overview


An Ancient Art

T'ai Chi Ch'uan is an ancient art that has become popular among people of all ages for it develops both the mind and the body. It is a form of Kung Fu, a martial art, but its exercise is soft and flowing with no extended movement.

In China it is known as the Chinese Medicare program for its heathful benefits among the elderly. Yet, small children will be found practicing even the most difficult of T'ai Chi Ch'uan forms.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan requires no special clothing or equipment. It is practiced with loose fitting clothes and comfortable shoes. Most T'ai Chi Ch'uan instruction is based on a series of movements called a form. Learning T'ai Chi Ch'uan is learning the form. It takes about ten to twenty minutes to do a T'ai Chi Ch'uan form.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan is known as an ``internal Kung Fu'' because the skill to fight is not derived from physical strength. The exercises are soft and flowing and will prepare the practitioner for martial arts over an extended period. The health benefits can be seen in weeks or months.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan appears, at first, to be a solo sport because the form is done solo. Over time T'ai Chi Ch'uan evolves into a group activity called push hands where one begins pushing with a partner. Higher level forms are performed with two people who move as one unit much like dancing. Push hands activity at times appears like dancing movements.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan is also referred to as meditation in motion. And part of the study will include breathing deeply and slowly. The initial movements will be intentionally done slowly and drawn out to allow the body and mind to slow down and begin to focus with a new awareness.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan exercises and form movements seem easy at first but take time to assimilate. Many of the form movements are subtle and take a few attempts before they become a flowing, soft art. But remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan concepts
complete separation of weight

sinking

relaxing

directing the movement from the waist

moving and breathing from the center of the body

flowing as a string of pearls (connecting)

awareness, taking in the circle around you

moving in circles, carrying the ball

stepping back to move forward

straightening the spine

absorbing from the five great springs of the body

Fair Maiden's Wrist

T'ai Chi Ch'uan practice
breathing

walking

swinging

circling

one person forms

Push Hands

two person forms

weapons

energy flow

2009 David Scott -- All rights Reserved