Masterworks Tai Chi Chuan Page
the Tai Chi Ch'uan Open Hand Set
It is said that "When the spirit holds
fast to the body how can there be disunion. When the vital energy or breath attains the
utmost degree of pliancy, how can one fail to resemble a (tender) born baby. When the mind
is purified, how can one fail to be blemished ...When the sensual organs are properly
employed how can one fail to have strength". Tao Te Ching
Taijiquan(often Romanized as Tai Chi Chuan) is the name of an internal martial art of Chinese origin.The name is commonly misunderstood to mean grand ultimate boxing in the sense that it is superior to other forms of Chinese martial art. This interpretation is a simple misunderstanding of the term Grand Ultimate. The term Grand Ultimate Boxing is a reference to the philosophic idea of the universe which is composed out of the void by the formation of Yin with Yang energies.Tai Chi is then the continuous cycle of life. The movements open and close to mirror the Chinese philosophical concept of an endless cycle of Yang to Yin to Yang. Perhaps it is more accessible to see yin and yang as the foundations of the art of Taijiquan because the alternation of harmoniously opening and closing movements. Tai Chi Chuan or Long River Fist is a form of Chinese Shadow Boxing. The pursuit of Tai Chi Chuan is highly rewarding in terms of health. The Schools of Tai Chi Chuan There are several schools of Tai Chi Chuan all originated from China. Chronologically, Chen, Yang, Zaobao, Wu, Woo, recently Sun schools and others are clearly recorded.These styles have an accepted genealogical table.The earliest treatise by Wang Chung- yueh dates about 1750AD. Tai Chi Chuan - Purpose and Principles The principle health benefits remain the same whatever the style. People -play -Tai Chi Chuan to improve ones well being both mentally and physically and so embrace the spirit of good living.Tai Chi when correctly practised on a regular basis is said to restore vigourous health, improve digestion and raises ones spirits. The Chinese further emphasise that it has the ability to improve the circulation of blood and energy throughout the whole body. This is undeniably a sophisticated internal health and martial art. Perhaps because of its value we have seen Tai Chi grow to be a regular practise for millions of people world wide. If you really want to learn Tai Chi Chuan then one must really learn to become calm mentally by adjusting oneself emotionally to the task of "settling the breath with the body". The Taoist appreciation of health development was in pursuit of restoring and rejuvenating body strength, mind and will. Traditionally success was accomplished by intelligent investigation and good practice.
What is Tai Chi exercise composed of ? Tai Chi Chuan or Long Fist follows the form of Shadow Boxing. The player practises an inner exercise (Taoyin) and deep breathing to produce Chi. This Chi (Qi) is a nourishing restorative inner force which promotes health. Within the movement and applications of this martial - Taoist based art one develops an awareness of the inner and outer significance of playing shadow boxing. Development of health of body - mind - will and spirit (Shen) comes naturally through play and self expression. At a physical level lightness, fluidity, tempo and rhythm all play their part. The movements are sets of techniques expressed as spiraling, twining connected flowing arcs.
In Tai Chi one must be calmly energetic concentrating within to develop the swirling and turning of the torso. In so doing you will encourage the balance of muscle, sinew, blood and inner strength. These energetic and physical techniques/principles are difficult to master in their entirety. To succeed one must learn to become an dynamic expression of Yin and Yang in developing both sensitive acceptance (Yin) within expressive action(Yang). In summation - one's form should extend and contract, be firm and light. Expression should be playful not habituated. Be integrated but at ease. In a sense the mind is mentally focussed but perceptually loose. The form and expression of Chi should be focused by will and Chi must flow effectively without interruption!
Guide Lines to Effective Practise
THE PLAYER OF TAIJIQUAN MUST BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE
CONCEPTS OF YIN AND YANG IN MOVEMENT, BY USE OF THE MIND, WILL AND INTENT. MUSCULAR
IMBALANCES WITHIN THE FORM WILL OFTEN RESULT IN FAULTY EXPRESSION AND CONSEQUENT
CLUMSINESS OF EXPOSITION. THIS IS EASILY OVERLOOKED BUT CAN BE CORRECTED BY INTENTIONAL
The Snake Creeps Down posture.
This technique utilises the expressive spirit of attack by relying on retreat
THE BODY SHOULD HAVE A EASY AND SERENE DISPOSITION.
YOUR FORM NEEDS TO BE CAREFULLY EXAMINED FROM THE HEAD TO THE NECK, SHOULDERS, ELBOWS,
WRISTS, PALMS, FINGERS. THE CHEST WILL BE SOFT AND RELAXED. THE WAIST IS DIRECTED THROUGH
THE HIP JOINTS WITH THE ENERGY ISSUING FROM THE REAR LEG TWINNED WITH THE FRONT LEG. THIS
IS DIFFICULT TO ACCOMPLISH WELL. THE SPINE IS CURVED IN AN UNBROKEN ARC UNTIL THE NECK.
BREATHING IS PARAMOUNT AND SHOULD BE PRACTISED WITH NATURALNESS AND EASE. ONE USES THE
MIND. THERE IS A HOLLOW SPACE HELD BETWEEN THE LEGS SIMILARLY WITH THE ARMS PITS AND
TORSO. ONES PRACTISE IS BEST SERVED BY USING THE MIND RATHER THAN SIMPLE FORCE OR
Reasons to practise Tai Chi
Because good Tai Chi practitioners develop many CLASSIC health benefits this form of exercise in now practised worldwide. The body is strengthened by coordinated exercise.The ANIMATED (95K) sequence shows but a part of the Solo Yang Set
Commencing from Grasp Sparrows Tail; Ward Off Roll Back, Press, Double Ward Off then Push, followed by Single Whip. All the limbs should be correctly positioned in each posture. The mind is developed by the technical and energetic pursuit of a complex art towards developing naturalness. Regular practise is of particular benefit for the old or young because it raises ones spirits and encourages accomplishment by keeping tranquillity of mind. Tai Chi Chuan is widely viewed as a martial art par excellence. Note on Origin of Tai Chi Ch'uan Chang San Feng is romantically favoured as the originator of Tai Chi. Chang San Feng developed the idea of yielding and following by watching antics of stork and snake in conflict.