T’ai chi ch’uan or tàijíquán, often shortened to t’ai chi, taiji or tai chi in English usage, is an internal Chinese martial art practised for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practised for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of t’ai chi ch’uan’s training forms are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movement.
There are five major styles of t’ai chi ch’uan, each named after the Chinese family from which it originated:
• Chen-style (陳氏) of Chen Wangting (1580–1660)
• Yang-style (楊氏) of Yang Lu-ch’an (1799–1872)
• Wu- or Wu (Hao)-style (武氏) of Wu Yu-hsiang (1812–1880)
• Wu-style (吳氏) of Wu Ch’uan-yu (1834–1902) and his son Wu Chien-ch’uan (1870–1942)
• Sun-style (孫氏) of Sun Lu-t’ang (1861–1932)
The study of t’ai chi ch’uan primarily involves three aspects:
• Health: An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use t’ai chi ch’uan as a martial art. T’ai chi ch’uan’s health training, therefore, concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on t’ai chi ch’uan’s martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.
• Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of t’ai chi ch’uan is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health (in the sense of relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis) and in application of the form as a soft style martial art.
• Martial art: The ability to use t’ai chi ch’uan as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student’s understanding of the art. T’ai chi ch’uan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and “sticking” to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of t’ai chi ch’uan as a martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.
Chinese Tai Chi Martial Arts is for anyone interested in relaxing their body, gaining a stronger mind/body connection, more healthy (especially low back) and achieving high levels of fitness and weight loss. Chinese Tai Chi benefits the body, mind & spirit, better than Yoga.
Suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, and with our qualified Chinese Martial Arts Master, you are on a sure path to relaxation and increased awareness.