Tai Chi Chuan Overview

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Tame Tiger Posture
T'AI CHI CHUAN

Tai Chi Chuan emphasizes subtle movements, increased flexibility, relaxation and meditation, Tai Chi Chuan uses the opponents energy against them with counter moves that require the least amount of effort. It is usually softer and slower than  other martial arts. Tai Chi Chuan is excellent for all ages but particularly for older people or those recovering from injury.

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MODERN T'AI CHI CHUAN

  Tai Chi Chuan has continued to evolve and there are  newer forms that have been created to accommodate time and space when playing Tai Chi Chuan. The original forms are long and can take between 30 minutes to an hour to perform. Newer and shorter forms have been created to retain the movements but eliminate repetition of movements and conserve time.

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Open Arms Posture

Snake Creeps Down Posture
T'AI CHI CHUAN STYLES

  There are four main styles of Tai Chi Chuan. Chen, Yang, Wu and Sun.

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PUSH OR SENSING HANDS

  Push hands is a quiet and gentle cooperative exercise involving two people. Their arms and hands alternately carry out pushing and yielding action with the aim of increasing their capacity to relax under pressure. This can be summarized by saying push hands involves the interplay of opposites: positive and negative, relaxation and force, yin and yang.

Why is it important to practice push hands?

The three pillars of Tai Chi Chuan are the practice of forms, meditation and push hands. The Tai Chi Chuan master of the past invented the game of push hands as a method or sparring. It is especially good for developing the sensitivity to listen to your opponent's actions. If you are correctly following the Tai Chi Chuan principals of Relaxation, Natural Continuous Motion, Circular Motion, Sinking and Rooting you will see this in your pushing hands practice. Besides being the test of your Tai Chi Chuan principals in action, it is also a wonderful way to share energy between two people, and it's fun.

Push Hand Essentials
  1. When your opponent strikes you with strength, instead of opposing him (force against force), you simply withdraw your body, neutralizing his weight. Thus his weight will be emptied and will not come to your body.
  2. When attacking your opponent you should not attack him immediately. Your hands must first lightly touch his body, and as soon as you interpret that he is going to resist you, you yield (withdraw) slightly and then immediately attack.
  3. When interpreting your opponent's energy, you should not put too much weight against him during the time of interpretation. If you have too much weight against him and he moves you may too easily come off balance. To improve your Push Hands and ultimately your Tai Chi Chuan you must "invest in loss"
The Purpose of Push Hands

Push hand teaches one to fully realize what sensitivity of the entire body means. Externally the practitioner develops an acute sense of touch transmitted through the skin. Sensitivity and awareness is also developed internally.
2. The practitioner learns how to empty the body of all force. When one rids the body of force, one can experience what it is like to be a twinkling star; the body is there and yet it is not there.
3. Through understanding the principals of push hands, one can learn to balance Yin and Yang in daily experience. Thus the quality of life as a whole is enhanced.

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T'AI CHI CHUAN WEAPONS

   T'ai Chi Ch'uan has many weapons forms. The four most commonly seen are the straight sword or jian, the broadsword, dao or knife, the staff and the spear. The forms are usually done at the same slow speed as the empty hand forms.

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Straight Sword    Broadsword

Staff   Spear


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Revised: September 14, 2009