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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.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA

Many people think that they can learn Tai Chi simply by visiting websites, reading books, or watching DVD’s. But this is simply not the case. There is only one way that you can truly learn the art of Tai Chi, and that is through regular practice with a certified instructor. Websites, books, and videos can help to deepen your knowledge of the art, but learning Tai Chi means practicing it regularly. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale – Tip #1: Practice regularly

The best tip that can possibly be given in regards to Tai Chi is to practice regularly. While it is best to set aside time to practice Tai Chi each day, it is understood that this is not always possible. If you can’t commit to once a day, try to set aside time for at least two to three training session per week. The more you practice the art, the better you will become at it. And the better you become at it, the more benefits you will recieve from it.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA – Tip #2: Supplement your lessons with regular workouts

When you can’t take the time to attend Tai Chi lessons, supplement them with an at-home workout. This workout can be in the form of Tai Chi practice, or in the form of any other exercise type. As a general recommendation, you should try to set aside at least 20 minutes for exercise any day that you don’t have time to attend class.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale – Tip #3: Develop structure

When practicing your Tai Chi workouts at home, you will want to develop structure. You should begin with warm up exercises, follow up with form repetitions, and end with closing exercises. You can learn what each of these entail by attending regular classes with the TCSociety.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA – Tip #4: Find a workout location

Unless you are able to attend Tai Chi lessons on a daily basis, you will need to set up a space in your home where you can practice. Always be sure that this is somewhere spacious, somewhere in which you feel comfortable, and somewhere that is peaceful where you will not be interrupted.

When it comes to your Tai Chi workout, you will want to do everything that you can to get the most out of it. Tai Chi lessons should be attended as often as possible, at least 2-3 times per week. When you cannot attend a lesson, you should set aside at least 20 minutes in which you can practice at home in a quiet location where you feel at peace. If you attend Tai Chi in Glendale, CA and follow the four steps above, you will soon see a huge improvement in both your Tai Chi technique and your health.

What to Expect During Your First Tai Chi Class

 If you have ever watched someone perform the art of Tai Chi before, you probably already know that each movement is slow, coordinated, and perfected. This can make it a little intimidating to attend your first Tai Chi class. With that said, there is nothing to be intimidated about. Everyone learns Tai Chi at their own pace, and instructors are always understanding of individual needs. But to calm your mind, let’s answer a few commonly asked questions regarding your first Tai Chi classes.

What should I wear to my first class?

Tai Chi requires a great deal of bending, stretching, and moving. As such, you will want to wear clothes that are comfortable and stretchy. While you want to be able to move in your clothes, you also want to make sure that they are not too baggy, as this can also make movements difficult. You should bring a sweatshirt along with you for the end of class, but make sure the clothes you wear are cool – you will be working up a sweat!

What if I don’t know the moves?

If you are attending your first Tai Chi class, you won’t know the moves. You may feel silly and have a hard time keeping up with more advanced Tai Chi students, but it is always important to remember that everyone needs to start somewhere. Even the most coordinated students were beginners at once and all beginners struggle during their first few classes. Pay attention and do your best – the rest will come with time.

What is the appropriate class etiquette?

Class etiquette in Tai Chi comes down to one thing – respecting those around you. Try to show up to class 5-10 minutes before class begins. If you are late, come in quietly and wait for the instructor to invite you in. Other than that, listen carefully to your instructor and be respectful of those around you. If you have any questions, save them until the end of class. Finally, try your best. You won’t learn the movements over night, but if you try your hardest every class, you will catch on quickly.

What should I do when I get frustrated?

If you have never taken part in a Tai Chi class before, you will definitely become frustrated at some point. Tai Chi movements are very technical and coordinated and take a long time to master – which can be very frustrating for new students. The key to handling this frustration is practice. The more you practice, the quicker you will learn and the less frustrated you will become. In the meantime, just remember that everyone starts in the same place – you are not expected to learn the moves right away, just have patience with yourself!

Before attending your first Tai Chi class at TCSociety.com, it is recommended that you watch one or two classes first. This will help you to become more familiar with the pace of the class, the atmosphere of the class, and a few of the moves. Watching classes beforehand will also give you the opportunity to meet some students so that you can become comfortable with your peers when attending your first class.

Are Group Tai Chi Videos Helpful?

When it comes to Tai Chi, there are several different ways that you can view and watch the art. The best way to watch Tai Chi is always in person, but there are many people who like to watch group Tai Chi videos as well. In fact, many people are turning to Tai Chi videos not only to watch techniques, but to learn the actual art. But are Tai Chi videos beneficial in this sense? Can you learn the art of Tai Chi through a video? Let’s take a more in depth look at this question.

Just as there are for other forms of martial art and exercise, there are many videos on the market that claim to be able to "teach" you Tai Chi. And while these videos can be beneficial in several other ways, using them to learn the art of Tai Chi is not recommended. The main reason for this is because Tai Chi consists of a variety of precise and specific movements. You can usually learn the basic movements by watching Tai Chi videos, but the preciseness will come down to practicing with others and gaining instruction from a Tai Chi master.

Another reason that group Tai Chi videos are not recommended for learning the art is because they don’t allow you to put the art into practice. You can watch videos and learn the techniques, but unless you have a group of other Tai Chi students to practice with you will never be able to learn the practicality of these techniques and movements.

With all of that said, Tai Chi videos can be useful in many other ways. Firstly, they are great for practicing techniques. Once you learn a technique from your Tai Chi instructor, you can use videos to review the proper technique while you are practicing at home. They are also great for learning combinations of movements (known as "forms"). Forms combine 8 or more Tai Chi movements together, and videos can be a great way to review them outside of class.

In addition, group Tai Chi videos can be a great way to get a head start on yourself. The art of Tai Chi is not learned overnight and is usually taught in stages. Group videos can help you research what is ahead, taking a look at movements, techniques, or forms that you have not yet learned. Keep in mind that these videos should not be used to learn the techniques, but to review them and become familiarized with them.

The verdict? Tai Chi videos are a great way to research Tai Chi and gain an understanding of the different movements and techniques used. They are also great for practicing the art form at home. With that said, if you are serious about learning the art of Tai Chi, group Tai Chi videos are not the way to do it. The only way to really learn Tai Chi is to practice in class with a reputable instructor such as those within the TCSociety. Videos can be used to supplement what you learn in class.

Tai Chi Lessons – Getting Started

Considering taking up Tai Chi? If so, you are making a great decision. There are many benefits that come along with Tai Chi and Tai Chi lessons. Not only is Tai Chi great for your health, but it is also teaches you to cope with stress and to defend yourself in dangerous situations. But upon entering your first Tai Chi class, you may feel a little bit intimidated. Here is some valuable advice to help you prepare for your first few Tai Chi lessons:

1) Do not be intimidated by the language

When you enter a Tai Chi class, you will hear a great deal of terms and phrases that you have probably never heard before. For example, there are names for different types of Tai Chi, as well as different movements involved in Tai Chi. Do not be overwhelmed when you hear these. As you continue on in your lessons, you will eventually catch on. If you have any questions, save them for the end of class and do not hesitate to ask your instructor.

2) You should always check with your doctor before beginning classes

Whether you are looking into beginning Tai Chi or any other form of exercise, you should always check with your doctor before beginning. Tai Chi is a very safe form of martial art, but can be dangerous when combined with certain physical conditions. If you suffer from musculoskeletal issues or any other medical condition, always be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning classes.

3) Observe a class before you participate

The best way to learn Tai Chi is by observing first. When observing Tai Chi you will be able to see the teacher in action, take in the type of feedback given, and experience the different levels of the art form. This will help to give you a better idea as to whether you will actually be comfortable taking a class, as well as what a class generally entails.

4) Get to know your instructor

One of the best things that you can do to increase your comfort level in class is get to know your instructor. Understand how they operate and ask questions. Feel free to ask about their history in Tai Chi and their level of knowledge. There is really no standard or licensing to become a Tai Chi instructor, so you will want to do all of your research to verify that the instructor you have is reputable.

5) Dress in comfortable clothes

When you perform Tai Chi, you want to make sure the clothes that you are wearing are comfortable. These clothes should be loose-fitting and should not restrict your motion. As for shoes, you may choose to wear comfortable flexible shoes, or go barefoot. This will also depend on the instructions of your teacher.

Use the tips above to help you find a good instructor and to ensure that Tai Chi is the right option for you. Once you have determined that it is something you can and want to do, watch a class to get a feel for the environment. Finally, step into the class and gauge your progress. You may feel slightly overwhelmed to begin with, but you will catch on quickly!

Those who know

 

There is a quote attributed to Lao Tzu, in the 6th century BCE, it says:

“Those who know don’t say, and those who say don’t know.”

 

Ignoring the paradox that this statement presents (as Lao Tzu was clearly ‘saying‘), I asked Gene Walder of TCSociety…

“Since many ‘say,’ and many ‘do not say,’ how is it possible ever to know?”

 

…and Gene replied:

“When a father teaches his son, he will say.”