General Program Information
Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better BalanceTM (TJQMBB; formally known as Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance) is an evidence-based fall prevention program derived from a contemporary routine known as Simplified 24-Form Tai Ji Quan (pronounced tye gee chuwan). TJQMBB consists of an 8-form core with built-in practice variations and a subroutine of Tai Ji.
To improve strength, balance, mobility and daily functioning, and prevent falls in older adults and individuals with balance disorders.
Intended Target Population
The primary focus is on community-dwelling older adults and people with a history of falls, balance disorders, leg muscle weakness, abnormal gait or walking difficulty.
The program is able to accommodate people with a mild level of mobility difficulty (e.g., people who are occasional cane users).
Background requirement: Experience working with and teaching physical activity to older adults is preferred. Knowledge or previous training/practice experience in Tai Ji Quan is not required.
Training content: Covers program objectives, core training protocols, and implementation topics.
Training curriculum: Offers both a 2-day training workshop (required) and three 1-day follow-up refresher courses, with the first being conducted within 2 months, the second within 4 months, and third within 6 months following the 2-day workshop (highly recommended).
Outcomes: At the end of the 2-day training workshop, trainees will have a functional understanding of the TJQMBB program, including its training components, and be familiar with forms/movements in both the core and sub-core protocols, and class teaching emphases and fidelity criteria. The trainees are expected to teach a class, as soon as practical, following the workshop to reinforce the knowledge and skills learned during the training program.
Certificate: A certificate is awarded to trainees to indicate successful completion of the training program.
Class practice: Each class session consists of three parts: (1) brief Tai Ji Quan-based warm-up movements, (2) core practice emphasizing integration of individual forms, variation in forms, and mini therapeutic movements and (3) a brief period of breathing cool-down exercises.
Teaching emphasis: Self-initiated and coordinated movement sway around ankle and hip joints with control of the center of gravity, rotational weight shifting initiated by the trunk, and eye-head-hand coordination are key elements of the program.
Practice parameters: A full 60-minute class session conducted at least twice per week for 24 consecutive weeks or longer.
Teaching evaluation: TJQMBB instructors are expected to adhere to the program’s training protocol. Thus, a fidelity checklist is available to provide standardized, peer-to- peer instructor evaluation criteria.
Class Set Up
Space and equipment: A room with approximately 500 square feet, equipped with armless, slide-resistant chairs.
Recommended class size: 8-15 students.
Student clothing preference: Students are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable pants and top; flat-soled shoes.
Materials for students: A student version of the program DVD for home practice and reference is available upon request from ORI for a nominal fee – recommended for distribution 8-12 weeks after the first class session.
The following materials are available:
Instructor DVD (2 disks)
Student DVD (1 disk)
Other program and teaching materials are accessible to trained instructors at:
tjqmbb.org (Registration is required)
Target Health Outcomes
Recommended measures: Timed Up&Go, Functional Reach, 50-foot speed walk, and number of falls.
Expected outcomes: Consistent class attendance (at least 70% of available class sessions) is expected to result in improvement in balance and mobility and reductions in the incidence of falls.
Instructor training costs: Currently the following two formats are available:
On-site group rate (≤15 trainees): the trainer fee ranges from $800 (for authorized
trainers) to $1,500 (for training by the program developer) per day, plus travel-related
Individual rate (for classes conducted at ORI): $200 per day per trainee (training fee
only; travel-related expenses for trainees are not included).
Class implementation costs: Expenses include hourly instructor pay and room rental, if applicable.
Program Technical Support
Technical support is provided through following channels:
Materials available at the website (tjqmbb.org) are updated on a regular basis.
Consultations with the program developer – Fuzhong Li, Ph.D., and/or local authorized trainers.
A preliminary study shows that Tai Ji Quan is potentially a very cost effective approach to preventing falls in people with Parkinson’s disease.