Archive for Different Styles

Tai Chi in Studio City, CA – Choosing a Style

Once you decide to practice Tai Chi in Studio City, CA, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is what style to practice. There are many different styles of Tai Chi to choose from, each of which have many similarities and differences. With that said, no matter which style you choose, you will always reap the benefits of improved health, reduced stress, and increased gracefulness. Let’s take a quick look at the top 5 Tai Chi styles to help you choose which is right for you.

Style #1 – Yang Style Tai Chi

Yang Style Tai Chi is the most popular and widely practiced style of Tai Chi around the world. Within America and England alone, there are over 20 different variations of the Yang style. Each of these variations place emphasis on different technical points, but still have the same basic principles in common. If you are to practice Tai Chi in Studio City, CA with the TCSociety, this is the style of Tai Chi that you will be learning.

Style #2: Wu Style Tai Chi

The second most common style of Tai Chi is the Wu Style. Derived from founder Chuan You, this style only has three main variations. While this style is a variant of the Yang style, it is different in that it emphasizes small compact movements as opposed to the large movements emphasized in Yang style. Together, Yang and Wu Tai Chi comprise over 80% of all Tai Chi schools.

Style #3: Chen Tai Chi

When practicing Tai Chi in Studio City, CA, you might also come across the Chen style. This is the original style of Tai Chi. In fact, it is the style of Tai Chi that the Yang was created from. Unlike most versions of Tai Chi, not all movements in the Chen style are slow. Rather, slow movements are combined with fast and explosive ones. Chen practitioners are much more difficult to find than Yang and Wu practitioners.

Style #4: Hao Tai Chi

This style of Tai Chi is extremely rare. It is very unusual to see it practiced in China, and it is virtually non-existent in the West. This style of Tai Chi places more focus on internal chi movements than it does on physical motions. It is considered to be a very advanced form of Tai Chi that is practiced by only those with a significant background in the art.

Style #5: Combination Tai Chi

After Yang and Wu, combination styles are the third most popular style of Tai Chi. These styles mix and match movements from the other 4 styles. They also incorporate movements from other styles of martial art such as hsing-i and bagua.

As said previously, if you decide to practice Tai Chi in Studio City, CA with TCSociety, you will be practicing the Yang style of Tai Chi. You may also be able to find several practitioners of the Wu style, and possibly even the combination styles. With that said, it will be difficult to find a practitioner who teaches Chen or Hao Tai Chi.

What is Tai Chi Chuan?

If you were to walk into a room full 25 Tai Chi instructors or students and ask the question "What is Tai Chi Chuan?", you would get 25 completely different answers. This is because Tai Chi is multi-dimensional and each instructor places emphasis on different aspects of Tai Chi in their teachings. Let’s take a look at a few of the different answers that you might receive if you were to ask this question.

When translated, Tai Chi stands for the "Supreme Ultimate Force". It is a form of martial art that not only teaches how to defend oneself, but also teaches practices how to reach an inner sense of calm and peace. When practicing Tai Chi, you will find that it integrates a variety of slow, choreographed movements that are designed to simulate hand-to-hand combat. Depending on your level of expertise, some of these sequences can be as short as 16 different movements. For more experienced Tai Chi practicers, sequences can reach up to 108 movements or more.

There are several different aspects that are characteristic of all Tai Chi Chuan teachings. Here are a few:

1) Relaxation – While many forms of martial art focus on strong, hard movements, each movement performed in Tai Chi is designed to use a minimum amount of muscle activity. This makes it easier for individuals of all ages to learn, as it only places a small amount of tension on your muscles.

2) Slow movements – Tai Chi is a form of self-defense. But to those who practice Tai Chi, self-defense is not all about punching and kicking – it is about developing a self-awareness. According to Tai Chi masters, the slow movements used within the art help you to become more aware of the subtle changes within your body, allowing you to develop an "internal power".

3) Coordination – There are many different styles of Tai Chi, each of which achieve coordination in different ways. With that said, all Tai Chi Chuan styles reach the same consensus that the art form helps the body to work in harmony with itself.

4) Mindfulness – The art of Tai Chi is performed in such as way that the practicer is aware of each movement they make. The quieter your mind is, the more aware you will be. As such, Tai Chi teaches you to clear your mind and focus on what is put before you.

5) Breathing –  Breathing is "the link that ties everything together". In Tai Chi, emphasis is placed on deep and natural breathing (otherwise referred to as "abdominal breathing"). Breathing will help you to become more aware, and will help to release stress and tension, bringing your body and mind to an inner peace.

So, what exactly is “Tai Chi Chuan?” It is a combination of many things, making it difficult to sum up in one short article. If you want to learn what Tai Chi is, the best way to do so is practice it for yourself. If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to try out Tai Chi, contact TCSociety.com today.

Why Tai Chi Classes in Southern California are the Best Exercise for Elderly

Whether we actually do it or not, we all know that exercise is a healthy part of every daily routine. There are many different ways that you can exercise by walking, bike riding, running, climbing mountains, or playing sports. Unfortunately, not all of us are young and fit enough to run a marathon each day. The good news is, you can still exercise! Tai Chi classes in Southern California are considered one of the best ways to exercise each day, without straining your limbs, joints, or muscles.

An ancient form of martial art, Tai Chi looks like a cross between a slow motion ballet and shadow boxing. It combines graceful movements and mental focus together, helping people to improve things such as strength, agility, and balance. Because Tai Chi is a slow moving form of martial art that places a minimal amount of strain on your body, it is considered the perfect exercise for the elderly who may not be able to move well as they once did.

Tai Chi Classes in Southern California hold many benefits including both spiritual and psychological advantages. And while many practitioners praise these benefits, the majority of researchers focus on the benefits that Tai Chi has for the body. According to researchers, Tai Chi is extremely beneficial to anyone, especially older adults who are relatively inactive. For the elderly, Tai Chi has been shown to help reduce falls and give frail individuals a way to exercise without straining their bodies.

There are many different styles of Tai Chi available, but if you are to train with the TCSociety, you will be learning the Yang Style of Tai Chi. This is one of the most popular forms of Tai Chi and begins with a series of controlled movements known as "forms". The best part about Tai Chi is that you can move at your own pace. When you practice Tai Chi, you are not under any pressure to learn quickly. Rather, you are encouraged to learn at your own speed.

Like any other exercise, the effects of Tai Chi classes in Southern California will not be seen overnight. Rather, it will take a few months of regular practice before you begin to see results. With that said, once the results do begin to set in, it will be the gateway to a completely new lifestyle. Tai Chi has been known to have many benefits to individuals of all ages, increasing self-esteem, improving balance, reducing stress, and opening up the avenue to a healthier lifestyle.

For older adults, Tai Chi is the ideal form of exercise. The health benefits associated with Tai Chi are many, and the forms are slow enough that they do not place an immense amount of strain on your muscles like many other martial arts do. If you are an older individual who is looking to become more active, Tai Chi may be exactly what you are looking for. Come out for Tai Chi classes in Southern California with the TCSociety and find out if Tai Chi is the right choice for you!

The “eight powers” of Tai Chi Chuan

The animation presented below is meant to illustrate the eight ways of power to be demonstrated in Tai Chi. In Chinese, these are called the ‘ba men’ or “8 gates.’ Here, I’ve attempted to show these 8 different styles that make up 8 of the ’13 Postures’ of tai chi chun. If you have questions, please contact brian.tcsociety@gmail.com, or TC.

You can see the trigrams for these 8 movements here, and in the animation:

peng ☰
liu ☷
ji ☵
ahn ☲
tsai ☳
lieh ☴
zhou ☱
kao ☶

Enjoy!

Tai Chi for Beginners

Tai Chi is an art form that has been learned for many years. But what exactly is Tai Chi? What benefits does it hold? And what are the different styles? Let’s take a look in this Tai Chi guide for beginners.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a form of movement. It is often recognized when people are seen doing a series of silent, fluid, slow-motion movements. And despite the fact that Tai Chi looks like a form of meditation, it is actually a form of martial art. Many people use Tai Chi as a form of self-defense. Others use it for stress management and better health.

To many, Tai Chi is referred to as the “perfect exercise”. This is because it can be performed by individuals of all ages and fitness levels. In addition, the injury rate of Tai Chi is low, but the health benefits are high. For those who don’t use Tai Chi as exercise, many use it as a form of martial art, performing it as an act of self defense.

What benefits come along with Tai Chi?

There are many benefits that come along with the practice of Tai Chi, but there are three main motivations for it’s use, let’s take a look:

Health benefits:

Anyone who practices Tai Chi will reap the benefits in terms of health. Tai Chi helps to exercise muscles and stretch all parts of the body. In return, the fluids within our body can flow better and we can feel healthier. In addition, Tai Chi also promotes balance and coordination.

Stress reduction:

Tai Chi is a great practice for stress relief. This is also a great health benefit, because stress is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, and other health conditions. Through the practice of regular Tai Chi, you can learn how to deal with your stress in a more positive manner, reducing the effects that it has on your health and wellness.

Self Defense Benefits:

Among other things, Tai Chi is also a form of martial art. When practicing Tai Chi, you learn a solid basis of self defense skills. Not only is martial arts training a good thing to have in unexpected circumstances, but it is also a great workout and training session for your body and your muscles.

What are the different styles of Tai Chi?

Currently, there are four major styles of Tai Chi. Included within these are Chen, Yang, Wu, and Hao. Let’s take a look at each:

  1. Chen Tai Chi – This is the first type of Tai Chi ever known. This style of Tai Chi is characterized by slow and explosive movements. There is a great deal of coordination required for this style, so it can sometimes be difficult for beginners to grasp.
  2. Yang Tai Chi – This style of Tai Chi was actually derived from Chen. It is not the first developed style, but it is the most popular style today.
  3. Wu Tai Chi – This is known as “third generation Tai Chi”, developed from the Yang style.
  4. Hao Tai Chi – This is the least popular style of Tai Chi and is not commonly practiced anywhere in the world – even China.

Start looking for Tai Chi schools in your area today to determine which style is best suited to you!