Traditional Training in Yang family long forms, Qi Gong, and Push Hands


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Please read ALL the Tai Chi training information on this page. Click these quick links to specific information.

Photo - Ranna in Tai Tai Chi movement
Tai Chi on the lawn area of the Virginia studio.

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"Be still like a mountain. Move like a flowing river."
(Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 440.)

Yin Yang symbol SUMMARY: Tai Chi at 6th Dimension™! Training is conducted in the traditional way. We are a small group of good natured Tai Chi practitioners who are dedicated to our training.

Yin Yang symbol INTENTION:

Beginners and all levels: To teach you the long forms of Yang Cheng Fu and Yang Lo Chan style Tai Chi. The training incorporates Chi Kung (a.k.a. Qi Gong) to tap into your Chi energy and carry it into the Tai Chi form itself. The first year of training also incorporates elementary health uses of Qi Gong and Tai Chi, and elementary push hands.

Advanced training is also provided to refine the form, and begin to approach the essence as well as explore the martial and health applications. Advanced training participants must have completed at least the entire Yang Cheng Fu long form to join the advanced group.

"Once in motion, the entire body should be light and agile, and even more importantly, must be threaded together." (Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 444.)

Yin Yang symbol TRAINER: Dr Ranna-Lesley Lachlan, black belt Tai Chi Instructor/ 8th degree (PhD, BCPP, RPP, RPE, VCST, DFA, Grad. D. Mat. Anth., Cert Ministry). Ranna has been involved in Tai Chi and Qi Gong for over 30 years. She was "graded" as an instructor in 1986 by Master Ian Garbett and Master Erle Montaigue. Click here for more info about her journey to find a Tai Chi teacher.

  • A word about Tai Chi trainers: Masters Ian Garbett and Erle Monataigue both made the point that if a teacher has less than 6 years experience in Tai Chi, walk away because, while they might be able to teach you the sequence of movements, they are not in a position to impart the essence of Tai Chi.

Yin Yang symbol LOCATION: ONLINE or at 6th Dimension™, Middletown area. The in-person training studio is a private location, 6 - 7 minutes from Main Street/ Route 11 Middletown and 15 - 20 minutes from Winchester and Front Royal. Directions will be provided when your "meet the trainier" appointment is scheduled. Classes are subject to availability.

Yin Yang symbol WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? Anyone over the age of 18 years. (Sorry, no children's or teens' classes.) The only physical requirement is that you must be able to support your own weight on either leg, one at a time. If you cannot, a Yoga class at 6th Dimension™ would be a better choice for you initially.

Yin Yang symbol CLASS SIZE: 8 MAXimum. Class size is kept small to ensure individual attention for participants. Class is provided in a peaceful, non-competitive environment that recognizes individual needs. No drop-ins.

"Within, consolidate the spirit of vitality. Without, express tranquility and ease." ... (Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 443.)


When in-person training is in progress, please note the following information AND our COVID policy.

Ongoing students pre-pay at the beginning of each month.
*** Beginnners / new students pre pay for the first 12 weeks, then on a monthly basis.
*** All fees are non-transferable. A cancellation policy applies.

Some of the following are subject to availability

  • Saturdays:
    • 2 - 3.30 pm - advanced students, $15.00 / class;
    • 4 - 5 pm - first level and beginners of the Yang Cheng Fu form, $10.00 / class. Associate teachers in-training may be participating in coaching these classes (at the discretion of 6th Dimension™).
  • Tuesdays - "Tai Chi Tuesday" 6.00 - 7.30 pm, $15.00 / class. Strong focus on Qi Gong, advanced practice, and push hands. Must have completed the Yang Cheng Fu form before joining Tuesday evening training.
  • Thursdays - "Therapeutic Thursday" 6 - 7 pm, $10.00 / class. Internal energy movement system - Aumgenic™ movement - useful for advanced understanding, Qi building, and improved Tai Chi performance.
  • Combined days: Fees are on a sliding scale based on the number of days combined - Sat plus Tues or Sat plus Tues plus Thurs. Admission to each of the additional days is by arrangement and is based on Dr Lachlan's assessment of each student's proficiency and readiness.

Our COVID Policy

ONLINE Admission Fees & Training - go to

IN - PERSON Admission Fees & Training Media:

  • Registration Fee - non-refundable: $25.00 per person for all new admissions.
    • This is a one time only fee, except if attendance lapses for more than one year - then registration will be required again. The registration fee is in addition to the Tuition cost.
    • A CD of the First Third is provided as part of registration. This fee covers only a fraction of the administrative cost of establishing and running the training, interview time, and supplying new students with a complementary CD of the first third.
  • Audio CDs: Aside from the complementary CD included in registration, additional audio CDs of the 2nd Third, 3rd Third, and the entire Yang Cheng Fu Tai Chi form are available for purchase.
  •   DVDs: A DVD of the first third is provided after each student has completed the first third. DVDs of the entire Yang Cheng Fu and Yang Lo Chan forms are available for purchase at appropriate stages of each student's training.
"Carefully concentrate upon your study. The bending, extending, opening and closing: let them come on their own." (Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 437.)


To join ONLINE TRAINING go to our sign up page at

To join IN-PERSON TRAINING follow these steps. NOTE that in-person training is subject to availability which varies.

  • Register: Contact 6th Dimension to register for Tai Chi training.
  • Meet the Trainer: An initial meeting with Dr Ranna-Lesley Lachlan is required before you enter training. Call or email to schedule your meeting after you have registered. NOTE: Registration and interview do not guarantee admission to training.
    • A pre-start meeting?!?! Really?? Why?Yes. In the traditional approach in earlier times in China, people wishing to train in Tai Chi would approach the family or teacher of whom they had heard, and wait until they had been accepted into training. It was not automatic or guaranteed. The pre-start meeting is the modern version of that process. Also: This meeting helps you to zero in on your reasons for wanting to learn Tai Chi, and helps you sort through those.
  • Acceptance: Admission is at the sole discretion of 6th Dimension ™. You will be notified at or shortly after meeting Dr Lachlan. You will then need to confirm your place in training.
  • Confirm: Beginners: Pre-payment of the first 12 weeks' tuition plus the registration fee confirms your place in training and must be received here, preferably no later than 2 weeks before you join training. Your place in class is not confirmed until prepayment has been received and processed. Since space is limited, unconfirmed places may be allocated to other participants or new students.
    • NOTE: Students may not allocate their place in training to any other person, or transfer their fees to any other person.
  • Forms: All relevant forms and policies will be provided at interview or electronically shortly after. In some scheduling circumstances affecting 6th Dimension, we may elect to provide the forms and paperwork at the first class, to be completed by new training participants on arrival.
  • Payment method : Online invoices are emailed to you, payable online via our Square payment account. This confirms your place in Tai Chi training. All transactions are processed through Ranna® Arts Incorporatewd (LLC).
  • A special note to spouses/ partners/ family members/ significant others: Anyone wishing to enter Tai Chi training at 6th Dimension™, please independently follow all enrollment steps for your own reasons.
  • Clothing: Loose, full length track pants (black or dark color) and tee shirts (white or pastel) are fine. Jeans and belts are too constrictive. No track shoes - they grip the floor too much. Bare feet or socks are fine in the current studio. (More about Tai Chi clothing at - use your browser's BACK BUTTON to return here.)
  • Attend classes.

Yin Yang symbol INITIAL 1st THIRD COMMITMENT: New in-person students are required to commit to completing at least the first third of the Yang Cheng Fu long form. It takes approximately 3 months' of a 90 minute class once per week or 4 - 6 months if you attend a one hour class once per week... longer if you are absent regularly during this crucial initial learning phase. Dropping out before completing the 1st third doesn't give you enough of a taste to really know if Tai Chi is for you. You can do that but you will have wasted your money!

IMPORTANT!!! Before you decide to enter training, be realistic about your expectations regarding how quickly you'll learn this amazing practice. If you have regular or frequent absences from training, it will take you longer to complete the 1st third and, ultimately, the entire form. Stopping and starting training inevitably involves needing to refresh one's practice first before adding new learning, all of which adds time to the overall process of completing learning the sequence of movements. Most new learners find this discouraging and drop out. This is counter-productive not only for the new learners but it is also disruptive for the rest of the established group and your trainers/s.

This is what Yang Cheng Fu himself had to say about this:

"Entering the gate and being led to the path, this must come from oral guidance. To ceaselessly exert oneself in the method is self-cultivation." (Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 437.)
See also Intro page and So you want to learn Tai Chi... (below).

Yin Yang symbol AFTER THE FIRST YEAR: Training continues. Approximately one year of 90 minute classes once per week or about 15 - 18 months of a 1 hour class per week is usually just enough time to learn the sequence of movements. After that, refinement of the movements, beginning to experience the essence of Tai Chi, and deepening our Qi Gong, health knowledge, push hands, and martial refinements of Tai Chi are part of continuing training. Generally, later in the second or third year, you will also begin training in the older form: Yang Lo Chuan Tai Chi.

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One of Ranna's mentors in Tai Chi, Erle Montaigue, articulated beautifully what Tai Chi is really about in an article, "The Way of the Warrior". (You can read the article when you begin training.) Please also read the journey to find a Tai Chi teacher background information below.

Beginners please be aware of the following.

Yes: Capacity to make an initial commitment to complete the first third of the Yang Cheng Fu long form.

No: Progress fees for grading belts. (In traditional learning, there are no gradings.)

Yes: To adjust your schedule appropriately in order to attend Tai Chi training consistently.
No: To give up your life as it is.
Yes: To practice between training sessions.
No: Special clothes or special shoes.
Yes: Recognition that Tai Chi is a comprehensive system of self defense, health, and later the beginnings of refined perceptions.
No: Misconceptions that Tai Chi is a new age trend, or simply a slow pretty health dance, or solely a spiritual path.
Yes: Patience with yourself, perseverence, and recognition that the initial phases of learning tai Chi can be quite challenging.
No: Expectation of quick results.
Yes: To register and attend a pre-admission interview.
No: Drop in to try-before-you-buy. (The interview replaces this.)
Yes: Ability to support your own weight on one leg.
No: Prior training in Tai Chi or martial arts.
Yes: A notebook. Traditional Tai Chi training is by transmission from teacher to student.
Yes: Intention to train in Tai Chi for YOU (not for a partner, spouse, parent or significant other - unless you want this for yourself, starting Tai Chi to satisfy the wishes of someone else simply doesn't work out).

"Right Place, Wrong Place"

If you are looking for Tai Chi training that adheres to its origins in authentic Kung Fu, you are in the right place.

If you are looking for short forms, lots of pseudo-guru Sifu-ism, a watered-down pseudo-Tai Chi which is really some sort of New Age health dance that ignores that Tai Chi is a martial art, our training is the wrong place for you.

  • One person: $80.00 per hour.
  • Two people $55.00 per person per hour.

Yin Yang symbol TEACHER TRAINING: By arrangement. 2 - 4 people. AIM: To educate intending Tai Chi teachers in leading a class in body-opening, joint releaxation, triple warmers, Qi Gong, and Yang Cheng Fu long form.

To be acknowledged as fully fledged instructors of Yang Cheng Fu Tai Chi by 6th Dimension™ under the imprimateur of Dr Lachlan, trainee teachers/ associate instructors must have:

  • Completed learning the entire Yang Cheng Fu long form to a high level of proficiency such at they can independently execute the entire form smoothly, effortlessly, and ACCURATELY;
  • Be able to hold standing Qi Gong postures for 20 - 30 minutes;
  • Attained some proficiency in push hands;
  • Working knowledge both of the health applications and the martial applications of the form;
  • Sufficiently developed in their own training that they carry within them the more subtle aspects of Tai Chi, inlcuding self-restraint, respect, and upright conduct;
  • Sucessfully demonstrated a consistent capacity to crisply instruct and demonstrate to beginners and experienced beginners, without error in that instruction and demonstration.
"Li orders what is changeless in change so that one may thoroughly know transformation."(Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 97.) [Li = Principles.]


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"I want to learn Tai Chi!" It is natural to be excited about something that you want to learn and studying Tai Chi really is worth doing. It becomes a resource that you hold in your body and consciousness for life. My aim is to develop a close knit, mutually supportive group of people who are willing to enter into an older, more traditional approach to Tai Chi study.

Before embarking on this wonderful adventure that is Tai Chi, please take a moment or two to ponder the following.

There is a time for everything. I count among some of my most dedicated students someone who first contacted me many years before actually commencing training.

Tai Chi is simple but remember that "simple" and "easy" aren't the same thing, so here are some mile-markers as to whether now is the time for you to undertake Tai Chi.

The journey to find a teacher is often quite a feat in itself. Would you persevere in finding a teacher?

My search started when I was really quite young, in Australia where I undertook most of my training. I knew I wanted to study Tai Chi and my search for a teacher led me first to someone who had done a bit of Tai Chi during travels around Australia. The group foundered after only a matter of weeks. This gentleman was not sufficiently developed in his own training to teach. My search then led me to someone who had established a more commercially oriented franchise-style school, complete with a contract for a particular period of study, very expensive up front-fees, the requirement to buy their uniform, belts, grading and other paraphernalia. Their approach was a very "hard", martial approach. They soon ran into financial difficulties and closed. I then found a wonderful, sincere, and very skilled Tai Chi practitioner who was also teaching... a Chinese gentleman with no requirement for a study contract, exorbitant fees, or buying a uniform from him, or anything like that. He taught the Ching Chung "Praying Mantis" style, in "the old way". Sadly for me, while I was still training with him he retired but I now knew I was on the right trail as to what to look for in a teacher.

Eventually, I found a teacher about whom the local paper had written a feature story. He did not want to be too easily found (and in his final decades taught only closed classes until his passing in 2014), so he refused to own a telephone. To eventually enter his training, I ended up leaving hand written messages on the door of his school. He did not respond to the first hand written note. A few weeks later, I tried again, another hand written note on the door. Another few weeks after that, one of his advanced students called me, on the teacher's instruction. I was interviewed over the phone and later re-interviewed at the first open class that I attended. Yes, interviewed. No student was admitted to their group without first being thoroughly screened for a genuine commitment to learn, willingness to accept direction and willingness to follow through. Ultimately, after a long period of training with the larger, public group, I was invited into the private group of dedicated students who were serious about their training. No-one gained entry to this group simply because they wanted it.

One did not ask. One did not expect. One was invited, after being observed for a long time. As I said, "the old way".

Later, through this teacher's collegial connection with Erle Montaigue in Sydney (Australia), I came under the mantle of his training. With so much prior training under my belt, my training advanced quickly under the watchful eye of both teachers. Within a year, Erle had graded me as Instructor, black belt/ 8th degree, in 1986 - eight years after I had taken my first Tai Chi class. To the Western mind, that may seem an eternity. In the traditional Asian sense, it is a nano-second.

So... ask yourself: "Why do I want to study Tai Chi? How much do I want this, really? Would I persevere with finding a teacher to this extent? Do I want it enough?"

Tai Chi long forms, including Yang Cheng Fu Tai Chi, have a definite beginning and end, and each week's training builds on the previous week's learning, so it is important to join the class from the beginning date and time. For the same reason, it is important to be punctual. Also, keep in mind that there are three major thirds within the long form and I do ask that you make the commitment to yourself to complete the First Third even if you are undecided as to whether you wish to continue with the entire Tai Chi long form or not.

To filter whether you can do this, consider the following facts.

One third: Typically, it takes approximately 30 - 40 hours to learn the sequence of movements in the First Third. Somewhat. Roughly. Disjointedly. Just the sequence. Completing the First Third is one way to see if Tai Chi really is for you while also completing a sub-part of the form for your health and well being. By completing the First Third, you will have set in motion some energy principles and pathways that will nourish you regardless.

Completing the first third is a matter of individual commitment, class attendance, and practice between classes. The movements are taught in sequence. Each class builds on cumulative knowledge from previous classes in the series. Past experience has proved to me that when people are able to attend weekly training consistently and incorporate at-home practice into their schedules, they complete the First Third sequence in about 12 - 15 weeks. The opposite is also true if people are not able to attend class consistently and don't practice between classes. They fall behind and flounder, which is an unsettling and discouraging experience for them, and leaves them with a less than positive impression of Tai Chi. (It is also disruptive for the people who have committed to regular attendance and practice.) The point is, before joining class, give some thought to whether you can make the commitment to completing the first third.

So... ask yourself: "Am I willing to honor myself by sticking to completing at least the first third? Am I willing to respect my trainer and my fellow students sufficiently that I will stick to that initial commitment?" [If your quiet voice within answers "no", please wait until you can answer "yes" to yourself.]

The whole form, one year (or so): After the first third, for those of you who do decide to continue through the entire long form of Yang Cheng Fu Tai Chi, having already completed the First Third with me means that you already have an initial foundation to continue training, as this First Third provides important building blocks for the next two thirds of the entire form. That takes about 1 - 1.5 years, just to learn the sequences of movements in a basic way. It's no big surprise, therefore, that approximately 60% of people who commence any Tai Chi long form do not complete the full form. It takes considerably longer to refine your execution and understanding of the form and all its applications. Years for some small modicum of results... Decades to truly even BEGIN to get glimpses of the extraordinary gift that Tai Chi actually is to the world - and yourself.

"If you want to attain the highest achievement, have some patience and it will come (p. 102)... You will not get it without consciously expending a great deal of time and effort (p. 436)... Those with perseverence can accomplish results within three years (p. 103). (Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, pp. 102, 436, & 103.)

So... ask yourself: "Even if it takes me a year or more to learn the whole form and somehow juggle my life (yes, we do recognize that life can be quite a juggling act!), is it possible that I could apply myself to learning the whole form?"

Along the way: Once the shifting composition of class has worked itself out, as people have decided whether to continue their training or not, things settle into an integrated, close knit class which is very rewarding for those who continue. A truly wonderful and unified group energy develops. I still count among my warmest and fondest memories, and continuing friendships, the people with whom I undertook my own early training and some people whom I have trained since then.

I haven't even mentioned all the subtle physical, emotional, psychological and inner awareness that comes to light through training...

So... ask yourself: Despite transitory discomfort and unfamiliarity as I learn movements and patterns that are suprisingly demanding, does that seem like a small investment in all that can be received through training in Tai Chi?

Can I deal with the fact that the health, well-being, strength, growth, self-awareness, subtle perceptions, and self-defence skill that I will definitely gain, will come first as glimpses at the expense of effort on my own part rather than demanded of Tai Chi as an immediate right?

Can I deal with the fact that the greatest "competition or opposition" that I will face through training in Tai Chi is myself?

Can I get out of my head and my patterns long enough to do myself a favor?

Is it time for me to train in Tai Chi?

Over to you: As I said a moment ago, studying Tai Chi really is worth it as it truly does become a resource that you hold in your body and consciousness for life.

Looking forward to meeting you in class.



"If inquiry proceeds without regard to... [the essence and applications of Taijiquan], one's efforts will be wasted, and this will only cause one to sigh with regret." (Yang Cheng Fu, c.1930; trans: Swaim, L., 2005, p. 438.)

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