Authentic Tai Chi Video Lessons
Tai Chi Chuan is a Chinese form of exercise derived from Taoism, one of China's oldest belief systems. The practice of Tai Chi Chuan is beneficial to health and it is also a subtle, sophisticated and scientific method of self-defence. Since this system of exercise is suitable for people of all ages and requires little or no special equipment, it has gained an enthusiastic reception all over the world. Tai Chi Chuan evolved to help people improve their physical health, equip them to defend themselves against wild beasts and bandits, and also improve their powers of meditation. In other words, Tai Chi Chuan enables people to survive through fitness and self-defence. Advantages of practising Tai Chi Tai Chi Chuan is good exercise which enables us to develop a healthy body as well as an alert mind. It is a system of exercise suitable for people of all ages. This exercise requires little or no special equipment. It can be practised in a relatively small area either indoors or outdoors....
Please note All of the above Qi flows can be enhanced or kept at their maximum by practising the different ways that we practise either the New Yang Style Taijiquan (Yang Cheng-fu) or the Old Yang Style (Yang Lu-ch an). However, it is only the Yang Lu ch'an's form in which we are able to enhance the fa jing Qi flow. All of the ways that we perform our Taijiquan will enhance all of the eight flows of Qi to a certain degree (other than the fa jing flow), hence the fact that all Taijiquan is good for your health. However, certain ways of performing our Taijiquan will work better than other ways in enhancing certain flows of Qi. Therefore, I will present those different ways of performing the Taijiquan form that will greatly enhance certain flows.
Well, there are certain physical and internal signs that one is able to look for provided they are told about them. In just the same way that the body lets you know what it wants in the way of healing, provided that you are in tune with your body, Taijiquan lets you know how you are progressing by having certain physiological signs appear in or on your body. These signs begin the moment you begin your Taijiquan and Qigong training.
There are many schools of Chinese wush (martial arts), all with technical skills based on philosophy. Since ancient times, many people have devoted their lifetime and energhy to probing the nature and essence of wush and mastering the maximum skills, but few have succeeded. However, a learner can improve his skill if he keeps on practising and someday he will become an expert. As the saying goes Drops falling, if they fall constantly, will bore through a stone. Taijiquan is a part of the rich cultural heritage of China. It is an art in whose slow and gentle movements are embodied vigour and force. As a Chinese saying aptly puts it, Inside the cotton is hidden a needle . Its technical, physiological and mechanical qualities all have a philosophical basis. For learners, the guidance of a good teacher and discussions of the skills and techniques with friends are necessary, but the most important thing is persistent and untiring practice. Indeed, there is nothing like practice, and...
In learning,use natural breathing through the nose, but keep the breathing slow and gentle. With practice, breathing will be gradually mateched with the movements. Intentional matching of breathing with movements for beginners may, however, be harmful. After about one year's practice of Tai Chi Chuan when the movements become correct, smooth and effortless, the teacher may be requested to give instructions on the method of breathing during the exercise. 16. Tai Chi Chuan may be played any time of the day, but the best time is in the early morning before breakfast and one hour before bed time. Avoid doing it immediately after a heavy meal, and do not sit down or take a cold water bath immediately after the exercise.
The principles and techniques of Tai Chi Chuan are somewhat unusual. All however are contained in the Golden Maxims handed down by Wu Ho-Ching. For beginners it is necessary to give here a summary. 25. Never use strength against strength. An opponent's force should be yielded to. When the left side is pushed (when force is applied to it) it should become unreal (empty, yielding). Same with the right. The rest can be treated in a similar way. These are negative ways. The positive way is to use the opponent's force, even to throw him, pound or subdue him. The technical term here is borrowing strength . The techniques of Tai Chi Chuan are the most useful in general to attain this end.
When we first begin to learn Taijiquan, many expect instant miracles. Nevertheless, it takes time for Taijiquan even to begin to have any appreciable effect upon your immediate physical health and your mental health. The reason for this is that Taijiquan is indeed the supreme form of Qigong. However, it takes time for a new student to be doing Taijiquan as opposed to learning it. And there is a big difference. When one learns Taijiquan, he or she is in complete physical and conscious mode. I.e., you will be thinking about every movement just trying to get the physical movement correct. This is not doing Taijiquan. It is said (by masters of past) that to think is to block the Qi. In fact, conscious thought is the same as physical tension and physical tension blocks or impedes the normal flow of Qi. This is why we are told that we must attain a state of sung while doing Taijiquan. Sung is that state that one gets into just before sleep, not quite awake and not asleep. Some call this an...
Many people will have heard of Taiji, which consists of beautiful movements and is good for the health. Actually Taiji originated in Northern China and belongs to the martial arts. Unfortunately it is not easy to learn -the sequences of the movements are complex and therefore difficult to pick up. Taiji Qigong, however, consists of only eighteen movements taken from the Taiji forms, dance and daily life movements. They improve your health - in particular they strengthen your internal organs - and they allow you to treat your health problems yourself.
Those in the world who have heard about Taijiquan, are not few in number. They know how to differentiate between the pure and the sundry, that their flavours are different. Pure Taiji, is such that arms are like cotton wrapping iron, soft and heavy. When pushing hands, one can distinguish. When holding a person, the hands are extremely light but one cannot pass. When emitting a person, its like discarding an elastic ball, rapidly crisp, not receiving any strength. Those tumbled out, only feel a single move, but don't feel any pain, and are already tumbled out more than three and a half metres. When adhering to a person, there is no grabbing or seizing, lightly sticking, like being stuck to glue and not being able to discard it, causing the person's arms to be unbearably sore and numb. This then is real Taiji. If one uses strength to press and push a person, although one can control a person and hit him out. But it will definitely entail great effort, the one receiving will feel pain,...
Above all, Taijiquan exponents are encouraged to be moral people. A sense of righteousness, chivelry, kindness, compassion, nobility and being a benefit to society should always be the code of conduct for a Taijiquan practitioner. A good example of a moral Taijiquan exponent will be the great master Sun Lu Tang who was not only a great martial artist but also a great man. A practitioner should embody the principles of his art and apply its strategems and philosophies in their dealings with all things. The aim of Taijiquan as a martial art is to stop violence conclusively without recourse to more violence, most of the time the violence is redirected against itself or rendered ineffectual. Hence Taijiquan exponents usually just overpower their opponents by turning their own violence against themselves, educating them rather than hurting them. Violence begets violence but by making violence not an option by rendering it pointless, since in Taijiquan it acts against itself, the...
Yi (mind) and chi (breath) are found inside the human body without form or colour. The eyes are unable to view but the chi has a very important role. Our bodies are full of chi circulating and cultivating the body. The chi is formed with fire from the 'ming men'. The fire refines the 'jieng' to become chi. The Taoists describe it as 'water and fire already present or the 'nei dan'. It is stored in the area of the dan tien. The Taoists value chi very much. Usually, people think the blood is the most important essence in the body, they do not know that chi is even more important than blood. Chi is the chief while blood is the assistant. We need blood that contains the essentials (vitamins, minerals, etc.) but chi is the transportation, making it more important. Chi is heavy while blood is light. If we do not have enough blood, we can still temporarily survive. Without enough chi, we die immediately. Therefore to cultivate chi is very important. The importance of Tai Chi Chuan is to...
Most people think of Yang Tai Chi Chuan as transmitted by the standardiser of the style Yang Cheng Fu as consisting only of one routine. And that Yang Cheng Fu taught the art only as a health art rather than as a combat one. This is a wrong perception. Yang Cheng Fu viewed his art as a combat art that was also a means of gaining good health. His two books on Tai Chi Chuan all focused on it as a martial art and provided martial explanations for the postures, martial theorems and he taught his art not as a form of moving calesthenics but as a combat art. So great was Yang Cheng Fu's combat skills that he was never known to have been defeated. And he did teach a second advanced set Tai Chi Long Boxing. So where did the misconception that Yang Tai Chi Chuan was mainly health oriented come from Mainly from those who cannot understand how a soft appropriate response to an attack is more effective than a reposite with great power which may not necessarily be efficient or appropriate. And...
Other than the fact that it's name can be translated as The Supreme Ultimate Fist', Taijiquan has always been noted as a highly effective combat art. It first became widely noted as a combat art when the art was brought to the capital of China, Beijing, by Yang Lu Chan when he taught at the imperial court. Yang was challenged many times but no one ever came close to defeating him. So great was his skill that the martial artists bestowed on him the title 'Yang The Invincible'. assumption that Yang Taijiquan is solely health oriented and not combat effective. By practicing Taijiquan as a martial art, one can gain the health benefits. Yang Cheng Fu, in his book The Practical Application of Taijiquan wrote In Taijiquan, the ability to cultivate oneself physically and spiritually, but not to defend oneself, accomplishment. The soft Taiji method is the true Taiji method. The ability to teach the art of Taiji. (translation adapted from Douglas Wile's translation) In these modern times, with...
From early writings of those who recorded the art of Taijiquan we have some descriptions of how these sets were done. We begin with Gu Liu Xin, a noted Taijiquan historian who was responsible for organising the publication of much of the published material on the different styles of the art during the 1960s. He writes in his introduction to the book 'Yang Shi Taijiquan' (Yang Style Taijiquan) by Fu Zhong Wen in 1963 and also in Yang Zhen Duo's English book the following about how Yang Shao Hou, Yang Cheng Fu's older brother, practiced his form His taijiquan 'frame' style was originally similar to his brother's, but later it gradually changed to the style of high 'frame' with lively footwork and well-knit small movements, alternating quick with slow actions. He was swift and powerful in delivering his blows and, with eyes blazing like torches, a grim smile on his face and roaring and howling as he darted back and forth, he was held in awe by others (Gu Liu Xin, his introduction to...
'When the breath is concentrated in the Tan tien, it may bring the vital fluid everwhere. The vital fluid is the well known biotin , which consists of air and other nutrients including dissolved food. According to Taoism, it may sublimated intoe Essence (Jing), Vitality (Qi) and Spirit (Shen), in sequence. That is to say, the physical ingrediants are transformed into psychical beings or energies. When one's body is full of it, one will not only be strong and alove but also attain longevity, even immortality.' Primodial Pugilism (Tai Chi Chuan) by Dr Tseng Ju-Pai, 1975, Paul H. Crompton Ltd (Dr Tseng was a disciple of YCF) The same process is mentioned in 'The Principles Of Taijiquan' by Yue Tan (his father Yue Huan Zhi was famous for his Kong Jing in his Taijiquan), 1991, Shanghai Translation & Publishing Centre, Inc, ISBN 7-80514-779-5 G.222 Chen Wei Ming mentions the same process in his Taijiquan Da Wen (Questions & Answeres On Taijiquan) which unfortunately is not completely...
There are situations where the skills and principles above require some augmentation to make them even more effective. This is usually where the opponent's skill level is high enough so that an effective counter is not possible using less injurous means. With such situations stronger discouragement is required and to cater for such eventualities, Yang Taijiquan has four advanced combat skills. These four skills can only be learned and applied effectively after one is able to understand each individual portion of any technique. In other words, one must be able to comprehend and put into practice the feet, tenths, hundreth parts and thousandth parts in Taijiquan. These four skills are recorded in the handwritten manual handed down from Yang Lu Chan. It must be noted that the four skills are not used entirely on their own but are integrated to form a comprehensive system of attack and defence built upon the basics of stability, sensitivity, agility and efficient use of the body and...
Wang Tsung Yueh's Taijiquan Classic Taiji comes from infinity from it spring yin and yang. In movement the two act independently in stillness they fuse into one. There should be no excess and no insufficiency. You yield at your opponent's slightest pressure and adhere to him at his slightest retreat. To conquer the strong by yielding is termed withdraw (tsou). To improve your position to the Taiji hinges entirely upon the player's conciousness (i) rather than upon his external muscular force (li). When attacking above, you must not forget below when striking left, you must pay attention to the right and when advancing, you must have regard for retreating. This principle applies for both the attacker and defender. If you wan to pull something upward, you must first push it down, causing the root to be severed and the object to be immediately toppled. The substantial and the insubstantial must be clearly differentiated. Every part of the body has both a substantial and an insubstantial...
Yang Cheng Fu's Tai Chi Long Boxing is seldom taught today. It is practiced by relatively few Tai Chi Chuan exponents even in China. Only those who trained in the earlier period with Yang Cheng Fu or his close disciples got to learn the form. It was kept quite secret and in Chen Wei Ming's lineage, its sometimes referred to as Tai Chi Kept Boxing (kept or keep in Chinese is pronounced 'chang' which is phonetically the same as the Chinese term for long, so this is a Chinese pun), meaning that it was kept within doors and not transmitted outside. Yang Shou Chung, Yang Cheng Fu's son, taught this form to his three daughters and some of his close disciples like Mr Yip Tai Tuck and Mr Chu Gin Soon. They continue the family tradition of teaching this rare form to advanced students. There are also other teachers who continue to teach this advanced set. It is fortunate that this rare form is not lost and continues to guide serious Tai Chi exponents on the intricacies of Tai Chi combat.
The main mode of practice in Taijiquan is to do it slowly. This ensures that good fundamentals are built, the Classics themselves exhort us to do the same. None of the sets described in the previous section which contain faster movements is a set that is done first and none of them is the main set in the system. Yang Shao Hou only taught the small frame to those who had achieved a high enough proficiency in the slow form. Yang Cheng Fu and his son Yang Shou Chung only taught Taiji Long Boxing to students who had attained a good level of skill in the slow form. This was the same for his disciples who taught the form. The Tung family fast form is also an advanced set only taught to advanced students as is the Wu style fast form taught by Mah Yueh Liang and Wu Ying Hua.
How To Use T'ai Chi As a Fighting Art This book is provided free of charge in good faith so that all may enjoy the great benefits of this pinnacle of all Taijiquan systems. You may download it free of charge. But please do not plagiarize it. Even though it is free, it is still covered by international copyright laws.
The hands are the most important aspect of Taijiquan. If you have the hands right, you cannot have anything else wrong For to have the hands correct, means that the whole body must be in total balance both internally and externally. This shows in your Taijiquan practise. One of the things that has stuck in my mind more than anything else that I have ever learnt is the hands must breathe . Others also know about this, however, few ever get the translation correct. People try to imagine that their hands have a mouth They then try to breathe in and out of their hands They breathe out for instance and imagine that this breath is coming from the centre of the hands. Nothing that is impossible physically can be used as a tool to try to get something happening. So breathing out of your hand is not possible and nothing will happen internally if you think about this. What is meant by breathing hands , is that the hands pulsate yin and yang. Someone watching would be hard pressed to see this...
Tai Chi (the Supreme Ultimate), It was born from Wu Chi (No Ultimate). It produces both movement and stillness, It is the mother of Yin and Yang. Some definitions are in order here. The term Wu Chi means No Ultimate, as opposed to Tai Chi , the Supreme Ultimate. It can be found in a passage of the Zuo Chuan, the commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals written by a disciple of Confucius around the beginning of the 3rd century BC, where women are described as being wu chi or without limit in their desires (24th year of Duke Xi). In the Tao Te Ching (Canon of the Way and of Virtue), c. 4th century BC, the term also appears but with more of a cosmological connotation, saying that, if one is a model for the kingdom, constant virtue will not be lacking and one may return to Wu Chi . Tai Chi may have been a later concept as the first known reference to Tai Chi in Chinese literature is in Appendix III of the Book of Changes (I Ching) which dates from around the 2nd century BC It states -...
This movement is the same as the opening movement of many Taiji forms. When you perform it your whole body will be stimulated. The circulation becomes stronger, so the blood will flow through the joints and nourish them. This movement is therefore good for poor circulation and arthritis.
Training a good foundation is something often talked about in Chinese Martial Arts and Taijiquan is no exception. But how does a strong foundation help and what happens when you have to move When we study Taijiquan, we find there are many big stances, this is particularly true in Chen style Taijiquan. In Yang style Taijiquan, the stance are generally smaller, but it is still common to see big stances in the movements and stationary postures in the forms. The reason the stances are this way is due to the fact that we need to learn how to use the waist. This is because in Taijiquan, all movements come from the waist. If we want to learn how to move our waist more, then we need to keep our position stationary. We do not move ourfeet. This means there is no foot work in the stance. The bigger the stance, the stronger or more stable the Ma. The smaller the stance, the weaker or less stable the Ma. In Taijiquan there is Big Frame or Da Jia and Small Frame or Xiao Jia. Chen Style has both Da...
Without true balance your Qi will never be able to be used to heal others or in the self-defence area. Balance is the singularly most important aspect of your Taijiquan training. Once you have established 'balance' and more importantly, understood it, your training will do for you what it is supposed to do. It's difficult getting out of the habit of thinking of each posture as a set of movements, where we have a place and a time to put our hands, a place and time to put our feet, legs waist, head and so on. We tend to think of each posture in the way that we learnt it, although we may have been practising for 30 years or more. Herein lies the danger in teaching Taijiquan the way that we do, in bits. However, nowadays, we who have not the time to be full time training, following the master each day, learning the form as a whole identity, just doing it rather than learning postures, have no other way. We must learn Taijiquan in bits. So it is important that we have some way of getting...
Tai Ch'i Ch'uan (also spelled Taiji Quan, T'ai Chi Chuan and many other ways) is the most advanced of the Chinese internal fighting styles. It is best known in the West as a yoga-like type of exercise, but it has martial applications as well, as its name ( supreme ultimate fist or yin-yang boxing ) indicates.
Begin with a brief introduction to Taijiquan as it is considered the 'Mother' of all of the internal martial arts. There was a time when Taijiquan was considered the pinnacle of Chinese philosophy and self defence. Sadly, nowadays, this once great art has been relegated to the backwaters of the martial arts systems. This is because not many teachers know how to use Taijiquan for self-defence. Self defence seems to have been lost in a quagmire of mystical mumbo-jumbo somewhere around the late 1960s to the mid 1970s when the 'new age' movement adopted Taijiquan as its mascot, turning it into a woozy little dance that was supposed to cause one to see God. It also helped to have smoked a couple of joints of the best Lebanese hash. In these cases, the Taijiquan really did not make much difference, but hell, they needed something to do with their hands and feet. The word 'Qi' as used in conjunction with Taijiquan, also received a battering from the new age movement in that it became the...
The word 'Qi' is not the 'ji' or chi as in the second word in t'ai chi ch'uan or Taijiquan. This 'ch'i' means a peak (ultimate) and its Chinese character looks like a mountaintop. Qi as in the internal means breath or energy. Qi is the most important aspect of one's Taijiquan training without which we would all die. Qi is given to us at birth and is our life force, the very thing that holds our molecules together, an electrical force. Now it stands to reason that if we have little of this force then we are not too healthy, or if the flow of Qi is impeded, then likewise. Therefore, we first have to build up some of this stuff so that our internal organs are literally bathed in life giving Qi. However, if we then wish to use this stuff to heal others then we must turn it into a useable form called 'jing'. Jing can be likened to, as water is to steam. We gain much 'water' from our Taijiquan and Qigong practise and then we turn it into 'steam' so that we are able to make it work for us....
This rule also goes for all the joints in the body. A useful analogy here is to think of water in a hose-pipe. When the pipe has a twist in it. or a light bend, the water ceases to flow smoothly, or may stop altogether, the same applies to the chi in the body. So. try to maintain a relaxed and flexible look to the limbs, without tension. 'Ibis, again, enables the blood and other vital fluids of the body to flow easily and without obstruction. You will notice that a quality of openness and space can be seen in all the photographs featured in this book Ibis is particularly important in tai chi. referring back to this section occasionally, even when you feel you have 'learned' the form thoroughly. In times of doubt, or whenever you suspect your tai chi is not flowing smoothly, check you are not doing something fundamentally wrong to upset your equilibrium.
In tai chi. there is always a generous amount of space under the arms, leaving the armpits with an open feeling. Also, the elbows do not come into contact with the sides at any time, as shown far left. AH this frees off the chest ant rib-cage it allows you to breathe more easily and encourages the energy to flow more smoothly along the irms. Do not overdo this, though -we tire not seeking the gorilla' look here Yon simply need to adopt a posture of openness and relaxation.
On the foot diagrams, the foot bearing the higher percentage of weight is labelled. The shaded area indicates the part of the foot in contact with the ground. Against these diagrams you will find the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west (except for the stances involved in moving from one direction to another). These are traditionally used by tai chi teachers to help students find the correct orientation here, they are given as a guide only, to help with the learning process. In practice, this is preferable to continually referring to left and right, which can become confusing. You do not literally have to face these directions. When dotted lines are shown, these indicate a change of position - that a step has taken place the dots show (he location of the previous stance. Each movement is accompanied by instructions for breathing do not force yourself to follow ihese if you feel at all uncomfortable. Begin by finding your own rhythm of inhalation and exhalation you will...
When Taijiquan was invented, it was always started facing the Wudang Shan (Mountain), which was to the North in the village. The form was changed to the modern style of today, so that this posture now faced the West, and so the name was then irrelevant So most people simply changed the name to Ride Tiger
As you place your left foot to the East in a bow stance, load your palms ready for the next fa-jing movement. The left palm's fingers are pointing to the East while the right palm is held in a Taijiquan fist to the rear, loaded ready to strike out to the rear. Photo No. 368. As you place your weight onto your left leg, exhale as you fa-jing, poking your left fingers violently to the East as your right fist strikes to the rear. Photo No. 369.
When you do your tai chi. always allow your weight to sink down. A slight bend to the knees helps to create the typical tai chi appearance, which is somewhat low-slung and stealth-like. This characteristic should be cultivated during all of your work so that the movements Jlow one into the other without bobbing up or down. J'you took closely, you will see that in almost all of the stances shown in this book, the knees have a considerable bend to them.
It may only be one arm, or both - but there is always an echo of the form itself. Throughout these exercises, your mind should be focused on the cycle of the breath and on the cyclical movements of energy around the body - rising up the spine, along the arms, or over the head and down the front of the body back to the Tcin Tien. And try to disregard any feelings of impatience or discomfort. Those who specialize in chi kung often hold these positions for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, though as an adjunct to tai chi practice, just a few minutes is quite sufficient. Remember, too, that you do not need to do all the exercises together in series. Just explore each one occasionally at the beginning or end of your tai chi session hold the stance for as long as is comfortable, looking - without effort - for that point of stillness within, and see how you feel. Bear in mind that chi kung, like tai chi itself, is as much about using the mind as it is about...
Here the lingers straighten out to give a flattened appearance (.sue right). It is not often encountered, but when it is. it must not become a source of tension. Although the fingers are Jdiiiy straight compared to most tai chi movements, they should not become rigid and stiJJ'. this allows the chi to keep flowing. from the shoulders right to the J'ingertips. In order for the vital energy to flow unimpeded through the entire body, you need to keep your spine and limbs correctly aligned and your joints open and loose. The following advice will help you to maintain this proper alignment during your tai chi practice. It is worth
Our vital energy centre is situated in the abdomen - it is a point just below the navel called the Tan Tien. In tai chi. all of the turns, steps and rotations should be directed from here - like a searchlight guiding the movements of the limbs. We also try to direct our breathing down into that area even though the air itself' obviously goes to the lungs, we still imagine the essence' of the breath sinking to the Tan Tien, a constant focus of attention. Try to retain this quality of selj'-awareness throughout your tai chi practice.
The first part is where it gets its name because of in application only, the violent flicking of the right wrist to four neck points. Breathe in as you rotate your right palm to upward and turn your left fingers in so that they touch the inside of your right elbow. Photo No. 30. This will be done for now only moving the palms as you are beginning However, later in order to create the great power that the waist can generate when the body is in a state of 'sung', you must also turn your waist firstly to your left, the back to the right and slightly left again. This is a fa-jing shake'. Allow the tips of your fingers to come together with your thumb thus making a kind of 'beak' as your turn your right palm down. Photo No. 31. You have now done a counter clockwise circle with your right palm. Now, push your right palm through that circle until your right elbow is locked. This is the only time that there is a straight arm in Taijiquan There is a good reason for...
It is important for martial artists, especially of the 'internal schools' to be conversant with all of the regular kicking techniques in order to know how to defend against them. Too many Tai Chi practitioners use the old 'cop out' of if it isn't in the form, I won't use it . What happens of course is that his opponent uses a kick that he is not familiar with and so he is struck I don't believe in using high flashy kicks but I do think that it's necessary to know how to use them. The most devastating kicks are low to the legs these are almost impossible to defend against especially if used in a defensive mode.
Your arms must be totally relaxed, using only the right amount of muscle to hold them up there. If you are attacked you must immediately change to yin, i.e. you relax your attacking portion and re-attack using the folding principle. I will cover this very important T'ai chi aspect later. I was invited to attend a workshop given by Dan Inosanto so that I was able to write an article for the Magazine, Australasian Fighting Arts for which I have my own column, and I
Here, we step for the first time on to the diagonal axis. Movements of this kind present a fresh challenge, helping us to develop our own sense of orientation. We are now compelled to work in relation to our own centre, without reference to our surroundings - the walls of the room, for example, are no longer of use in lining things up. This enhanced self-awareness is an important stage in the tai chi journey.
To the aspiring student of tai chi, the search for suitable instruction can often develop into something of an eternal quest - a path which becomes, the higher one ventures, ever more mysterious, inscrutable - and expensive. It is also notoriously competitive, featuring numerous different styles whose exponents do sometimes try. but usually fail, to reconcile themselves to one another. lite result is a rather pleasant and refreshing anarchy. with still no genuinely international or even, to the author's knowledge, national organization representing the whole of the subject, despite the impressive titles that such organizations might employ. Most people who study tai chi seriously. however, will want to contact a class or group sooner or later in order to progress and to have their tai chi checked over by a more experienced individual. The following routes are suggested.
Regularly practised, they give long-term protection against arthritis and other painful ailments that reduce the original flexibility of the body. If you are an advanced student (for example, if you have practised Tai Chi Chuan for several years), you can warm up instead with the Ba Duan Jin system described in Chapter 4.
Robert Parry School of Tai Chi and Body The Healing School of Tai Chi If you are particularly interested in the martial arts side of tai chi, look for advertisements in combat or kung fu magazines. Also, most of the more prestigious schools will Ik- keen to train their pupils in martial skills anyway, though this is by no means obligatory. WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR Qualifications, if they exist at all. will usually have been awarded within a particular school, and will have been bestowed upon loyal pupils who have, in the fullness of time, become instructors themselves. But note these credentials are not necessarily an insurance of excellence. Rather, the best qualifications to look for in a prospective teacher of tai chi, or any other subject for that matter, are kindness, patience and a willingness to share his or her knowledge with others. If these are lacking, no matter how grandiose the titles, try elsewhere.
I is always a good idea to do some warm-up exercises before your tai chi if your joints are loose and your muscles warmed beforehand you will get the maximum benefit from the tai chi itself. Also, if you are working outdoors, especially in cool weather, warming up ensures
Keeping your feet as they are, change your weight onto your right foot as you again bring both palms into your chest maintaining that same distance of wrist to elbow and push both palms out to the E. in an attack. Exhale fully. Photo No. 106. Doing this movement at an advanced stage, you should change the weight on the one foot (left) from heel to toe and back again, in keeping with the classics of Taijiquan where we must always have a weight change with every movement regardless of whether it is a movement on one leg or from one leg to another
You have now done a counter clockwise circle with your right palm. Now, push your right palm through that circle until your right elbow is locked. This is the only time that there is a straight arm in Taijiquan There is a good reason for this however. Yin and Yang energy (electricity) if we are using Internal Energy as opposed to pure physical strength, must have its opposite to return to the body. In the next movement we are doing a very powerful one handed palm strike and so we must have all available power. AS the strike is releasing Yang Qi, there must be a Yin route for it to return. Now if we make the right elbow relax and bent, then the Qi has what is called an 'upper heavenly circulation' by which to return. This is not as powerful as we can have, so we simply block the Qi from entering via that route as all tension creates Qi blockages Now the Yang Qi finds its only other route via the rear leg causing a far greater strike because of the larger circle of Qi.
When learning many of Ihe tai chi morements it is often helpful to visualize a hall being held in rations ways between your hands, litis ensures a good energy connection between the palms which, in time, you will begin to fee Of course, the ball itself does not always hare to be strictly spherical in shape sometimes it becomes stretched or compressed, and at iilhein small or large. Ibis principle of communication between the hands and arms continues throughout almost ihe entire form.
Rhythm and tempo are, in fact, the keys to fluent tai chi technique. The rhythm is one we are all very familiar with the rhythm of the breath. When we are very relaxed and calm our breathing becomes long and regularly spaced conversely when we are excited or angry our breathing becomes rapid and irregular. In tai chi we cultivate regular breathing coupled with slow, carefully measured movements so that, in time, we become more internally balanced and harmonized with the natural world.
Japan's warrior-monks and the monks of the Shaolin Temple are at least as famous for their fighting arts as for their faith. European monks are commonly remembered as pacifistic, but early medieval monasteries only admitted members of the nobility -many of whom took their vows after receiving martial training. By the 12th century, some dispensed altogether with the veneer of pacifism and created military orders, such as the Knights Templar. Later monks penned several fechtbucher and appeared in the illustrations of many more, demonstrating sword-and-shield play and wrestling moves. The Far East hardly had a monopoly on the fighting monk.
The Benefits of Learning Tai Chi Chuan Tai Chi Chuan is such a system of exercise. Those who practice it regularly will develop a healthy body and an alert mind. The improvement in their health will better enable them to The Tai Chi Chuan Hand Form, with its graceful movements and alert actions, resembles a classic dance. Through the execution of complex manoeuvres in conjunction with deep regulated breathing and the contraction and expansion of the diaphragm, the Hand Form offers a balanced drill to the body's muscles and joints. We can look upon the practice of Tai Chi Chuan in two ways. First it is a method of physical exercise. Secondly, it acts as a catalyst in that when performed by our body it causes certain beneficial reactions to take place. As our muscles move they exert pressure on our veins, forcing our blood flow towards the heart, improving our circulation. Meanwhile, the deep breathing necessary for the performance of the Hand Form causes the diaphragm to expand...
A traditional fighting art often has a philosophy that augments its martial base or even constitutes the foundation upon which it's built. For instance, the strikes, footwork, and forms of Pa Kua Chuan (pp. 187-188) are all founded on an interpretation of the I Ching. Stylists walk circles to stay in harmony with the Tao and practice utilizing chi (see below) to protect themselves and defeat foes.
-Fist of Legend, 1994 Martial or combative arts are trained schools of hand-to-hand combat karate, kung-fu, tai-chi, and other Oriental schools of combat. Most people also consider Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, and fencing to be forms of the martial arts, as well. For the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, all these constitute either Combat Martial Arts or Defensive Martial Arts. Brawling, on the other hand, represents countless schoolyard scuffles, barroom brawls, and back alley fights. Brawlers are tough, but they aren't formally trained.
The Five Directions have traditionally been explained by way of the Five Elements. In Tai Chi theory before there was Tai Chi there was Wu Chi (literally 'No Chi'). Wu Chi gave rise to Tai Chi which in turn gave rise to Yin and Yang. In Chinese philosophy the interaction and continuous changes of Yin and Yang, as well as producing the Eight Trigrams of the Pa Kua and the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching, also produced the Five Elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, which in their turn were considered responsible for the formation of all matter in the world. If our opponent uses Metal (moves Forward) our response must follow the theory of the Five Elements. In other words we must use Water (move Left) or Fire (move Right) to destroy his Metal. If instead we use Metal (move Forward) also, then the stronger Metal will win, but this is contrary to Tai Chi Chuan principles. If we remain rooted to the Earth (Centre) Element we will be overcome by the advancing Metal. If we make...
The backbone should be over-all straight and vertical and only very rarely leans slightly forwards. Remember that technically, the backbone can never be perfectly straight as it has an 'S' shape. This is natural. The spine should be vertical (plumb and erect) at all times, never leaning back and forth, or side to side. This point is quite important. I have experimented with this particular aspect and have found it most beneficial in both healing and medical and self-defence. I have a treatise on Taijiquan that comes from the purest source. It is in 3 parts and after having it slowly translated as it is in 'old Chinese', I have found that there are no less than ten references to the vertical backbone in the first four pages Never hunch the back. However, there should be a slight rounding of the back both vertically and horizontally. This gives the double bow effect, which is important for releasing energy for healing and for fa-jing.
Over the years it gained many readers and helped to introduce this art to the western world. For many, it would be their first notion of Chinese internal boxing (nei-chia). Taiji and Hsing-i combine with Pa-Kua to make up the internal or soft boxing system as distinguished from the hard boxing usually subsumed under the name Shaolin.
While I don't insist that you immediately stop training in any discipline or martial hard style in order to learn bagua from me, you will eventually reach a point when you must choose the path that best suits you. Human nature is such that the average student usually resists and resents this need to start over. I have been faced with such a need several times, and it is never an easy task on any level. There is a world of difference between baguazhang and taijiquan, not to mention Goju Karate, Hung Gar, or Wing-Chun.
The movement of both palms over to the right should be in balance with what the feet are doing. The weight should sink down onto the left heel as your left palm begins to move downwards. As your weight moves over to your right foot which is turning out by 45 degrees, the weight also moves slightly towards the balls of the feet in an arc as you pass centre, then back onto the heel of the right foot as you come into posture. Your palms will move in balance with the changing of yin and yang of the feet in that the left palm, as it is lowered will change to fully yang shaped while the right palm stays yin shaped. As your weight is passed to the right foot, the left hand will slowly change over the whole stroke to a yin shaped hand. The right palm will stay in its relative position and only change the palm to a slightly yang shaped palm. It is interesting to note that they eyes have not changed their position. I.e., they have gazed to the front (north) for the whole of all of these three...
When one practises Taijiquan, you cannot actually think about what it is you are feeling, as this would stop the flow and feeling that you were feeling So, there had to be a way of my doing the form and still knowing what it was that I was experiencing. We go into a sort of 'alpha' state when we perform Taijiquan, that area not asleep but not quite awake. So I experienced with different levels of energy and found that I could still perform the Taijiquan form correctly and also keep a conscious mind upon what it was that I was experiencing, by keeping my consciousness just a tad above that alpha state. To this end, years ago, I had a friend place electrodes all around my head and attach me to a bio-feedback machine which would let me know exactly what state my brain was in while practising Taijiquan. I could then learn to lift the consciousness a bit so that I could be totally aware of what I was feeling. The following is what I have been able to come up with. 2 . There will be very...
In addition, in the case of Taijiquan, there is the requirement for sensitivity. In this modern age, information is power and in the world of Taijiquan it is no different. Information about the opponent is instrumental in being effective in combat against him. As the Art Of War states 'know the opponent as you know yourself, a hundred battles a hundred victories'.
There are eight major areas of Qi flow in the body. Moreover, we must address all of these flows in order to maintain a balanced healthy body and mind. There are other flows of Qi of course, but it is these eight main flows that we are concerned with when practising Taijiquan.
Master Cheng Youlong, also known as Haiting, was from the Cheng Village in Shen County in Hebei. His father was Cheng Tinghua. Cheng Tinghua was in the business of making eyeglasses. He was a top student of Dong Haichuan He was very skilled in the Bagua Quan method. Men called him Eyeglasses Cheng. Youlong studied with his father for many years. His literary skills were excellent. His disposition was upright, cheerful, and curious. He researched each branch of the Internal Martial Arts, Bagua, Taiji, and Wuxing. Without a doubt he was pure and fine. He had many followers and partners. In November 1928 he died in Tianjin. Later his burial place was changed to Beijing. The family still teaches his skills. They feel that these skills are unique.
This chapter's techniques don't constitute an exhaustive list. Each martial-arts master has unique moves, a typical fencing manual describes hundreds of attacks and parries for one type of sword, and a global survey of unarmed fighting arts would reveal thousands of kicks. This doesn't even touch on feats from legend and cinema, which - freed of the fetters of physics - vastly outnumber realistic techniques Thus, the GM is likely to learn of new techniques from fact and fiction . . . and face players who want signature moves for their characters.
It is of primary importance in taijiquan to distinguish between Xu (Empty) and Shi (Solid). If you shift the weight of the body on to the right leg, then the right leg is solidly planted on the ground and the left leg is in an empty stance. When your weight is on the left leg, then the left leg is firmly planted on the ground and the right leg is in an empty stance. Only in this way can you turn and move your body adroitly and without effort, otherwise you will be slow and clumsy in your movements and not able to remain stable and firm on your feet.
As its name indicates, the Way of the Silver Shield is mainly a defensive fighting art. Its precise origins are lost in the mists of time. However, the legends that are told to Silver Shield trainees tell of a small tribe somewhere in Vietnam which was beset by the demonic servants of an evil wizard known only as Thuc Minh the Destroyer. In order to combat these demons, the people of the village were forced to adopt defensive tactics and thus the style was born, named after the silver shield used by Hoang, the village's leader. The legends also say that the most advanced practitioners of the Silver Shield style are able to develop senses beyond those possessed by normal humans.
This flow is enhanced no matter what Taijiquan way you are performing. However, this flow is enhanced by really concentrating upon sinking your Qi into the ground. This will happen subconsciously anyway, but make an even greater effort to do this and you will find something different happening. You will, as I have done, learn increasingly about your Taijiquan and the different ways to perform it as you practise more. It will become so that you will have to rush back from practise and write it all down so that you do not forget what you have experienced each day. You will go through each different way of performing Taijiquan naturally when you are ready, then as you progress you will find that all the different ways will melt into each other so that all of the different internal Qi flows are enhanced simply by doing your Taijiquan. It is my belief that you must however, experience and feel the different ways and their effects before this total form is able to be practised. You will...
In practising taijiquan, the focus is on the mind and conciousness. Hence the saying The mind is the commander, the body is subservient to it . With the tranquility of the mind, the movements will be gentle and graceful. As far as the frame is concerned, there are only the Xu (empty), shi (solid), kai (open) and he (close). Kai not only means opening the four lims but the mind as well, he means closing the mind along with the four limbs. Perfection is achieved when one unifies the two and harmonizes the internal and external parts into a complete whole.
Kung fu Systemized study of the fighting arts dates back into the mists of history in China, but legend attributes much of the origin of Chinese martial arts to Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk from India. In the sixth century of the common era, it is said, he came to Shao-lin temple in China and taught his Indian style of boxing, which became the basis for many of the kung fu styles.
In the case of the Outer School (which emphasizes attack) of boxing, the strength one exerts is still and the movements are not continuous, but are sometimes made off and on, which leaves opening the opponent may take advantage of. In taijiquan, one focuses the attention on the mind instead of force, and the movements from the begenning to the end are continuous and in an endless circle, just like a river which flows on and on without end or like reeling the silk thread off cocoons .
In the case of the Outer School of boxing, the emphasis is on leaping, bouncing, punching and the exertion of force, and so one often gasps for breath after practising. But in taijiquan, the movement is blended with tranquility, and while performing the movements, one maintains tranquility of mind. In practising the frame , the slower the movement the better the results. this is because when the movements are slow, one can take deep breath and sink it to the dan tian. It has a soothing effect on the body and the mind. Learners of taijiquan will get a better understanding of all this through careful study and persistant practice.
Sticky Hands combat techniques combine short punches, low kicks, and circular blocks. They use subtle hip movements to develop attacking power and to redirect the opponent's attacks. The Chinese arts of tai chi and wing chung can both be modeled with the Sticky Hands School.
To compound the issue, the types of physical skills necessary to do Chinese Opera or compete in a kung-fu taiji tournament in forms are the foundation of combative training (i.e., you have to be strong, healthy, and co-ordinated to defend yourself). And even the simplest and harshest combative action can be done so well so that it appears magically easy.
It is at this stage that one begins one s training in the Old Yang Style. This is the first Yang style of Taijiquan invented by Yang Lu-ch'an. Originally, it took around 6 years just to learn the physical part of this form, then further time to take it internally. Now, when one learns the Yang Cheng-fu form, it takes around two to 3 years to learn the physical movements of both forms. Yang Cheng-fu (the first form that one learns) changed his father s form so that all could take the great benefits from Taijiquan and not lose the original essence. Unfortunately, others took it upon themselves to change this form even more, thus losing the essence of Taijiquan.
In this context, I have tried to live by some very good advice I received from one of my former taiji instructors, Alan Weiss. He suggested, as I continued to train and develop my understanding of taiji and bagua, that I focus on being a first-rate Michael Babin rather than a second-rate Erle Montaigue.
The Mind's Eye is the way we perceive the outside world in relation to ourselves. In Taijiquan we alter the normal perception via the way we practice. In doing the set slowly and with full intent, we become aware of the transition of the movement through time and creates a internal division of time according to the stages of movement. When doing the movement quickly this internal division still applies but because it was previously set at a slower pace, the movement though quick to others still has the same quantity of time internally which allows us to function at speed without losing perception due to it.
Baguazhang or bagwa as it is called is my second internal art. It is said, in China, that a student is only ever able to study two of the internal arts. Most usually, study Taijiquan and either Baguazhang orh'sin-i ch'uan. It is said that it is just too difficult to study all three internal arts and take them to their internal levels. Sure, anyone who is good at copying movement is able to learn all of the physical movements of all three. However, it is 'only the fool' who believes that he is able to really study all three and learn the intricacies of the internal parts of all three. There was a time in my youth when I romanced learning all three, but now I am so glad that I did not as I have found that it takes a lifetime of hard work to understand only two. In addition, as I have only been studying for half a lifetime, I too am not there yet However, I do know something of Taijiquan and Baguazhang so I have presented these two arts in as much detail as possible in this brief...
Baguazhang , or Pa-Kua Chang, is said to be the sister of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, the mother of the three 'internal systems'. It is one of the newest Chinese healing martial arts of the internal system and contains the very best of the Shaolin Martial arts as well as the very best of the Buddhism or Taoism fighting arts. Its intricacies are great and one is able to continually discover new techniques from within the complex postures and movements which go together to build the framework which we call the Baguazhang form or kata. Invented by one man, the form has been slowly added to and taken away from until we have come to a highly evolved form of healing or self-defence, which only relies upon the palms and feet for attack and defence. With mainly circular foot movement, the form lays stress
Yang Tai Chi Chuan first became well known through the prowess of its founder Yang Lu Chan. So skilled was Yang Lu Chan that he gained the prestigeous title Yang The Invincible . The art that Yang Lu Chan taught and was practiced by his sons and students is quite different from the Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan as popularised by Chen Fa Ke. The old Yang form as taught by Yang Lu Chan and his sons in Yung Nien, before he left for the capital to teach at the imperial court still exists and it is quite similar to the modern Yang form and is quite distinct from the Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan. So the art taught by Yang Lu Chan was not Chen style Tai Chi Chuan, even from the very beginning. It retains the characteristics of the modern form and even though it retains the strength explosions (fa-chin), it is still quite different posturally from the modern Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan.
Today the term 'martial arts' is usually assumed to be synonymous with 'Asian fighting art'. This is no surprise since popular media are notorious for misrepresenting medieval fighting. The medieval warrior's craft is often reduced to the myth that combatants merely crudely bludgeoned one another or hacked and slashed savagely. Yet well established, highly sophisticated European fighting systems existed. European 'masters of defence' produced hundreds of detailed, well-illustrated technical manuals on their fighting methods, and the people of the Germanic states were especially prolific. Their manuals present to us a portrait of highly developed and innovative European martial arts based on sophisticated, systematic and effective skills. Among the best known of these works is that of Hans Talhoffer. His influential treatise, first produced in 1443, was reproduced many times throughout the century. It is exciting that we are currently seeing a 'renaissance' in the study of Western...
These classics were written sometimes in ancient Chinese. So often, the translation into English leaves something to be desired. For the most part though, they are well straight forward and they do give us a flavour of what Bagwa is supposed to be all about. Unlike Taiji, Bagwa has only a few diagrams left to us by Sun Luc-tang. The forms as we know them have been handed down through the generations and all we have is the spoken word and movement of body leaving us with only the classics to go by, thus allow us to find the right path to Baguazhang .
Sun Xikun is a Daoist and a deeply worshipful person. He is from Wujiao County in Hebei. Mr. Sun's inborn nature is sincere and generous. When he was young, he had a craving for the martial arts. Even now that he is older he still loves it. With a strong will he studied and examined the martial arts of Bagua, Xingyi, and Taiji. He became skilled and strong. He established the Dao De Martial Arts School. Mr. Sun is a person of high morals. He is easily approachable. Mr. Sun furthermore runs a kind and profound school. Most men know little at all. When Mr. Sun has spare time, he always responds to my requests for guidance. He openly gives out the secret doctrines.
The word Wuji refers to a Chinese philosophical concept. In Western terms you can compare it to the existential void that existed before creation or the big bang. It divided into the movement of Yin and Yang called Taiji (not to be confused with the martial arts that go by that name as well), and Taiji gave birth to the universe as we know it. The Chinese call this the Ten Thousand Things.
This is a Taiji Quan movement, but we perform it differently since it is being used here for health purposes. Turning the waist strengthens your stomach and kidneys and opens the Dantien. Just make sure your palm comes from the centre when you push out. When you push with your left hand, it comes from the top of your crossed hands but when you push with your right hand, this hand comes from on top. Again, breathe on alternate sides.
The anatomical weapons in Taijiquan are not rigorously hardened like in external styles of martial arts. This is because it is not hardness of the weapon but the energy within it that is the effecting component. If the correct structure of the anatomical weapon is maintained, then structurally it will be substantial and able to deliver telling blows with much power without recourse to hardening. The appropriate efficient use of strength usually does not entail vast quantities of it to obtain the desired effect. The principles behind the adage of deflecting a thousand pounds with four ounces hold true in Taijiquan.
That is why instead of deflecting, resisting and absorbing an opponent's attacking force, Taijiquan exponents evade, redirect and blend with it. Evade means simply to move out of his way. In any attack, there are only limited points of attack, so simply removing yourself out of his attacking focus by a change of position negates it. Upon contact, it is not a hard block but a blending with the attacking part by yeilding, sticking and following his momentum, joining his energy and redirecting it to your advantage.
Borrowing his strength is essentially utilising his own strength against himself, either by causing it to over extend or to channel it through your own body structure back to him. He is literally then hitting himself and there is little expenditure by way of energy for the Taijiquan exponent. This following of the opponent's structure is first learnt from Push Hands, which is why it is important that it not degrade it to a choreographed exercise. Sensing the movements and responding to them is correct rather than just going through the motions and not sensing them. If he does not move, you should not move, but even static, there will be structural flaws that can be detected by the touch and one can attack them by moving first. But be always aware of a possible
If you can get a strike in at this point when the recipient is not expecting it, it will have a great affect, shocking the whole body and has been known to cause knock out. The area however is well protected by the external oblique muscles and can be flexed to afford some kind of protection especially if the attacker has been practising iron shirt qigong. Iron shirt qigong is a qigong method of moving and breathing that will, over some time, afford some protection to external strikes especially around the torso area. My video No. MTG22 Taiji Healing and Iron Shirt Qigong shows the way to gain this ability.
This is the most common type of energy emission used in Taijiquan. It develops from the feet and because the energy path is long, through all the joints and ending at the fingers, it is called 'Long Energy'. It is commonly seen when Taijiquan exponents 'bounce' out their push hands partners. The whole body of the opponent is physically pushed away by moving his centre of mass. If it is done correctly, both his feet should leave the ground when he is propelled away. This is why the technique is called 'uprooting'.
Many years he spent consulting with the greatest warriors and dancers, and finally developed what he believed to be the perfect fighting art, which he named The Dance of the Glittering Spirals . The name refers to the light reflected from the fighter's swords, which he is trained to use, especially with this form. Today, the art is practiced by many elven people, some of whom have brought it to Rifts Earth.
In 1919 a group of Judo instructors from Japan came to China to demonstrate their martial skills. During the group's tour, they had the opportunity to watch a demonstration given by a group of Wang Tzu-P'ing's students. After the demonstration, one of the Japanese commented that he did not think the Chinese arts could match the fierce fighting arts of Japan. Wang heard the comment and replied, Really How about if you and I give it a try - I with a staff and you with a spear. The Japanese man picked up the spear. Charging directly at Wang he lunged repeatedly, stabbing with the spear. Wang calmly deflected all the attacks from his opponent's flurry and then announced, Now it is my turn to attack. Before the words had gotten out of
Hsing-I's history can be traced back to the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) in Mainland China. General Yu Fei, who had formerly trained in Shaolin Temple Boxing and Tai Chi, developed it. He trained his own men through a system that was a marriage of these two disciplines. It was said of Yu Fei's fighting forces that it was Easier to move the mountain than his men.
This skill has always been associated with the great masters and we know that Yang Lu Chan and more recently Yang Cheng Fu and his disciple Zheng Man Qing possessed this skill. It has been said to border on the mysterious and is hard to attain such skill. This skill can only be attained after one is learned in the feet, inches, tenths, hundreth parts and thousandths parts in Taijiquan. At lower levels of attainment, jie jing is expressed mainly through the hands, at higher levels where the entire body is responsive then it can be expressed from almost any part of the body.
This means the devision of each movement in Taijiquan into ever finer gradations of movement, technique and jing flow. Each part is then meaningful and has an application in a combative context. The refinement of movements to efficiency is but the beginning, later each part of the movement itself has meaning and later each part of every part and so on.
Grasping musculature in Taijiquan is akin to the specialisation of Chin-Na (Grasping and Holding) which is an advanced skill in many forms of Chinese martial arts. The difference is that in Taijiquan, the use of positional advantage, momentum and structural advantage is of more importance than super strong fingers. The sensitivity of combat Taijiquan permits the use of the opponent's structure, position, mass and momentum against himself causing him to literally lock and tie himself up with his structure with the Taijiquan exponent simply 'helping' him do it. The result of this is that his body is unstable, rendering him vulnerable to serious injury should the the Taijiquan exponent chooses to do so. The locks and holds also cause sprains, tears of the musculature and dislocations of bones at the joints which further disable the opponent.
The Taijiquan Classics are a collection of early writings on the art that are regarded by Taijiquan practitioners as containing the essence of the art. The majority of listings of these classical works contain the writings recorded in Li I Yu's handwritten manuals. The contents of these manuals are regarded as the core writings in the Classics and hold a special place in literary tradition of Taijiquan. They are also probably the oldest writings available on the art of Taijiquan. In addition to the translation into English for these classic works, I will be adding my own commentaries to them to further expand upon the meanings contained in them and their context and historicity. Some of the translations are taken from earlier translations, I have felt that there was no need to redo their fine work, others which have never been translated before have been translated by myself. Where the translations are not my own, they have been credited to the original translators.
My father's focus was on using Xing Yi as a fighting art. One of the things he emphasized was the ability to deliver a very powerful blow from a short distance. He said that winding up a strike or using a lot of brute strength was just a waste of energy. With the proper body mechanics, timing and momentum, a very strong blow can be issued from a distance close to the target. My father's stance was somewhat higher and smaller than many others, he emphasized mobility. Beginning students can start with larger movements, but at a higher level motion should be natural and compact.
If we fail to extend the arms sufficiently in say Single Whip , then a hollow is created at the elbow joint. Techniques such as this should be extended so that the elbow joint is just short of being locked. This means that there is Yin within Yang and Yang within Yin in all techniques. This is a physical way of expressing the dot of Yang in Yin and the dot of Yin in Yang in the Tai Chi symbol. Bumps indicate the localised tension or locking of joints as where the shoulders or back are is hunched when we perform an arm movement. Many practitioners either run techniques together by cutting off i.e. failing to finish one movement before starting the next or go to the other extreme and over extend their movements whether going forward or back. When going forward we go sufficiently far forward so that the front knee extends over, but not beyond the toes of the front foot and the weight is therefore mainly on this foot only when we get this far forward do we start to move back. Going...
From a health point of view, the Tai Chi form involves constantly contrasting movements, first in one direction, then in another. This method is excellent for improving balance and coordination. The circulation and joint movement are also improved. For example by raising the hands above the head, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood through the arteries against gravity, but the blood flows easily through the veins in the other direction. Lowering the hands of course has the reverse effect. The principle of total body movement applies no matter what direction we are moving in. Now we are dealing with the practical application of Yin Yang theory as directed by the Yi, the intent. If we try to lift an opponent and he resists then we change the force to downward directed force if we pull him forward and he resists we can throw him back if we divert his attack with the left hand then it is natural to hit him simultaneously with the right. This can also be considered applied...
There are many ways to practice push hands (toi-sau). There are also many right and wrong ways to practice this training method. I say 'training method' as many have taken this training method to mystical proportions and practice push hands for the sake of doing push hands and not what it was originally intended for. Many have seen push hands as a way of judging how good one's Taijiquan has become and they hold push hands tournaments They want to find out who can push the best Considering what I have already stated, that there ARE no pushes in Taijiquan, this is somewhat silly. Tournaments in push hands are run and attended by those who do not wish to get their hands dirty in the self-defence area. They still want the glory of winning, being better than another human being, but do not wish actually to put themselves on the line in a real fighting tournament. Push hands for the sake of push hands is the most damaging practice to one's training. It teaches you bad habits of non...
An old name for Tai Chi Chuan was Long Boxing - Chang Chuan and the name was derived from this comparison to China's famous river, the Chang Jiang. This comparison implies that firstly that like a river our movements whether in self defence , forms or Pushing Hands should flow and be continuously using total body movement. Secondly, we need to spend time on long and continuous practice to get benefits from Tai Chi Chuan. Thirdly, there is no one way in which or one speed at which we should do the form. Some movements are more demanding than others, some require greater or lesser emphasis. The form can be done in a slower, softer and more internalised or in a more vigorous, more martial way. Fourthly, a river follows the quickest route to its destination.
|Tai Chi Secrets Revealed||www.chriservin.org|
Healing Properties Of Tai Chi
The Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this report, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet.