Archive for Tai Chi Chuan

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.

The History of Tai Chi Chuan

Tai Chi is a form of martial arts which roots are entrenched deeply within Chinese history. When translated, the term Tai Chi Chuan stands for the "supreme ultimate fist". It can also be translated to "great extremes boxing", "boundless fist", or "the ultimate". Let’s take a closer look at the history of Tai Chi Chuan, as well as where the martial art stands in society today.

Tai Chi – A brief history

Like many other martial arts, the actual roots of Tai Chi are difficult to trace with any level of certainty. With that said, it is believed that the art form dates back to 1300-1400 AD. The original 13 postures of Tai Chi is accredited to Chang San-feng, a monk of the Wu Tong monastery. Whether this individual is historical or fictional, no one knows. As the story goes, the original 13 postures are based on three different factors; the I-Ching, the five elements, and the yin and yang theories. These movements were designed to help strengthen different aspects of the body, promoting health and wellness among those who practiced the art. The idea behind Tai Chi is that it promotes the free flow of the body’s natural energy. Referred to as "Chi", this pathway is believed to be the route to achieving harmony, balance, and better overall health and wellness.

According to belief, Chang San-feng’s student (Chiang Fa) went on to refine San-feng’s movements. And it is these amendments that are practiced within Tai Chi Chuan today.

Tai Chi characteristics

Regardless of the roots of Tai Chi, the characteristics of today are all the same. A soft style of martial arts, Tai Chi places it’s focus on internal power. Many of the forms practiced within Tai Chi are expressed through "katas". Most of these movements are slow moving, but there are also some that are performed at a quickened pace.

The goals of Tai Chi are the same as they were hundreds of years ago. Tai Chi is a form of martial art that teaches individuals to defend themselves – but only in necessary situations. It is also seen as a form of stress relief, as well as an excellent way to improve body strength and increase health and wellness.

Tai Chi Chuan today

There are several different types of Tai Chi practiced today. And while Tai Chi Chuan is not the oldest form of the art, it is the most popular form. There are many reasons that individuals chose to practice this art form. Whether you need to relieve stress, improve health, or learn to defend yourself, Tai Chi is a relaxing art form that is suitable for all ages. When compared to other forms of martial arts, Tai Chi is much gentler on the body, making it more suitable for different age groups and physical abilities.

Before practicing Tai Chi Chuan, be sure to speak to your doctor to make certain that your body can handle it. Once given the go ahead, try a class – you will soon reap all of the benefits that come along with this soothing and relaxing art form.

There’s a greater master over the next mountain…

 

The above quote comes from Dr. Yang-yang’s book” The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power,” available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Taijiquan-The-Nurturing-Science-Power/dp/0974099015/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345602890&sr=8-1&keywords=science+of+power+art+of+nurturing

 

I wanted to share the above image because I hear things like this all of the time:

“I am going to meet with this special qigong healing master.”

“We’re taking a workshop with a guru who teaches a rare yoga.”

“I heard there’s a teacher in Orange County who can share some secret technique.”

 

The old expression, “The grass is greener on the other side” comes to mind. They wonder if they can learn a Chinese martial art from a white person. Some think they have to go to a mountain cave and seclude themselves, they will advance their practice faster. Or some think that if only they learn DIRECTLY from Master XYZ will they learn the ‘true’ art.

While there are many possibilities, Dr. Yang-yang explains in this book a few simple keys for finding a competent tai chi chuan teacher. All of Chapter 3 of the book is dedicated to pointing the student in the right direction for finding a teacher from whom he or she can learn. If you do find a qualified teacher, be hesitant to look to the next mountain. You may miss what’s standing right in front of you. To highlight this concept, I’ll recount a scene from the movie Needle Through Brick– where several kung-fu masters sit around talking about new students. They claim they will send new students away at first. “Go study with another master,” they insist. Their point is the same as the sentiment expressed in the above image- you can always chase a dream somewhere else.

There is always another master with whom to study. There’s always another guru JUST beyond the next mountain. You can search the world over for the best of the best, and even they will point you to some one (or some thing) else as their teacher. As mentioned above, Dr. Yang-yang mentions some ways to classify a teacher, here are some other techniques for learning:

1. Make sure you have a competent teacher.

2. Follow your teacher’s other students (learn from your peers).

3. Read books about what you are learning.

4. Practice daily.

5. Meditate.

 

If you can practice these few things, your art will be limitless. Climb the mountain you are on first. Then conquer the next:

Beyond the next mountain, there is always a bigger mountain.

March Workshop 2:Tai Chi Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians Continued

Its not too late to join! TC is holding the second of a three part Tai Chi/Qi Gong Workshop tomorrow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Workshop 2: Tai Chi Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

In this workshop you will continue to study Qi channels (meridians) in the human body and learn to nourish them with the correct breathing patterns. This practice can be applied to Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong or any daily activity. TC will be demonstrating this within the application of his custom San-Shou routine. TC will also lead you into Tai Chi Sound practice to enrich your Qi flow.

For addition information call Jinn-Sho 錦繡 at (214) 600-1636 or Julia Lee at (202) 270-1350.

Hsuing-YangHo-stabilized-1

Hi there!

I just wanted to share a video from my Vimeo collection If you are not aware, there are quite a few videos of Xiong Yang-Ho out there on youTube. Xiong (sometimes spelled ‘Hsuing’) Yang-Ho (sometimes ‘Yangho’) was the first of TC Hou’s tai chi chuan teachers. In an effort for us to see more of the Yang style tai chi form, I have stabilized some of these shaky youTube renditions. The first of these, I did about a year ago. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here:

This video shows Xiong Yang-Ho’s rendition of the Yang Style “First Set.” The postures demonstrated match our form- ‘Tai Chi Ready’ ( 预备 ) trough ‘Return Tiger to Mountain’ ( 抱虎歸山 抱虎归山 ).

The non-stabilized, original youTube title was:
熊養和公1973年演練太極拳經典畫面

For more on our lineage, see:
TCSociety lineage

ENJOY!

~

March Workshop 1: Tai Chi Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

Its not too late to join! TC is holding the first of a three part Tai Chi/Qi Gong Workshop tomorrow.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Workshop 1: Tai Chi Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

In this workshop you will study Qi channels (meridians) in the human body and learn to nourish them with the correct breathing patterns. This practice can be applied to Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong or any daily activity. TC will be demonstrating this within the application of his custom San-Shou routine. TC will also lead you into Tai Chi Sound practice to enrich your Qi flow.

For addition information call Jinn-Sho 錦繡 at (214) 600-1636 or Julia Lee at (202) 270-1350.

Santa Monica Qi Kung Workshops In March

Tai Chi - Qi Gong - Santa Monica

This post is just a reminder that TC Hou will be repeating his notable, three part Qi Gong Workshop series on the last three Saturdays of March. If you missed this workshop series before, now is your chance to deepen your understanding of the internal power of Tai Chi.

This series is also great as a refresher course. It is a LOT of knowledge to internalize in a short period, so repetition can’t hurt 🙂

The schedule will be as follows:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Workshop 1: Tai Chi Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

In this workshop you will study Qi channels (meridians) in the human body and learn to nourish them with the correct breathing patterns. This practice can be applied to Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong or any daily activity. TC will be demonstrating this within the application of his custom San-Shou routine.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Workshop 2: Qi Kung I

You will learn how to make Qi power your movements. You will also be learning how to circulate Qi through our body in when in motion. Additionally we will be exploring the connection of this to our coordination. Application and practice will be further facilitated by continuing through TC’s San-Shou routine.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Workshop 3: Qi Kung II

Workshop 3 will be a continuation of the principals in Workshop 2. This will also finish up the San-Shou routine. By the end you will have been through both the defense and offense of a complete San Shou routine!

Time:

The workshop will be on three consecutive Saturdays from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in the afternoon.

Location:

They will take place in Santa Monica at the Yahoo! Center located at 2425 Colorado Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404.

Please read more about Qi Kung Workshops In Santa Monica and Los Angeles by clicking here.

Contact:

You can also call Julia Lee at (202) 270-1350 for more information on class times and fees.

We hope to see you there!

Fight Science For Tai Chi Chuan

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

This is really cool video series from ifeng.com. A Tai Chi master competes, and wins against several physically superior opponents. It is like the American show, Fight Science, but specifically for Tai Chi. It attempts a scientific analysis of the techniques of Tai Chi Chaun. It is in Chinese, those of you who speak Chinese will get most most out of it. If you don’t speak Chinese, like me, the visuals were informative and helpful. Also, there are historical dramatizations of Yang Lu Chan that are pretty entertaining. Enjoy!

Tai Chi Chuan in Beverly Hills, CA

Have you been looking for Tai Chi Chuan instruction near Beverly Hills, CA?

DSC00612
Creative Commons License photo credit: Julie, Dave & Family

Here is a list of our Tai Chi Chuan classes within a 5 mile radius of Beverly Hills, CA:


Yahoo! Center, Santa Monica, CA
Douglas Park, Santa Monica, CA
Westwood Park, Westwood, CA
Mar Vista Park, Mar Vista, CA
Woodbridge Park, Studio City, CA

Click on one of the class links above to view the class schedules at each location.

For more information on joining a class, call Juko Chun at:

1-213-700-5467


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These days, Tai Chi Chuan isn’t merely utilized as a type of self-defense but additionally as a resource to preserve an individual’s wellness. Numerous wellness benefits have been connected to training in Tai Chi Chuan. Scientists have proven that comprehensive Tai Chi performance shows numerous beneficial outcomes dealing with balance, mobility, and the health of one’s heart. It’s additionally proven to reduce the likelihood of falls. Continuous physical workouts can also melt away calories. With all of these confirmed beneficial outcomes, Tai Chi really should play a role in the day-to-day routines of individuals around the world.

The phrase Tai Chi Chuan symbolizes “the supreme ultimate fist”. Several forms of instruction in Tai Chi Chuan are especially well-known for their slower motions.

From the time of the substantial preliminary advertising of the overall health advantages of Tai Chi Chuan in the earlier Twentieth century, it’s obtained global support from individuals with minimal or absolutely no interest in self-defense instruction.

This is a result of its advantages for overall health. Scientific reports of Tai Chi Chuan uphold its effectiveness as a replacement workout and as a sort of martial arts therapy.

In an effort to produce a relaxed and unobstructed frame of mind, it allows you to concentrate the imagination on only the actions you are doing.

Overall well-being: If you aren’t healthy or comfortable, you could find it challenging to attain a state of peacefulness or to apply Tai Chi Chuan as a form of self-defense. Tai Chi’s well-being education, consequently, offers notice to remedying the corporeal consequences of anxiety on the body and mind. Outstanding physical condition is a crucial phase when learning the skills you need to defend yourself.

Meditating: The heart and peace developed by the meditation component of Tai Chi Chaun is viewed as crucial in maintaining optimum wellness.

Self-defense Skills: The ability to use Tai Chi Chuan as a method of defending oneself is the pupil’s test of comprehension of the skill. Tai Chi Chuan allows one to learn the appropriate change in response to exterior forces and it teaches to stop an inbound strike rather than attempting to match it with an opposing power. The use of Tai Chi Chuan as a self-defense skill is fairly difficult and requires a lot of groundwork.

Tai Chi Chuan demonstrates 3 basic ranges: close, medium, and long, and any in the middle. Punches and open-hand hits are more regularly employed than straightforward blows. When it comes to kicks, these are usually to the lower legs and should always be below hip level. Primarily, Tai Chi experts assume their trainees to adequately acquire an understanding of defensive or counteractive abilities at first, and a beginner will need to display competence with them ahead of being coached for the offense.

Tai Chi Chuan in Playa Del Rey

Finding Tai Chi Chuan lessons near Playa Del Rey, CA has never been easier. We have three convenient classes to serve your needs.

pdr

Here is a list of our Tai Chi Chuan classes within a 5 mile radius of Playa Del Rey, CA:


Yahoo! Center, Santa Monica, CA
Westwood Park, Westwood, CA
Mar Vista Park, Mar Vista, CA

Click on one of the class links above to view the class schedules at each location.

For more information on joining a class, call Juko Chun at:

1-213-700-5467


Our Playa Del Rey Tai Chi Offerings Include:

  • Tai Chi Playa Del Rey, CA
  • Tai Chi Chuan Playa Del Rey, CA
  • Tai Chi Lessons Playa Del Rey, CA
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  • Tai Chi Chuan Classes Playa Del Rey, CA
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  • Tai Chi Chuan Instruction Playa Del Rey, CA

Tai Chi works to alleviate symptoms of stress both physically and mentally. By creating a healthy mental and physical condition, individuals will be much more capable of defending themselves against outside forces.

People today do not just see Tai Chi Chuan as a form of martial art. Rather, Tai Chi teaches self-defense techniques while at the same time promoting overall health and well-being. Scientific studies have proved that Tai Chi Chuan benefits our individual stability, flexibility, and heart health. It also decreases the chances that you will ever endure a fall, and helps you to burn calories and stay fit. As you can see, Tai Chi offers many physical and mental benefits – so take some time out of your busy schedule and focus on increasing your health and well-being.

When it comes to training in Tai Chi, the student must learn to show flexibility when defending against an outside force. If they respond to violence with violence, someone will inevitably be hurt. To prevent any injuries from being sustained, Tai Chi teaches students not to fight back with violence, but rather to defend with calmness and awareness.

Close, medium, and long; these are the three different ranges that students in Tai Chi Chuan learn. When learning Tai Chi, the masters generally prefer open hand strikes and pushes to actual punches. Similarly, all kicks must be to the legs and never above hip level. When beginning Tai Chi, the master will teach the student everything they need to know about defending themselves against outside forces. Once they have displayed a thorough understanding, they can move on to learn the actual defense mechanisms.