Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tai Chi Senior Capstone Project

Colby-Sawyer College (CSC) is a dynamic and innovative liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. (

I was a guest of a friend who was a community member of the Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center.  We were there for a physical workout of running, rowing machine, bicycle machine, weights, and one-on-one basketball.

On the reception desk I saw the below sign by senior students seeking older adults to participate in a Tai Chi study.  The students were looking for participants to engage in research looking at the effects of Tai Chi on center of balance and fall confidence in senior adults.  Given my mantra of, Never say, “I wish I had …”, I provided my wife’s and my email address to them. A week later we received an invite to participate in this six-week study.

As the three students readily stated in the evaluation form we completed, they were not certified in Tai Chi.  One of the students had taken Tai Chi lessons in the summer and prepared a proposal that would provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate to their faculty capstone committee, the application of their four years of academic study at CSC.

So, what is Tai Chi? Originating in ancient China, Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits.

During the first class we were asked to demonstrate certain metrics for the students to measure (stand on one foot, rise from a chair, walk a circle), as well as complete a background form.  The students stated at the end of the six weeks they were to again measure the metrics and do an analysis of change from week one to week six.

The below video was taken at the beginning of week three.  The video here in no way is connected to the student capstone, but the theme of this motivation blog, Never say, “I wish I had …”, hopefully will encourage this reader to try something they have never tried before.  My wife and I now, never have to say, "I wish I had experienced Tai Chi".

And yes, this video is at normal speed.  Tai Chi moves are slow motion and low impact.

Oh, one more thing.  I give my permission to the students to use this blog and video, and any follow-up post and video I do, in their capstone as they deem appropriate.

Here are the references used by wife and me as we researched Tai Chi to practice during days we could not participate at the college.

 Tai Chi for Beginners Video | Dr Paul Lam | Free Lesson and Introduction
 Learn Tai Chi 8 forms for beginners (English version) - Hong Kong Jackysum5
 What is Tai Chi

 The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi by Peter W. Wayne, PhD with Mark L. Fuerst,
2013 by Harvard Health Publication


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