Hidden Tai Chi started in Downtown LA in 2005 by Christopher Nelson. It was called, simply enough, the Downtown Tai Chi Studio. When the classes moved to Silverlake, the name was changed to simply Hidden Tai Chi.

The “Hidden” aspect in the name is a reference to the style of Tai Chi being taught: the Hidden Tradition of the Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan.  It is also a reference to the research which started the Studio in the first place; the search for the underlying principles and values in Tai Chi Chuan that keep it relevant in our modern age.

The Studio is dedicated to the study of Tai Chi and the Taoist philosophy it’s based on. The goal is to bring the benefits of these ancient Chinese exercises to our busy lives, blending traditional knowledge with modern teaching methods. Christopher Nelson has over 20 years of experience studying and teaching Tai Chi, as well as some experience with Aikido, Judo and Tae Kwon Do. But the main focus is on the art of moving and breathing, of clearing the mind while empowering the body.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art and spiritual practice but it is currently taught as a form of low impact exercise and stress relief. Too often the ancient practices are watered down or skimmed over. But the real benefits of Tai Chi are revealed only after long training and a willingness to explore our inner world. Tai Chi is the physical embodiment of Taoist philosophy. It reveals the ebb and flow of the forces that shape our lives, both physical and spiritual.

At the Studio we cover all the bases. We study the self-defense aspect of this ancient martial art. We study breath, meditation and energy work. We talk about Taoist philosophy and how it is still relevant in our daily lives.

The classes cover the Hidden Tradition of the Yang Family style of Tai Chi Chuan, also known as the Michuan style ( “Michuan” is simply Hidden Tradition in Chinese). It is sometimes referred to as Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan.

The Michuan style is considered an older version of the popular Yang Style. It has retained it’s martial art roots, as well as the deep Taoist practices that are sometimes missing from modern Tai Chi classes. Many modern Tai Chi forms have been simplified in order to fit our modern schedule. The Michuan form has not. It requires a long but fulfilling practice to learn it’s many subtleties.

Christopher Nelson can be reached at hiddentaichi@gmail.com



2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, I love your site and teachings. I wanted to write a book one day givin up to date discriptions on Taichi but it looks like you’ve already done it!
    I am a former professional fighter (HL link http://vimeo.com/m/18393179) but now I have fallen in love with tai chi and know what it’s potential is for real combat. My goal is to dedicate myself to tai chi and one day show the world it’s achievements. I would be honoured if your could give any advice to the path I should take.
    I have studied for 1.5 years , first learning the 24 yang form, and more recently the 12 postures. My latest teacher advised me to concentrate on frame development, threading the 9 pearls, walking Tai chi, walking meditation and breathing exercises for the next 6 months.
    I would love the opportunity to train with you one day, I’m currently in Thailand but moving around a bit looking for somewhere to settle.
    Much respect

    • Hi Nick, thanks for the kind comments.

      I’m delighted that you see in Tai Chi the same potential that I do.

      The only advice I have for you is to continue on the path that you are on. Your current teacher’s instructions seem spot on. So much of what Tai Chi has to offer is internal, and focusing on meditation and breathing is crucial. Any Tai Chi style or form will give you the important foundations that you need to develop a good practice. As with most martial arts, it’s the teacher that counts more than anything.

      The combat aspects are a more difficult issue. Read the Tai Chi Classics so that you have something to compare your practice to. The martial applications are there in the forms, but they might need to be uncovered and revealed. Your fighting experience is going to be a great help in that. Great fight reel by the way, you obviously already have the talent!