they have to handle, they'll need it more and more as they grow. Our program is designed to teach stillness and discipline. Children will also need to protect themselves as life's dangers increase. Silent Dragon's self-defense program is not based on aggressive behavior or use of force. The martial essence of Tai Chi involves controlling yourself, thus allowing an opponent to defeat himself. By learning such control, dangerous situations can be neutralized or avoided.
Grade school children are full of energy and zest for life! This is what makes them so magical and joyous to be around. However, uncontrolled, this energy can be as wild as a small tornado. Many drastic measures have been attempted to contain this energy, usually to no avail. The Silent Dragon approach is different. The children's classes teach stillness, slowness and deliberate action.
Middle school is a time when children first begin to truly explore the world on their own. They grow quickly and have new experiences and choices presented every day. For adolescent children, Silent Dragon emphasizes features to enhance children's physical and mental development. These include expanded exercises, meditations and the introduction of cooperative practice.
Teenagers need all the help they can get in today's world. They need every advantage they have to succeed in the future. To help teens maximize their potential, Silent Dragon emphasizes the mental and philosophical aspects of training and their applications in life.
The economy just gets more competitive as time goes on. Businesses need to save money anywhere they can. Healthcare is one of the largest expenses companies have to pay. But there are hidden expenses that cost even more. Stress saps our energy and makes us weak and unproductive. Also, inefficient thinking and behavior causes waste. Applications of the Silent Dragon program can effect improvements in all these areas.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the healing powers of Tai Chi. Although many noticeable effects have been observed and documented, the accumulation of little things is even greater. Simple improvements such as better digestion, movement and sleep impact all other aspects of health and performance.
The effects of stress are devastating to the working population of America. People are so stressed that they are getting sicker, more often and earlier in life. Their work and family lives suffer greatly for it. And today, we are more stressed than ever! Silent Dragon is happy to offer special training that focuses specifically on reducing stress. The program is a combination of physical, mental and psychological techniques to reduce stress and promote a more relaxed attitude that can be shared with the community.
Team Building and Community Behavior
Cooperation between people is a very important factor in achieving business goals. One of the most critical elements in efficient cooperation is a well developed sense of community among people working together. Silent Dragon offers a unique program that uses components of Tai Chi cooperative practice to develop this sense of community. Through controlled, partnered exercises, participants learn to develop active interaction skills. Examples include self-awareness, perception, and mutually constructive cooperation.
Management Practice Development
Many management practices and decisions are done only because they are standard operating procedure, without question or much understanding. Or worse, they are the result of misperceptions or driven by ego. When such circumstances occur, the resulting problems are usually blamed on something else, and instead of getting solved, only have symptoms treated. Silent Dragon has formed a special organization to explore applied Taoist theory in business for the purpose of developing improvements to the American business culture. Anyone interested in this program is strongly encouraged to contact us!
Silent Dragon is proud to offer the finest martial art instruction in the area! Our broad base of experience allows us to provide training in the most effective and authentic martial traditions. Our program includes physical conditioning, awareness and sensitivity training, a full range of defense/combat applications and competitive sport training. Below is a short list of what we teach. Customized classes are available for a variety of needs.
Internal arts use the energy of the tendons, bones and breath to generate and control power in the body. Examples of internal arts at Silent Dragon include: Tai Chi Chuan (Yang Luchan), I Chuan, Hsing-I, Pakua, Kun Tao Silat, Dim Mak, Nei Gong. et al.
External arts are what most people know about martial arts and use the muscles to generate power. Silent Dragon teaches a full compliment of external arts including: Black Dragon Kung Fu, Jiujitsu, Grappling, Jeet Kune Do, Chi Gong, et al.
Silent Dragon also includes a complement of training in essential weapons. Particular attention is paid to effective and practical methods of weapon use and defense. Weapons training includes: Knife, Staff, Stick, Sword et al.
Special self-defense classes.
Specialized defense classes for women, children, business and law enforcement are available by arrangement.