Americans are beginning to learn what the Chinese have known for centuries: that the slow, flowing movements of Taijiquan, commonly referred to as “tai chi,” and Qigong create an internal stillness that helps develop and maintain mental and physical well-being. On Monday, April 20 — just days before World Tai Chi and Qigong Day — Crouse Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Educational Series will present “Taijiquan and Qigong: Energy Movement for Wellness,” featuring David Dolbear, owner of White Crane Martial Arts Studio in Syracuse and gold medalist in the 1996 USA All-Taijiquan Championships. The seminar, free and open to the public, starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Marley Education Center, 765 Irving Ave. Light refreshments will be available before the presentation and parking is free in the Marley and Crouse Hospital garages. To register, call 315-472-2464.
From its origins as a Chinese martial art, taijiquan has evolved into several distinct styles, studied and practiced mainly to cultivate optimum health. Begun in China during the 1600’s, taijiquan is becoming more popular in the U.S. and is being researched scientifically here and abroad. According to Dolbear, this mind-body exercise helps reduce nervous tension, improves concentration and enhances coordination, flexibility and balance. During the seminar, he will demonstrate taijiquan and will invite attendees to try some simple movements. He will also talk about Qigong, which refers to a variety of traditional cultivation practices that involve methods of accumulating, circulating, and working with “qi,” breathing or energy within the body.
David Dolbear has studied taijiquan for 30 years. In 1989 he studied taijiquan in China upon official invitation of the Academia Sinica in Beijing. For the past 20 years he has been the senior student of master Liu Changjiang, one of the most highly regarded taijiquan experts in Beijing. In 1996 David was awarded a gold medal at the USA All-Taijiquan Championships in Winchester, Virginia. For the past 20 years he has taught traditional Wu style taijiquan and other Chinese martial arts in Central New York at his studio, White Crane Martial Arts, on Burnet Ave in Syracuse.