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:
Level 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.
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 in-studio 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.
In-Studio Class Schedule
Class size limitations are no longer in effect. No application/pre-registration is required for in-studio classes.
For in-studio classes, the following COVID-related protocols apply as of December 9, 2022 [updated]:
- Wearing masks during in-studio FORM classes (Level I through Level IV) is optional; however, wearing masks during in-studio PUSH HANDS classes (Level V) is REQUIRED. This protocol is effective as of March 9, 2023. The current protocals align to California state guideline changes effective September 23, 2022, for the current “COVID-19 Community Level” for Alameda County, which was “LOW” as of March 9, 2023 (see more at Alameda County’s informational page about COVID-19 and masking). Changes in “COVID-19 Community Level” or in Public Health guidelines have resulted and may in the future result in changes to the school’s policy.
- When required to wear masks in the studio, participants may choose between wearing a well-fitting surgical “procedure” or cloth mask, or a more protective N95 or KN95 mask. (Masks with valves do NOT meet this requirement: masks that have valves are not protective against transmission of COVID-19.)
- All in-studio participants must be fully vaccinated (including the two-week waiting period after your final vaccine dose) BEFORE your first in-studio class. CDC-approved boosters are strongly recommended.
|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). Contact Lenzie Williams (or check with your current instructor) for permission.
** Selected Saturday morning classes will take place on Zoom: January 28, February 25, and March 25, 2023 during the Winter Session; April 22, May 20, and June 3, 2023 during the Spring Session. Level IV only is offered on these dates (no Push Hands). The Saturday Level IV Zoom classes will run 1.5 – 2 hours. If you attended Saturday Zoom classes in 2022 or in early 2023, you are already registered for Saturday Zoom classes and have received the 2023 Zoom info (including the current links) in e-mail. Links for Spring 2023 will be the same as in Winter 2023.
Zoom (Online) Classes
Online Level I and Level III classes continue to be offered in weekly on Tuesday mornings. Wednesday Zoom classes are no longer offered.
Students who wish to start Level II (Form Correction & Meditation) classes are welcome and encouraged to register for in-studio classes.
To register for Zoom classes, please fill out this registration form. It can be filled out anytime. If you have been taking Zoom classes in 2022, there’s no need to fill the form out again. Zoom links (URLs) used to join Zoom classes are sent in e-mail, and are NOT posted on this website. Links sent mid-June 2022 or later are current through the end of the year (i.e., through the end of Fall Session 2022); links for Winter 2023 will be sent out to registered Zoom students in late December (after the last Zoom class of the Fall Session).
|Tuesday||7:00 – 8:00 am||Level III – Intermediate Form|
|8:00 – 9:00 am||Level I – Beginning|
(Selected Dates Only)
|8:00 – 9:30 am (approx)||Level IV – Advanced Form Correction & Meditation *|
* Instructor’s permission required to attend Advanced Form/Meditation (Level IV). Contact Lenzie Williams (or check with your current instructor) for permission.
Please contact Lenzie Williams for more information.
All in-studio 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 map from 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 serve nearby stops; more information about buses can be found on the AC Transit website. There are indoor and outdoor bicycle racks, but strong locks are recommended (the building has had occasional/rare bicycle security issues in the past); 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.
- $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.
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).
The following are currently-scheduled session beginning and ending dates:
|Session||First Class||Last Class|
|Fall ’22||Sat Oct 1, 2022||Fri Dec 23, 2022|
|Winter ’23||Mon Jan 2, 2023||Sun Mar 26, 2023|
|Spring ’23||Mon Mar 27, 2023||Sun Jun 11, 2023*|
|Summer ’23||Sat Jul 8, 2023||Fri Sep 29, 2023|
|Fall ’23||Sat Sep 30, 2023||Fri Dec 22, 2023|
*Spring Session 2023 is 11 weeks (instead of the usual twelve) due to the timing of this year’s West Coast Camp (June 11-16, 2023).