About Tai Chi
A basic understanding of Tai Chi (pronounced taiji or tai chee) consists of a set of soft slow movements, known as a form. It is also an ancient art and practiced at the Centre for its holistic movements, health and relaxation; Tai Chi is accessible to all ages and physical abilities and requires no special equipment, ideally all you need is loose clothing and soft flat footwear.
Most people are familiar with the movements of the Tai Chi Form, whenever you see travelogues of China, they include images of people practicing slow, graceful movements usually early in the morning. As with Qigong, these slow, external movements help to stimulate the internal organs by promoting the flow of internal energy called Qi (Chi).
The style taught at the Centre is the ‘original’ holistic Yang style as passed on by Grand Master Yang Cheng-Fu, (1883 – 1936) He was known as the ‘Invincible’ and was developed for its ‘holistic’ benefits more so than its original martial art aspect.
The correct title is Tai Chi Chuan, an original internal martial art that has been around for about 1000 years and was introduced to the West in the 1920’s from China, dates of origination’s are not clear as revolution and rulers destroyed most documentation. Handed down from generation to generation, not usually being taught outside the individual family circle. There are direct family lineage charts available, but they tend to be somewhat complicated and confusing and can be very controversial. Several original family names do still exist, lending their names to there specific styles. The Yang style is the most popular tai chi style in the West of which several adaptations are now in existence. The Chen family is said to be the originator of Tai Chi as we know it today. The remainder can be termed as offshoots from the yang style, some of these are the Wu, Lee & Sun families.
There are more styles that can be termed as powerful and explosive – martial yet still holistic, they include the Yang LuChan old style and Bagwazhang both very ‘fa-jing’. These are usually reserved for the more advanced student along with the weapon forms.
The original old Yang Style by the originator Yang Lu Chang (1799-1872) is also taught at the TCQC.
It is widely believed that Chang San-feng was the founder of H’ao-Chuan, meaning ‘Loose Boxing’ that over time became TaiChi-Chuan. Broadly speaking the Yang LuChan style preceded the Yang Cheng-fu style which is widely practiced today along with many variants and watered down versions.
The original form consisted of 108 movements divided into three sections for easier learning. At the TCQC we have expanded the original moves without adding or subtracting postures to 164 to enable detailed teaching and learning.
Hao Chuan is a most advanced level of taiji which is almost extinct today, consisting of very fine detailed ‘internal’ form movements interspersed with fa-jing explosive moves, and considered the most powerful of all taiji frames for higher development and self-healing. Hao Chuan develops the spirit, which in turn leads the mind, and finally, the body will naturally follow. The Tai Chi Qigong Centre embraces the Yang LuChan form at the H’ao Chuan advance level.
Both TaiChi and Qigong practice the same philosophy and principles of Yin and Yang. The definition of the words Tai Chi also applies to the Yin & Yang symbol.
TAI > Supreme
CHI > Ultimate
This definition also applies to the ‘Tao’ as in Taoism pronounced ‘Daoism’
Detailed step by step DVDs covering Tai Chi and Qigong are available from our Tai Chi Shop