Martial Arts, holistic health and fitness Center in Columbia, SC, offering Beginners Classes and Programs in Tai Chi, Meditation, Qigong (Chi Kung) and more!

Are you the kind of person who...

  • Wants to be fit and healthy, but doesn't really enjoy gym memberships?
  • Is ready to change your lifestyle for the better?
  • Is ready to start taking some time for you?
  • Has an interest in Asian culture and philosophies?
  • Would like to learn some practical self-defense?

If you can say yes to any one of these, then you should definitely come take a class with us!

What Is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a mind and body art with proven, life-changing benefits.

Tai Chi can help you achieve...

  • Health, Fitness and Weight Loss
    Tai Chi is a form of exercise that combines many of the same stress management, weight loss, health and fitness benefits as yoga, meditation and pilates.

  • Relaxation and Mental Clarity
    Tai Chi is an excellent form of meditation (Zen) that provides powerful stress reduction and increases your mental focus and concentration.

  • High Energy and a Strong Immune System
    Tai Chi is a form of breath exercise and energy work (called Qigong or Chi Kung in Chinese), that will help empower your immune system and increase your energy level and overall vitality (your Qi or Chi).

  • Confidence and Inner Strength
    Tai Chi is a style of Chinese Kung Fu (a martial art, like karate), and if trained properly is excellent for fitness and self-defense--and martial arts is universally regarded as one of the best possible ways to lose weight and build self-confidence.

  • Peace and Balance in Life
    For those interested in Asian philosophies, Tai Chi is deeply rooted in the ancient Chinese philosophy of Tao (Dao), best known for its principles of balance, harmony, and naturalness, and energy (called Qi or Chi in Chinese).

  • Most importantly, you will have fun!
    Tai Chi is a beautiful art that people fall in love with, not just for the benefits, but for the joy of learning and practicing the art.

It's not all the same...

Columbia Tai Chi Center was founded by Wesley Adams, a fully certified instructor and lineage student under Master Eric Sbarge, founder of The Peaceful Dragon Chinese Cultural Center in Charlotte, NC, where he was a senior instructor for many years before moving to Columbia, SC.

Sifu Adams is dedicated to helping people live happier, healthier, more balanced lives by teaching traditional, lineage Tai Chi. In this day of "cardio Tai Chi" workouts and one-day Tai Chi instructor certification seminars, there is a strong need for authentic instruction in the real, complete art of Tai Chi.

If you're just looking for an occasional "drop-in" Tai Chi class, then Columbia Tai Chi Center may not be for you. If you are looking to really change your life for the better by learning and practicing the art of Tai Chi, then we are the right school for you! All classes are held at 2761 Rosewood Drive.

You'll never know until you try...

If you are interested in taking classes in Tai Chi, then of course we recommend that you come and take one of our free beginners classesbecause how can you know if it's right for you unless you try it?

If for some reason it's impossible for you to attend a free class, but you are seriously interested in joining our classes, then you can

Contact Us


Master Sbarge (back) teaches Sifu Wesley Adams a Tai Chi Self-Defense application.
Master Sbarge (back) teaches Sifu Wesley Adams a Tai Chi Self-Defense application.

Sifu Adams (left) demonstrates the martial application of a movement in the Dao form.
Sifu Adams (left) demonstrates the martial application of a movement in the Dao form.

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Challenger Martial Arts Supplies Offers martial arts uniforms, shoes, weapons, Sparring gear, floor mats and other high quality martial arts gear and supplies at a reasonable price.

Crane Stance Training

You don’t have to make a pilgrimage to the remote mountaintops of China to achieve balance in life. You can join classes in the ancient art of Tai Chi right here in Columbia, SC, and learn for yourself…

A Powerful Secret for Greater Health, Peace, and Happiness!

A word from Wesley Adams, Founder and Head Instructor of Columbia Tai Chi Center

If I told you that here at Columbia Tai Chi Center you could learn a beautiful, fun, relaxing, and enjoyable form of exercise and meditation for your mind, body, and spirit that can dramatically improve your life in absolutely every way—and even give you high-level martial arts skills for self-defense—would you be interested?

Take a moment and picture what you will be like once you develop the following qualities within yourself:

  • A peaceful spirit
  • True confidence
  • Inner strength
  • High energy
  • Mental calm and clarity
  • Lower body fat and weight
  • Fitness and Vitality
  • Greater flexibility
  • A deeply relaxed and healthy body
  • A positive outlook
  • Positive new relationships
  • The ability to defend yourself

The reason I’m so sure that you can achieve such wonderful things for yourself by taking classes here at Columbia Tai Chi Center is that, over the years, I have seen literally hundreds of Tai Chi students achieve exactly these things!

“I have been a holistic practitioner for over 20 years. I am a Chiropractor, a Distinguished Fellow in Chiropractic Biophysics, Certified in Applied Kinesiology and Certified in Acupuncture.

Given that length of experience and depth of training, I would say that I am a very discriminating consumer when it comes to anything to do with health and wellness.

I drive an hour and a half one way to attend class. And like many of you, I don’t have much free time. But it is worth it!

I am certain that the majority of my patients would benefit from taking Tai Chi at the Columbia Tai Chi Center. It is a professional and safe environment for anyone to start or enhance their present fitness routine.

I treat many individuals who hurt themselves trying to work out. There is little risk in this environment… but it is quite challenging at times! The classes include people of many different ages which offer a richness of diversity.

Why not give it a try?” Dr. Sara E. Windham

At Columbia Tai Chi Center, you’ll cultivate balance within yourself and in your life

Tai Chi Demo I know it might be hard to believe that by simply learning and practicing Tai Chi you can gain one of the most important and sought after things in life: Harmony of mind, body, and spirit for greater balance in life.

Perhaps you have taken yoga, meditation, or martial arts classes in the past and felt that, although they were good, they were somehow not exactly what you were looking for.

That’s how it was for me. I had taken various Yoga classes and courses, meditation classes and sessions, a few different types of martial arts, and even a whole year of Tai Chi classes. While I enjoyed and benefited from them all, none of them had the really deep impact on my life that I was looking for.

But then I got lucky and had the opportunity to study complete, authentic, traditional Tai Chi under Master Eric Sbarge—the founder of The Peaceful Dragon, the Carolina’s premier center for Martial Arts, Zen Meditation, Tai Chi, and Yoga in Charlotte NC. I had finally found what I was looking for.

In our day of celebrity Tai Chi videos and cardio-Tai Chi workouts, it’s hard to find authentic instruction in the complete, traditional art of Tai Chi the way it was meant to be taught–rooted in the Chinese philosophies of Zen and Tao and based on Tai Chi’s true principles. These philosophies and principles are the very heart of Tai Chi, and without them, you will most likely never really get the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits that people come to Tai Chi for in the first place.

We are lucky in our day and age that there are still at least a few places where you can find complete training in Tai Chi so that you can attain the full life-enriching benefits of the art. Columbia Tai Chi Center is one of the best Tai Chi training centers you could find—anywhere.

Classes at Columbia Tai Chi Center are a comprehensive training program if you want reduced stress, relaxation, abundant energy, a stronger immune system, mental and physical wellness, lower body fat, long life, spiritual awakening, self-defense, better physical stability and mobility, and a balanced lifestyle.

“I have been studying at the Columbia Tai Chi Center for a little over a year and I love it. When I first started, I had a weak knee from a soccer injury. I could barely put any weight on it and my range of motion was very limited. But I was encouraged to stick with it and allow my body to do what it could. I studied Qigong (Chi Kung), forms, weapons and self defense. Now my knee is much stronger and my range of motion is much improved. I lost weight, my skin is clear, and I feel good overall. Plus, the friendships I’ve made here are invaluable.” De Anna Beasley, Graduate Student, Age 28, Columbia, SC

“The tai chi taught here is top-quality and traditional, which means it is taught as a martial art with emphasis on health and emotional well-being. Students looking for gentle, effective exercise to induce both physical and spiritual benefits will find what they are seeking; those interested in self-defense and more demanding workouts also have a place here. Complete tai chi is offered, including Fundamentals, Tai Chi Forms (traditional and weapons), Push Hands, Martial Applications (self-defense), Qigong (Chi Kung), and Meditation.” Leigh Sheridan, Veterinarian / Veterinary Acupuncturist, Age 38, Columbia, SC

For those who want to learn Tai Chi as a martial art for self-defense, Columbia Tai Chi Center is truly a rare find

Wes learning a Tai Chi self-defense application from his teacher, Master Sbarge (left)If you are interested in martial arts or self defense, whether it’s mixed martial arts or traditional martial arts like karate or kungfu, Tai Chi Chuan (Tajiquan) is considered one of the “graduate studies” in Chinese martial arts. True martial Tai Chi—which is rarely taught and hard to find these days—is highly respected by those who truly know and understand the martial arts at a high level.

Most of the students here are mainly focused on cultivating the mind, body, and spirit through Tai Chi training, and that’s great. However, many students here wish to develop a real ability to defend themselves. Finding a place where you can learn true Tai Chi combat skills is extremely rare.

Gorgeous routines, back flips, and fancy kicks may look good in movies or win competitions, but they have absolutely nothing to do with surviving a dangerous street attack. To survive, you need to know how, where, and when to strike back. Remember, every second you are in a fight you are in great danger! Fighting is a sport. Self-defense is the art of ending a fight very quickly—and going home alive!.

But, even more important than physical skill, getting home alive when confronted with a violent attack is a matter of mental training. Though I had wrestled in high school and studied various martial arts in college, I didn’t realize that I had not developed a realistic mindset for protecting myself when in real danger. That is, until I began training under Master Sbarge at The Peaceful Dragon.

I have been practicing and refining the skills that I learned from Master Sbarge for over 15 years, and I teach these skills to those students here at Columbia Tai Chi Center who are up to the mental and physical challenge of learning to defend themselves.

While there is no doubt that a modern mixed martial arts fighter can defend himself, even in fighting sports you are operating under a controlled situation with a certain set of rules. For an average person trying to learn practical self-defense, this isn’t ideal training. Street self-defense has no rules or rounds—it’s pure survival.

Mindset, skill, and physicality all count when your life is on the line, so if you pursue training in Tai Chi as a martial art here at Columbia Tai Chi Center, you’ll likely become the most confident, disciplined, and physically fit you’ve ever been in your life.

Martial Applications Flier
“I have studied under six of the top martial arts experts in the world, including the president of the World Tae Kwon Do Association and the president of the World Karate Association. One thing I look for is an instructor who truly knows the material he is teaching. This Kung Fu Instructor is WORLD CLASS!” John Barry, Columbia, SC

“I like having a fixed, regular class routine to help me stay in practice; I like the sense that I’m learning self-defense skills, not just a set of stretches and poses; I like that every single individual I’ve met at our school is friendly, supportive, and positive.” Thornwell Simons, Age 33, Columbia, SC

“Since beginning Tai Chi, I have gained strength and balance and I also feel empowered that I am making an attempt to take care of myself. Most of all, the discipline seems to be improving my self-esteem and mood. I most enjoy the feeling of well-being that I get from the classes. After each one, I feel a little better – both physically and mentally.” Anna M. Mulcahey, Retired, Age 64, Columbia, SC

Gwan Front - New location

Columbia Tai Chi Center is successfully the first and only full-time, professional, dedicated center for Tai Chi, Zen Meditation, and Chi Kung (Qigong) in Columbia – for four main reasons:

  1. We Teach Real, Complete, Traditional Tai Chi. You will be glad you chose Columbia’s most comprehensive center for traditional Tai Chi, Push Hands, Martial Applications, Zen Meditation, and Qigong (Chi Kung).
  2. We Help You Attain Your Goals. Our first step is to understand your goals so that we can guide you into the ideal program to help you accomplish them. Students here have various goals ranging from general health and wellness to becoming high-level martial artists, and may take anywhere from a couple of classes per week to almost every day depending on the student’s level, goals, and schedule. Either way, we’ll find the right fit for you.
  3. We Have an Inviting, Dedicated Facility. Atmosphere truly affects how much you enjoy and benefit from your Tai Chi training. While most Tai Chi classes are at public or non-dedicated facilities such as parks, senior centers, gyms, the YMCA, or karate dojos, we are the only center in Columbia with a beautiful facility dedicated solely to teaching complete, traditional Tai Chi–and one of the very few in the Carolinas.
  4. We Are Lineage Certified and Professional. I have been a professional Tai Chi instructor for over 15 years—most of my adult life. I have had the good fortune to study in the direct lineage to some of the most respected masters alive today. I do not hire outside instructors—every instructor here has been carefully cultivated and personally trained by me.

You will find a second home here at Columbia Tai Chi Center

Students at Master Sbarge's Tai Chi Mastery Workshop

  • In addition to getting to be around some of the nicest, most positive people you’ll ever meet, you’ll love our attractive 1,500-square-foot facility, which is in perfect harmony with the quality of our classes and is kept clean and well-maintained by our students.
  • We are located near the heart of downtown Columbia—just minutes away from all parts of Columbia, West Columbia, and Lexington, with ample parking, restaurants and health food stores and other shops within walking distance.
  • We have classes six days a week for your convenience at an inviting location. Our facilities include two tidy and well-equipped studios, two changing rooms, two restrooms, a lounge area to drink tea and get to know other students, and all of the essential training equipment that you need.
  • And our students enjoy the fact that we are right down the street from Rosewood Market, a wonderful market & deli with many healthy vegan options.

Hall of the Snake and Crane

So that you get the optimum benefit from your classes:

  • Columbia Tai Chi Center’s student/teacher ratio is always under 1:10—which is ideal for the best balance of energy, fun, and personal attention.
  • The atmosphere is kept enjoyable but disciplined, with lots of focus and hard work, but always a little smiling and laughter.
  • All levels of students are accepted, but of course we go out of our way to make sure that beginners get off to a good start in this in this life-enriching and lifelong pursuit.
  • We group students within class so that everyone is working with other students at their level, yet still getting the opportunity to get to know and benefit from the experience of the more advanced students. This arrangement is wonderful for meeting the needs of individual students and also building community.

And there’s more than just great Tai Chi classes!

On top of the fun, life-enriching programs, students at Columbia Tai Chi Center have other advantages:

  • Informative quarterly newsletters
  • 10-50% discounts on special classes and workshops by visiting masters and out-of-town events
  • Monthly advanced Mastery roundtable discussion group
  • A relaxing common area where it is easy to meet and socialize with fellow students

Live longer? Probably. Enjoy better quality of life? Definitely!


The programs here at Columbia Tai Chi Center are likely to lengthen your lifespan, but what really matters is how much more you will enjoy the time you have.

You never know what the future holds, so the real question is, “am I truly enjoying my life right now?” Columbia Tai Chi Center programs help you cultivate greater Mindfulness—the quality of being fully present in, content with, and grateful for each moment.

The longer we live, the more we come to realize how precious little time we have here on Earth, and we start to see how truly important it is to make the most of every single moment of our fleeting lives. There is an ancient Zen parable that helps us understand the proper attitude of mindfulness—being fully present in and grateful for every moment of life:

An old monk was walking along in the woods when he ran into a man-eating tiger. The monk ran as fast as he could, but lost his way and ended up at the edge of a sheer cliff. The tiger was close on his heels, so the old monk made the only choice he could—he jumped! Just before he jumped he saw a stout vine hanging from the cliff not far below and was just barely able to catch it as he fell past. He looked down and saw another tiger snarling below. Then, he watched as a small mouse skittered down the vine he was hanging from and started to gnaw it through a ways above him. As he looked around, he noticed a wild strawberry bush clinging to the cliff nearby. He smiled, reached out for a nice ripe wild strawberry, and exclaimed, “Ah, how delicious.”

The old monk’s predicament may make us laugh, or make us feel sad for him, but is it so different than our predicament right now? With the past gone and the future uncertain, shouldn’t we learn to treasure the one thing we have right now—the present? Tai Chi classes at Columbia Tai Chi Center help you cultivate a state of peaceful presence that leads to real enjoyment of this moment in life.

“I like the straightforward, no nonsense attitude and approach to the presentation of the material. Very earthy, very real, very important in helping people develop proper root.” Jeff Donovan, Artist, Age 50, Columbia, SC

“This is the only school in South Carolina that I know of that offers such an amazing array of classes! There’s a day and time that should suit almost every schedule. I especially enjoy the curriculum and the instructor’s teaching style. Early on, as we would perform certain exercises in class, I would wonder how a particular movement would help me, only to see the connection in the very next class. Now, I look forward to how he builds a solid foundation before introducing more complex movements.” Barbara (Bobbie) Purvis, Retired Journalist, Age 55, Columbia, SC

“It’s been about three months (at two classes a week) and I still leave every class sweaty, calm, and happy. It’s stressed that there is no rush to learning everything at once. There are no ranks. You learn at a pace that Sifu [Adams] has found to be ideal over the past fifteen years of practicing Tai Chi.” Kevin Eleazer, Columbia, SC

The benefits of quality Tai Chi classes may seem miraculous, but just look at the facts…

There is an overwhelming amount of current medical research that supports the ancient reputation that Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Kung) have for greatly improving overall mental and physical wellness. Just read:

  • Tai chi reduces stress responses, lowering the incidence of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and general mood disturbance.” (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1989 Vol 33(2) 197-206)
  • 70% of all doctor’s visits are due to stress.” (Stress Management & Relaxation Technology, 1997)
  • Research directly comparing the practice of martial arts with other physical activities suggests that martial arts training produces positive psychosocial changes that are greater in magnitude and diversity than those produced by many other physical activities.” (Brad Binder, Phd., 1999,2007)
  • Tai chi boosts the immune system.” (Prevention Magazine v.42 May 1990, p. 14-15)
  • Like yoga, tai chi can “Slow the aging process…” (QiGong, The Art & Science of Chinese Energy Healing, Kenneth S. Cohen, Ballentine Books, NY, 1997)
  • Authentic tai chi “Improves postural control, while stretching toning, and relaxing the body in a cumulative way that no other exercise can achieve.” (American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1992 Apr Vol 46 (4) 295-300)

While the depth and breadth of benefits that practicing Tai Chi offers may seem miraculous, no one practice can take care of all of your mental and physical health needs. Here at Columbia Tai Chi Center you will also learn how apply the principles of Tai Chi to your whole life to achieve a balanced, healthy lifestyle. This will help you understand how to make better life decisions in every area –from diet to relationships.

Do you just want to do a little Tai Chi, or do you want to really change your life for the better by learning complete, traditional Tai Chi?

Students practicing Wu Chi and Universal Post

I have been a professional Tai Chi teacher for most of my adult life at my teacher Master Eric Sbarge’s school, The Peaceful Dragon, in Charlotte NC.

I moved here from Charlotte to start a center where the people of Columbia could go to benefit as much from learning complete, authentic, traditional Tai Chi training as I have personally.

My goal from day one has been to teach and pass on the art of Tai Chi Chuan in its complete form so that there is a place people can go to get the full benefit of the art, and so that the complete art is passed on to the next generation.

New students here at Columbia Tai Chi Center frequently comment on how nice it is to be among such positive, helpful, dedicated students

In Chinese traditions, the other students at your school are your brothers and sisters in the art of Tai Chi. You can really feel that tradition is alive and well here at Columbia Tai Chi Center.

I know for a fact that you will be amongst positive, motivated students because I conduct every enrollment personally – and I only encourage people to join when I feel like they are in the right place for the right reasons.

Unlike most Tai Chi classes, we don’t accept “drop-in” students that breeze in for an occasional class: Every student who is enrolled here is serious about changing their life for the better through the lifelong study and practice of Tai Chi. I could easily have twice as many students as I do now, which would make the center more profitable, but I’ve learned over the years not to sign up everyone who walks in the door.

I encourage a cooperative and close knit community of students. You will be in the fellowship of motivating, helpful students working together for the benefit of all.

I don’t encourage competition or comparison. We have different shirt colors and traditional sashes so you can tell how long a student has been here and what program they are in, but as far as learning Tai Chi, each student goes at their own pace.

“I began taking classes at the Columbia Tai Chi Center right after I was diagnosed with a relatively rare but serious digestive disorder. These classes have been an important part of my recovery process, so much so that my Gastroenterologist has been impressed with my recovery and said he will recommend Tai Chi to other patients who struggle with similar digestive issues. The martial art of Tai Chi paired with the healing art of Qigong (Chi Kung) taught here is a great combination.” Barbara (Bobbie) Purvis, Retired Journalist, Age 55, Columbia, SC

“The people I meet at the school are really great! They come from various backgrounds and ways of life and are very friendly and generous. They make training a joy! I feel stronger mentally and physically. Sifu Adams is very committed to our growth in the martial arts and my ‘Brothers’ and ‘Sisters’ are as well. We encourage each other to excel. It gives me a strong sense of family.” De Anna E. Beasley, Grad Student, Age 28, Columbia, SC

I’d love to meet you and give you a free class so that you can see if Tai Chi is what you’re looking for. You’ll learn a lot about Tai Chi and the very real benefits it provides. First we will chat for a bit about what you’re looking for so I can determine which of our programs can best help you achieve your goals. I will explain all of the features and benefits of our programs, and show you around our facilities and answer any questions you might have.

Due to the amount of interest in our classes, we are pre-screening all applicants before scheduling the Free Introductory Conference and Lesson. To apply for your Free Beginners Class, simply fill out the Application Form below. We can generally respond to online applications within 48 hours or less to confirm your reservation for your Free Beginners Class.

“Few things will improve your life as much as taking classes at Columbia Tai Chi Center.”

Bring a friend or family member

Over the years, I have noticed that one of the very best ways to get started is with someone. Any friend or family member that you think might be interested in coming with you to learn about Tai Chi is welcome; just make sure to have them sign up online so that we know how many people to expect.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Tai Chi and Columbia Tai Chi Center. I look forward to meeting you and letting you actually learn some Tai Chi so that you can truly appreciate the wonderful benefits it has to offer you!


Wesley Adams
Director and Head Instructor
Columbia Tai Chi Center

P.S.—There are always a thousand reasons to put off the truly important things in life—but never any good reasons! If you honestly have other things more important than your health and happiness to attend to, then so be it. But, if you understand that your health and happiness are truly important, and that you can do the most good for those you care about in your life by staying healthy and happy, then don’t waste another day!

All classes are held at 2761 Rosewood Drive.

If you live in West Columbia, Lexington, Blythewood, Irmo, Cayce, or any other area around Columbia, don’t worry, we have many students taking classes here from your area, and with our many flexible class times, you will be able to find times that work for you. If you live in West Columbia, Lexington, Blythewood, Irmo or Cayce but work in Columbia, then it’s even easier because we have many evening class times—so don’t let distance keep you from improving your life with Tai Chi!

Columbia Tai Chi Center

Hall of the Snake and Crane

2761 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29205, USA

If you live in West Columbia, Lexington, Blythewood, Irmo, Cayce, or any other area around Columbia, don’t worry, we have many students taking classes here from your area, and with our many flexible class times, you will be able to find times that work for you. If you live in West Columbia, Lexington, Blythewood, Irmo or Cayce but work in Columbia, then it’s even easier because we have many evening class times—so don’t let distance keep you from improving your life with Tai Chi!