Location Day Time
WILTON, CORK at the SMA Community Centre by the Wilton shopping centre. How To Find Us >>> Every Tue Beginners 6 pm and Advanced 6.30 pm
CARRIGALINE at St. Mary’s Parish Hall. 1 km after the roundabout, pass the playground, at the church. How To Find Us >>> Every Wed 6-7 pm
INCHYDONEY BEACH QIGONG, Clonakilty. If you want to try this in the winter, call me Fridays on 086 1591881. How To Find Us >>> Sat Morning Lessons 9.30 am and 11 am
AN SANCTOIR, Ballydehob, West Cork. How To Find Us >>> Every Fri 9.30 am – 10.45 am
Buy Lessons

5 Week Qigong, Tai Chi and Meditation Course – €65.00

Start And End Date Of Course

Qigong, Tai Chi and Meditation Try-Out Lesson – €14.00

Enter the Date Of Lesson Here

It’s important to explain to Mark any relevant background (i.e. sore back, recovering from an accident etc.) as well as desired benefits. This gives him a picture of what specific exercises you need to achieve self-healing through Qigong. People with challenges to their health (like Fibro, MS) are assigned specific Qigong exercises to practise daily, make sure to mention why you want to do Chi Gong to Mark.

Students should wear loose clothing, bring an extra top and Tai Chi, Martial Arts or any soft soled footwear, bring water are part of each class.

The lesson comprises of exercises that help the student to increase circulation of blood, breath and therefore their CHI. The general order is: Energy Warmups, loosening up and light stretches. This is followed by Chi Gong practises that change with the seasons or by special request, then general Qigong exercises that are considered the best for daily practise. Breath work and diverse (some original) Meditations.

Intermediate and advanced practitioners wishing to develop their practice and knowledge can learn an old Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan, Push Hands (Tui So), (wooden) Sword and Broadsword (a.k.a. Scimitar) styles.

Mark Sifu teaches various Chi Gong/Gung Exercises and Meditations. Included in the lesson are exercises that change according to the (Traditional Chinese Medicine) health season we are in. Self Healing Exercise and Breath Work and Pranic Healing exercises revitalise and increases our energy supply, general health and immunity to illness.

Any information about the above lessons or private tuition can be obtained by going to the contact page and mailing or phoning.

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Tai Chi, Qigong And Meditation On The Beach

Get your weekend off to a perfect start with Exercise and Meditation.

Every Saturday from May to September, Mark facilitates Self Healing Tai Chi and Qigong Exercises and Meditation on the beautiful blue flag beach at Inchydoney, Clonakilty.


What time and date is your beach lesson?

Tai Chi

Looking for inner calm, inspiration, or do you simply want to feel the soft West Cork sand between your toes on the beach and in the wonderful dunes, while doing something for your health?

Wake up your body and revitalise your mind, breathing in fresh sea air at a most serene time of day.

Surrounded by wildlife, fauna and flora, stimulate your body and mind.

Its great fun. First we’ll walk a bit, leaving our foot-wear safely at the rocks above the tide line.

Then, on our way to a quieter part of the lovely and clean, soft sandy beach, I’ll introduce good breathing, walking posture, and Exercise like Qigong Walking and Mind Calming techniques.

Once arrived at a suitable spot you will begin learning and practising special Qigong Exercises.

At the end of the session there is a guided meditation with the sounds of the sea and wildlife in the background.

It’s a thoroughly relaxing awareness experience.

Mark van Dam will meet you in front of the hotel at Inchydoney, by the wall of the terrace, be it dry or misty.

The best time to practise is early morning, so the first lesson is at 9.30 AM sharp, this is often a private lesson for just €15.

The second lesson is at 11 AM, back at the hotel about 12.30.

It suitable for all ages. We will lightly stretch all the muscles, sinews and joints while combining good breathing techniques that maximises oxygen intake and blood circulation.

Your body and mind will be in perfect condition to start your day.

Included in the cost is a password to free on-line meditations.

The lessons are drop in, do get in touch 086 1591881.

Book online now and get 10% off the normal price of €15.

You are guaranteed a lesson! If it rains or you must cancel, simply call/text in advance before 8.00 AM and we will book another day.

GPS Co-ordinates:

N51° 35m 80s, W08° 51m 70s

Do come prepared! A light sports jacket, sunglasses, sun-block cream and some water is very handy to bring along.

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Private/Small Group Retreat In West Cork

Feel and activate your internal energy and release your body’s self-healing powers at a Nature Retreat in West Cork, Ireland.

Promote deep relaxation and release any tension from within your nervous system.

If you are a beginner or an advanced student and would like to learn more Qigong or Tai Chi and meditate in a place where you can enjoy excellent tuition on a one to one or small group basis, then come over to West Cork and give yourself a special treat.

Surrounded by nature, uninterrupted by life’s hustle and bustle, you can simply relax, have diverse Tai Chi and Chi Gung lessons, follow guided meditations on a deserted beach and enjoy the outdoors. There are picturesque West Cork villages and towns to visit just 10 minutes drive away.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation all have many well-documented health benefits. You can achieve strong resistance to illness, improve concentration, self-confidence, enhance energy levels, learn how to release stress, obtain physical looseness, an agile body, and much more. Just imagine the results if you practice 1 on 1 or in a small group in the serenity of nature with Master Mark van Dam, who has over 25 years of experience.

Some of the lessons on offer include:

Tai Chi And Qigong In 18 Forms, “Shibashi”

The 18 Form is most beneficial to health and well-being in a learning + effort = benefit ratio. Muscles, sinews and joints are gently stretched. Through correct breathing a maximum of oxygen, blood and Chi is circulated around the whole body.5 lessons for €190. Not including accommodation.

When would you like to start?

Tai Chi And Qigong In 8 Forms, “Baduanjin”

Its good for:

  • Strengthening your back.
  • Stress relief.
  • Gently stretching all the muscles and sinews in your body.
  • Increasing circulation.

This quick and easy to learn Tai Chi and Chi Gung Form mixes the benefits of meditation with healthy exercise.

3 lessons for €115. Not including accommodation.

When would you like to start?

Private Lessons

These can include Tai Chi forms, Qigong exercises, Stress Relief techniques and Guided Meditations and access to all Online Meditations.

€45 per Single Lesson.

When would you like the lesson?

Included are recorded meditations and you will receive a free password to my meditations page on this site.

Personal assessment is free and should be concluded via correspondence.

Lesson times can be arranged to suit the student. e.g. Have 2 per day, or 5 in a week.

All the lessons have Chinese Health exercises as warmups beforehand, and guided meditation at the end.

Concessions are available. Discuss this with Mark personally.

We have a smallholding and there is the option of dining on un-sprayed, home produced meat and/or veg, served in a rustic manner.

Your stay would be at one of the local B and B’s, a five minute walk from our family home.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi and Chi Kung is all about practicing good continuous breathing, having good posture and releasing your body of tension in order to experience the warm Chi-energy flow.

Its easy, I can make you feel your body’s Chi energy during the first lesson.

Do the exercises 10 to 15 minutes daily and they will change your life!

The more regularly you practise, the more benefits you will gain.

The healthier you become, the more energy and resistance to illness you will have.

Release stress daily, by practising the qigong techniques and doing the guided meditations that are facilitated at these weekend courses.

The more you cultivate Chi, the more you will be able to sustain it. The diligent practice of Chi Kung, and the long-term cultivation of Chi can enable students to achieve great heights of personal and spiritual radiance, brightness and empowerment.


Students of these oriental exercises, who’ve had lessons somewhere, wonder will it be of any use to them in my lessons and if I do the same as their last teacher?
Any practice is most useful, just as previous Yoga experience helps the abdominal breathing and looseness, and the Alexander Method improves posture, for example.

All of these practices are part and parcel of the Tai Chi and qigong method of self-healing.

Now I probably don’t teach exactly the same Qigong exercises or Tai Chi form you might have learned, even if it is the same style of Tai Chi. That’s because we’re “individuals” and so are my teachers. The most important thing is to gain “Chi Flow” and receive the benefits of the exercise.

I’ve been “playing” Tai Chi and developing my qigong and meditation skills for over 25 years. My experience grows organically with what I deem important to me and my students’ needs.

The Qigong exercises I facilitate are simple and short and much easier to learn than Tai Chi and will give even more benefits if learned in a short course. Read more about it on this site.

“When you are performing Chi Kung sequences, your energy should move like the great rivers of the world that flow from all corners of the earth into the vast oceans. Yet at the same time as you are flowing like water, you are also strong, balanced and steady.”

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Corporate Team Building Activities

Are you a Company or Business looking for a healthy activity for everyone to participate in on your Team Building or Training Day?

Do you need a component in between a lot of sitting that will have a lasting personal effect for your personnel?
Something completely different to break the ice on the day? Guaranteed to be a memorable topic of conversation long after the event.

We facilitate simple, healthy, Self-Healing Exercise, in the form of Tai Chi and Qigong movement.

We provide short, easy to follow Meditations and other solutions to help create a healthier business, office and work environment.

Mark van Dam is a motivational speaker experienced in teaching the ways of Mindfulness.

We offer:

  • Understandable instruction.
  • Seminars that are tailored to suit individual company needs and goals.
  • Stress-relief training.
  • Original mindfulness.
  • All Packages provided on location.
  • Accesable light exercise for all ages.
  • Downloadable Meditations included.

Today’s lifestyle can be quite hectic. Although we know the body needs rest in order to function properly, we still neglect to take enough of a break in order to relax.

Being relaxed, calm open-minded and full of energy will create a much more productive team than a tired, uninvolved one.
Even in the healthiest of work situations, time is a demanding factor. This pressure alone can prevent any restful periods and create stress.

One of the ways to maximise the little time we find that we have to relax, is by doing Qigong exercise. It is not rigorous, it is easy to learn, and can be very beneficial even if practised for a minute.

Imagine continuously having the tools at your disposal for stress relief, prevention of illness and better sleep, all without have the negative side effects of drugs.

Feel “energised” in between meetings, during lunch break or just when you need it.

Some of the programs we have already provided:

  • Introduction to breathing and posture. Experience the relaxing, tension warding and energetic benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan.
  • Stress Management, using sitting guided mindfulness meditation or standing Qigong exercise.
  • Guided Self-Healing Meditations for groups.
  • Stress Relief Exercises that can be used anytime after the workshop.
  • Winding down and relaxing after the Conference/Training Day with T’ai Chi.

Included with all the courses is free access to a page on this site to videos and instructions as well as various Guided Meditations with specific goals in mind, for stress-relief, better sleep, relaxing the body.

The password protected page has various self-healing meditations. E.g. Basic Breathing, Stimulating and increasing the functions of any of the organs, Liver Detox, Releasing ones thoughts, Mindfulness.

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Integrating Qigong Training Into Sport Science

Simply put, the basic aim of Chigong (or Qigong) is to increase health and longevity by maximising the oxygen in blood, increasing circulation and calming the mind. However, it has been recognised by professional sportsmen and women all over the world as a very efficient way of:

  • Loosening muscles and joints in order to cope with pre-match/competition jitters (tension in the mind causes tension in the body) and increase flexibility in just 5 – 10 minutes without any rigorous stretches.
  • Relaxing the body and mind.
  • Increasing concentration and attentiveness, helping to focus on the game.
  • Aiding clarity of mind, which speeds up decision taking.
  • Increasing ability and accuracy, while decreasing nervousness.
  • Building strength and stamina.
  • Increasing energy during the game/competition as well as outside of it.
  • Strengthening joints, bones, muscle, increasing resistance to injury.
  • Keeping moods (mood swings) and hormones like testosterone, adrenalin and oestrogen balanced and level (less red cards).
  • Preventing the Female Athlete Triad disorder and recovery from it.
  • Qigong helps in maintaining a healthy and less stressful menstrual cycle.
  • Speeding up recovery. Some of my students are runners or do other sports extensively and have found it improves all of the above claims. Personally there is absolutely no doubt that I can ‘keep going’ longer and still do physical work after a couple of hours of sport using chi gung before and after, even if the training is as late as just before bedtime.
  • Chigong is the key to coordination, speed and balance in sport.
  • Many of my students continue to proclaim improved sleeping patterns.
  • There are special breathing techniques used by Chinese Olympians that can be applied during sport to increase stamina.

Sports Psychology

The intense highs and lows sports people experience can create negative emotions like anxiety, depression, changing self-esteem. There can be negative ways a player deals with fluctuating emotions, e.g. gambling, depression, excessive drinking. Practising Qigong helps to overcome this and aids self-discipline.

Tony Strudwick, Head of Fitness and Conditioning/Sport Science, Manchester United FC
On Psychological fitness “The better you are to deal with pressure (psychological coping skills) differentiates the top performance from the mediocre performance.” “You can have as much practise as you want but I think what differentiates the top performers is the ability to deliver when it counts. I think that comes down to psychology, even though I’m not a psychologist, that differentiates the winners from the second best”

Qigong exercise increases our levels of endorphins (happy chemicals naturally produced in the brain) in the blood, helping ease these downward spirals of emotion.

Practising Chigong daily has been shown to promote relaxation and to benefit anxiety, depression and blood pressure. I.e. The mind copes in a positive way with emotions when the body chemistry is stable.

Sports psychologists have been working on the best ways for athletes to be “in the zone” or achieve “a state of flow” for about 40 years.

The focus in training has been on the physical alone too long and there have been too few solutions to developing our inner selves, enabling us to handle very stressful situations in a calm and neutral manner associated with sports competition.

Qigong is a viable training method to cultivate and achieve balance between the mind-body-spirit in sports performance while working on flexibility and repair simultaneously

I guarantee that Athletes practising Qigong exercises and Meditations will sustain longer period of optimal performance, have more stamina, faster and better quality stress relief and better recovery for mind and body.

A regular session with Mark van Dam would take from 30 to 60 mins.

Daily practise would be just 10 to 20 mins, part of which is performing light stretches.

A 5 to10 minute Qigong session before the regular warm-up and making some Qigong part of your post regeneration session will provide all the above benefits and more.

Mark van Dam, born 1960, has over 25 years of experience in Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Mindfulness and Meditation. He has always played sports, like rugby and kung fu, but now prefers surfing and windsurfing regularly and of course practises Qigong daily.

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Teaching Special Needs Groups

Mark has many years of experience teaching special needs classes, going back more than ten years. He has been to Bantry and Cork as well as Mount Upton and Clonakilty working with disabled persons. The meditations have a great calming effect on more energetic clients. Breath-work has a well-documented effect on serious illnesses like MS and Fibro. Most students with this level of health challenge have claimed the benefits of these simple Qigong exercises they practised during the courses.

In addition to working with any level of needs people at the Centre, Mark could do a half day of facilitating for the health workers, or an hour. There could be a course for an hour a week for a month and as in some cases, lessons are on-going.

The programme is flexible and has different exercises for different groups. e.g. Wheelchair bound clients would have a sitting exercise while those that can stand would do the standing version. Mentally challenged students would have a very simple task e.g. breathing exercise and a simple circular motion with the hands and arms with their breath coordinating with the movement.

The aim of such a program: To increase the Health and Wellness of any participants

There are several objectives of these courses:

  • Promoting well-being.
  • Increasing knowledge of Tai Chi and Qigong moves, i.e. stimulating people’s memory and motor functions.
  • To promote relaxation.
  • To gain physical and mental stress relief.
  • Having a useful healthy activity to keep clients occupied

Each weekly session will incorporate elements of the following:

  • Show people how to breathe better using abdominal breathing
  • Qigong, Meditation and Tai Chi exercises
  • Chinese healthy exercise for disabled persons
  • Short discussions on nutrition
  • Working on sitting standing and lying postures
  • Relaxing moves
  • Standing exercises
  • Emotional harmonising meditation
  • Eye exercises
  • Visualisation exercises
  • Standing and Sitting postures

To create a challenging aspect of following the course and boost self-esteem, I provide certification for clients who participate.

Physically and/or mentally handicapped people are very open to trying something different like Qigong and Tai Chi. Meditation seems to happen in all the centres I’ve worked in, and whereas Yoga can become too physically challenging for some, the exercises I facilitate cater for all kinds of range of motion. Some of them are used in the HSE in England, where there are recognised programmes for rehabilitation. There are tens of thousands of pages on the net with proof that Qigong exercises create a healthy body and mind. From the results I have seen personally, it’s a great asset for any Charity Special Needs Organisation to include Qigong in their programme. I have worked with different official Needs Organisations over ten years and enjoy the challenge. I am familiar with the regular assessments and filling of forms so that takes a minimum of time off the actual lesson.

Mark van Dam is registered with the VEC.

Some things Clients in A needs charity have to say about Mark’s Courses:

K. McC and D.G. in particular feel that the Tai Chi programme helps maintain their mental wellness

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Transition Year Courses

Transition year is an empowering opportunity for second level students to reach their full potential through experimenting with a range of different subjects and exploring options for a career.

Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation are time proven ways to successfully stimulate the body and mind. It is well documented that these exercises de-stress, focus the mind, and aid self-esteem.

Please click on the image to the right to enlarge and read the Inchiclough School Reference.

Medical research publication on the effects of Qigong:


These ancient disciplines are useful both for continued study and for a student’s lifetime.

Transition year courses are flexible in duration and are facilitated by a qualified instructor with 27 years experience.

The content provides self-healing exercise and tailor-made original meditations, promoting a healthy body and mind as well as resistance to illness.

The course is physical and practical.

There is a workshop on Stress Management.

There are no special clothes/mats etc. needed.

Your students will receive a certificate which will enhance their CV.

Short and simple meditations and other solutions help create a healthier study, classroom and sporting environment.

As well as explaining how to meditate to release those stresses from study, exam pressure and general anxiety, there is access to many original meditations online included in the price.

Students would learn a 15 min. routine that provides them with enough movement and circulation to let them study another hour or two, at which point the routine or one of the single exercises benefiting all-round circulation and health should be repeated.

Studying involves long hours of sitting which, while necessary, can deplete the body and mind, leading to complications.

My courses provide useful tools helping to prevent stiffness, flu’s and colds, RSI, depression, anxiety, lack of physical health and well-being, burn-out, lack of sleep and other health challenges a student might encounter at any level of education.

These exercises and routines are useful when studying at home, where there is no team sport or sport opportunity quickly accessible, enabling one to be active for a while after sitting still for a long time.

Posture training is a basic part of the exercises learnt. Improper body alignment is another way we can create unnecessary discomfort and tension. It becomes impractical because the body uses unnecessary muscular contractions to hold itself in an unwarranted and structurally unsound position. Learning Qigong exercises helps to relax tense shoulders and improves posture.

More than 120 million people all over the world practise Chi Gung.



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Since starting Tai Chi classes early last Summer my breathing has improved considerably and I have not had to seek medical attention for any chest complaint in that period of time. This is a BIG first for me as I have been suffering with bronchial problems for the past number of years, been diagnosed as having asthma and have been keeping the doctor’s surgery going in scripts for antibiotics! So thank you Tai Chi – long may the improvement last.

Nora P Donovan.

January 2005

Some bitter sweet news that affects my ChiGong classes. I have been offered the job of my dreams working with the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. I'm sad that this means I cannot continue with my chi gong classes as the classes were something I always looked forward to and it was a privilege to learn from a master like yourself. I plan to be home in Cork at weekends so when the beach classes begin I can continue to learn from you and I will definitely continue with your meditations.

Thanks again for all the wonderful and masterful teaching. I have had a particularly tough year since starting your classes and chi gong definitely helped me through the tough and often emotional times. ( I was struggling with PTSD). Your fabulous energy was/is always contagious.

I've only ever met one other person in my lifetime who rendered me speechless with his energy as you always did. He too was a great teacher and healer.

Joanne O'Meadhra-Elder

3 April 2015


Should you have any questions regarding any of the content on this website or if you are having issues downloading the content, you can contact Mark directly by using either of the following methods:

Telephone: 00353 23 885 7370
Mobile:  086 1591881

Tai Chi And Chi Gung County Cork ~ Taijiquan And Qigong Lessons County Cork ~ Meditation County Cork
Chi Kung County Cork ~ Stress Relief County Cork ~ Well Being County Cork ~ Health County Cork