Classes

Attending class once a week will allow you to learn the form in a basic way that will enable you to practice Tai Chi as a health and centering exercise.

Attending class twice per week will enable the student to learn the form in a more detailed manner, significantly developing healing and regeneration; meditation of the form develops, and increased physical conditioning results.

Attending class three or more times a week provides the student with a form that is highly conscious, and develops a significantly important level of embodiment of the “internal principles,” which are essential for comprehension (Understanding) of the higher levels of the art of Tai Chi Chuan. At this level of practice, significant transformation and development of the body, emotions, mind, and Spirit occur.

Tai Chi Berkeley offers private classes by appointment.

On this page:

Class Descriptions

a class at the Tai Chi Berkeley studioLevel I – Beginning: The first class in the twelve week session introduces Tai Chi and its various ideas and benefits. A five part warm-up set is taught in the first class. Students who continue in the course develop the initial warm-up set, then begin to learn 2-3 postures (form positions) each week. By the end of the course students have learned the first half of the form. These postures are designed to create optimal external alignment to facilitate stability, strength, and flexibility by conscious organization of bones, joints, and muscles. Some internal Ideas and Principles are introduced.

Level II – Form Correction and Meditation: This course focuses on increasing awareness and depth of the postures learned in the beginning course, as well as strengthening and increasing Chi (internal energy) flow and development. Introduction and practice of the Standing Meditation connects the Body (inside and outside), the Breath, and the Mind to nurture and fortify internal organs and related systems through development of Chi.

Level III – Intermediate: This twelve-week course adds more advanced form postures to those learned in the Level I course and refined in Level II. Continuing to work with the specifics of postural organization, the student learns increased awareness of internal alignment concepts, which begins to significantly affect internal organ health and development, and energy flow. By the end of this course, students have learned the complete Tai Chi form.

Level IV – Advanced Form Correction and Meditation: These ongoing classes significantly deepen the form work, with more focus on conscious details, working to embody the five Basic Principles, and setting a foundation for a continuously expanding developmental process to unfold. While cultivated practice of the Level II meditation can be sufficient, the Standing Meditation practiced in this course cultivates increased internal focus, further developing and refining the Chi, and significantly strengthening internal organs.

Level V – Push Hands (Beginning and Intermediate): Push Hands is a fundamental tool used for martial art training in Tai Chi. It is practiced at various levels. Most people think of martial arts as fighting with an opponent. That, at some level, can represent part of the truth; another important part of the truth is that martial arts represent how you deal with things when they come at you, whether the thing coming at you is a person, Life, or yourself. Through the cooperative-competition of push-hands, we explore and work with issues such as reactive resistance, activity without aggression, receptivity without weakness, and how to neutralize and not be impacted or imbalanced by an incoming attacking force. After these skills are significantly developed the student can choose to learn push hands as a Tai Chi Chuan martial fighting skill, with application and more dynamic practice. As students learn martial skills, they are very much encouraged to learn Wu Te (martial virtue), how to treat the Art, the Teacher, classmates, others, and the self, with respect and value.

Weekly Schedule

Class sessions are 12 weeks long, and are offered four times per year. Session dates can be found below.

New students are welcome at the first or second Beginning Form class of any session.

Visitors from schools that practice Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing’s shortened Yang style Tai Chi may visit Beginning and Intermediate form classes (Level I, Level II, and Level III; see Class Schedule, below). Advanced Form and Push Hands classes (Level IV and Level V) are not open to visitors without permission of the instructor.

Recommended courses of study are described at the top of this page.

Summer Session 2021: In-Studio Class Schedule

In-studio classes resume in July; Summer Session begins on Monday, July 5, 2021. Class size is limited due to public health considerations, and application/pre-registration is required. NO WALK-INS are permitted in Summer 2021.

For in-studio classes, all participants are required to wear masksAll in-studio participants must be fully vaccinated (including the two-week waiting period after your final vaccine dose) BEFORE your first in-studio class.

As of June 14, 2021:

  • There is space remaining in all Level I, II, and III classes, and your participation is welcome!
  • Level IV (Advanced) and Level V (Push Hands) are fully enrolled given current in-studio capacity limits, so applicants for these classes are being added to a waiting list.
  • Some current (and possibly some future) participants in Saturday and Monday Level IV and Level V classes have been (and may be) registered for an every-other-week schedule, in order to accommodate as many students as possible.
  • After several weeks of Summer Session classes, Lenzie will reevaluate in-studio capacity limits in light of evolving public health conditions; at that point, the initial limits may be relaxed, allowing wait-listed Level IV and V students to participate in the in-studio classes. Please monitor this website to learn how those changes may alter the requirements or constraints for Tai Chi Berkeley classes.

Please visit instructions for applying for a place in Summer 2021 in-studio classes for more details, and/or fill out the online application form.

Time Class
Monday 11:00 am – noon Level II – Form Correction & Meditation
noon – 1:00 pm Level I – Beginning
6:00 – 7:00 pm Level IV – Adv Form Corr & Meditation *
7:00 – 8:00 pm Level V – Push Hands (Beginning and Intermediate) *
Tuesday 5:30 – 6:30 pm Level III – Intermediate Form
6:30 – 7:30 pm Level I – Beginning
Saturday 8:00 – 9:00 am Level IV – Adv Form Corr & Meditation * **
9:00 – 10:00 am Level V – Push Hands (Beginning and Intermediate) * **
Sunday 8:00 – 9:00 am Level III – Intermediate Form
9:00 – 10:00 am Level I – Beginning

* Instructor’s permission required to attend Advanced Form/Meditation & Beginning/Intermediate Push Hands classes (Level IV and Level V).

** Selected Saturday morning classes will take place on Zoom during the Summer Session: July 31, August 28, and September 25, 2021. Level IV only on these dates (no Push Hands). The Saturday Level IV Zoom classes will run 1.5 – 2 hours. If you have a place in the in-studio Saturday class on these dates, you are already registered for these three Zoom classes.

Summer Session 2021: Zoom (Online) Classes

Online classes will continue in Summer 2021, and beyond as circumstances/interest permit. Note that the class offerings, days, and times have changed from Spring Session.

To register for Zoom classes, please fill out this registration form. This is a different form from the one pertaining to in-studio classes, and it can be filled out anytime. Zoom links for Summer Session will be sent via e-mail in mid- to late-June. If you were registered for Zoom classes held in previous sessions and wish to attend Zoom classes in Summer 2021, you must re-register in order to receive the new Zoom links.

NOTE: The Wednesday morning classes were originally announced as starting one hour later than the times indicated below. The Wednesday Zoom class times were changed on May 19, 2021, and are correct as listed below: Level IV from 7-8am PDT; and Level I from 8-9am PDT. Additionally, the Tuesday morning Zoom classes were originally scheduled for Thursday; they were switched to Tuesday morning on May 22, 2021, and are correct as listed below. Apologies for any confusion or inconvenience caused!

Time Class
Tuesday 7:00 – 8:00 am Level III – Intermediate Form
8:00 – 9:00 am Level II – Form Correction & Meditation
Wednesday 7:00 – 8:00 am Level IV – Adv Form Corr & Meditation *
8:00 – 9:00 am Level I – Beginning
Saturday (Selected Dates Only) 8:00 – 9:30 am (approx) Level IV – Advanced Form Correction & Meditation *
Saturday Level IV Zoom classes offered on July 31, August 28, & September 25, 2021 only. Saturday Level IV Zoom classes will run for 1.5 – 2 hours. If these are the only Tai Chi Berkeley classes you attend, the fee should be calculated at the single-class rate (see Fees, below).

* Instructor’s permission required to attend Advanced Form/Meditation (Level IV).

 

Sword Class

Please contact Lenzie Williams for more information.

Class Locations

All classes are held in the Western Sky studio (Bay 1 Room 13A) at 2525 8th St. in Berkeley, between Dwight Way and Parker St.; click for maps from Yahoo or Google.

The 8th Street address is a converted warehouse, with many individual studios. The entrance to Bay 1 is on 8th Street, closer to Dwight Way than to Parker. The studio is at the back of Bay 1, in the left (NE) corner.

On-street parking is available. AC Transit buses 72/72M/72R stop at Dwight Way and San Pablo, about 2-1/2 blocks from the studios. Bus 49 stops at Dwight Way at 7th (counterclockwise loop, from Berkeley BART); or 9th (clockwise, from Ashby BART), about 1-1/2 blocks from the studios. More information about buses can be found on the AC Transit website. Bicycle parking is not ideal; please contact Lenzie Williams if you’d like more information if you plan to ride a bike to the studio.

The Berkeley studio is located about 0.75 miles north of the Oakland and Emeryville borders, and about 1.5 miles from the UC Berkeley campus.

Fees

Group Classes

  • $30 per hour (single class)
  • $80 per month (1 class per week)
  • $125 per month (2 classes per week)
  • $160 per month (3 classes per week)
  • $195 per month (4 or more classes per week)

A “month” for purposes of this fee schedule is four (4) weeks of Tai Chi classes. A “class” is one hour of group classes, per the weekly schedule above. Detailed fee policies are included on the printed schedule available at the studio.


Private Classes

One-on-one instruction may include form correction, push-hands, and/or advanced work. Private classes are available with Lenzie Williams for $150 per hour; or with one of the school’s senior instructors for $85 per hour. Scheduling is by appointment (see Contact page).

 

Session Dates

The following are currently-scheduled session beginning and ending dates:

Session First Class Last Class
Winter ’21 Sat Jan 2, 2021 Fri Mar 26, 2021
Spring ’21 Sat Mar 27, 2021 Fri Jun 18, 2021
Summer ’21 Mon Jul 5, 2021 Sun Sep 26, 2021
Fall ’21 Mon Sep 27, 2021 Sun Dec 19, 2021