by Shing Wai Cheung
Copyright 2004 © Shing Wai Cheung
Known as TAI CHI CH’UAN, and is part of the Tai Chi Ch’uan System, which, originally, was a formidable martial art operating on several levels of awareness. It embodies
Taoist Philosophy, and accordingly is extremely beneficial to good health.
WHAT IS TAI CHI CHUAN
chi is a Chinese martial art that is primarily practiced for its health benefits including a means for dealing with tension
and stress. Among the martial arts, there are two basic types: the hard martial arts and the soft martial arts. The
latter are also called internal arts. Examples of the hard martial arts are karate and kung fu (or wushu). Examples of the
soft martial arts are ba gua and tai chi. Tai chi emphasizes complete relaxation, and is essentially a form of meditation, or what has been called &meditation in motion Unlike the hard martial arts, tai chi is characterized
by soft, slow, flowing movements that emphasize force, rather than brute strength.
BRIEF HISTORY OF TAI CHI CHUAN
chi traces its roots back to approximately the 2nd mellennium b.c. with the practice of yoga in ancient India. In China yoga
came to be developed into what is called Saolin chuan In the 13th century a.d., a Taoist monk by the name of Chang Sang Feng
developed what has come to be known as Tai Chi. The tai chi family or style from which all other current styles or families
of Tai Chi developed was the Chen family. A man by the name of Yang, subsequently studied with the Chen family and later modified
the Chen style, thus developing the Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan.
Yang style is the most common traditional style of Tai Chi Chuan practiced today. Yang style has three different forms that
are practiced: the simplified form, the short form, and the long form.TAI CHI PHILOSOPHYTai Chi arises out of two important
philosophical texts in China: the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching. Tao Te Ching, means the classic way of integrity;
Both of these texts stress what the Chinese call Chi is a form of energy. Chi literally means something like breath, or spirit.According
to the philosophy of tai chi, this energy or chi flows throughout the body, but can become blocked. One becomes ill when the
flow of the chi through the body becomes blocked.
Chinese free up the flow of chi by accupuncture and tai chi. Tai Chi, is a form of meditation,
and helps one to understand oneself and to enable one to deal with others more effectively. This is rooted in one’s learning to control oneself. This self-control can come about through twoprincipal notions
of yin and yang. The philosophy of Taoism understands everything in terms of these two opposing principles. Though these two
principles are seen as opposites, the one necessarily merges into the other, creating the natural balance of self and world,
hence the classic symbol of tai chi “yinyang”.
tai chi form is meant to enable one to bring the principles of yin and yang back into their fundamental,natural harmony. The
ultimate effect of this harmony, according to Taoism and Tai Chi, is one’s physical andspiritual
TAI CHI FORM
Chi is a comprehensive series of gentle physical movements, and breathing techniques, with mental and spiritual intent, which
allows you to experience a meditative state. It is calming and rejuvenating, and assists the body and mind to maintain balance,
and exercises the body, mind and spirit, together with the internal organs. It includes both the inner
and outer expressions of the body and mind.
we are able to balance the Yin and Yang life force energy of Chi. In this way this system develops the ability to balance
the “yielding and attacking” aspects in martial
art combat. It has also been a major influence in all the martial arts we see today.