Tai chi is both a health practice and a martial art.
Most people come to tai chi because they want to improve their health and they want to try something different. Tai chi teaches you to move in a completely new way. Relaxed and slow, controlled and co-ordinated. This process of retraining how you use the body is accomplished by using your breath and more importantly your mind or mental awareness. This is why Tai chi is known as meditation in movement.
Over the year or two it takes to learn the long form your body and breathing change and your sense of mental stillness grows. It’s a wonderful process of self cultivation and is deeply beneficial to your mental and physical health. You now have a place where you can go to make your body feel better after a hard day at work, or make your mind calm if you’ve had an argument or are worrying too much. You now have a way you can actively change your health. For some this is hugely empowering.
Some people come to Tai chi because of an interest in it as a boxing art. Tai chi or Tai ji quan as its more correctly known, is often translated as “Grand ultimate fist,” and is the application of Taoist philosophy to the study of martial arts.
As a fighting art it is highly effective, intelligent and evolved. This side of Tai chi takes years to learn. By training the yin first, the yang slowly emerges over time. This process is as much about mental maturity as physical “Gong fu.” (this means “Kung fu” or achievement/excellence through hard work.)
Tai ji quan provides a prism through which to grow and evolve the human spirit. It is an ancient and well worn path. It is the journey itself which is the destination. It is both natural and comfortable, yet simple and profound.
Please come along on Mondays and see what it’s all about.
In this class we are learning the Wu style Long Form. There is emphasis on movements that teach Tai chi principles followed by study of movements from the form, and then the form itself. There will be some standing practice and once students have some basic technology in their body, there will be pushing hands practice to understand tai chi principles and explore the many martial applications hidden within the form.