What is Tai Chi Chuan
The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan (also written as Taijiquan) can be translated as the 'Supreme Ultimate Fist'. The concept of 'supreme ultimate' is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, this exhibits the understanding that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things.
Tai Chi, which is easily recognised by its slow and graceful movements, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving meditation. Tai Chi fosters a calm and tranquil mind, focused on the precise execution of its postures. Learning to do them correctly provides a practical avenue for learning about such things as balance, alignment, fine-scale motor control, rhythm of movement, the genesis of movement from the body's vital center, and so on. Thus the practice of Tai Chi can in some measure contribute to being able to better stand, walk, move, run, etc. in other spheres of life as well. Many practitioners notice benefits in terms of correcting poor postural, alignment or movement patterns which can contribute to tension or injury. Furthermore the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing in and of itself.
But there is far more to Tai Chi than simple relaxation or physical exercise for those who wish to explore this profound and life-transforming art....
Tai Chi was first and foremost developed as a martial art. In classical Yang style one first learns the form comprising of 112 basic postures. These basic postures, originally designed for martial application teaches the student how to optimally align the body structure to manifest or redirect power.
In Chinese philosophy and medicine there exists the concept of 'chi', a vital force (bio-electricity) that animates the body. This 'chi' circulates in patterns, which are closely related to the nervous and vascular system. One of the purposes of Tai Chi is to foster the circulation of 'chi' within the body. These 'chi' cultivating exercises are known as 'chi kung'. Chi Kung accesses the same mechanisms used in acupuncture and other oriental healing arts, and has the effect of generally enhancing the health and vitality of its practitioners. Chi Kung can also specifically be applied to achieve healing.
When 'chi' manifestation is coupled with the correct structural alignment, a very powerful whip-like penetrating force is generated, known as 'fa jing'. Tai Chi uses this force offensively to attack vital acupuncture cavities. Defensively Tai Chi teaches you great sensitivity in sensing your opponent's intent and movement as well as skills in neutralising and uprooting your opponent through exercises known as 'pushing hands'.
As a martial art Tai Chi is a medium range fighting system focusing on all categories of fighting namely 'Ti' - kicking, 'Da' - striking , 'Shuai' - wrestling, 'Na' - Joint locking.
Contents of YMAA Yang Style Taijiquan training
At YMAA we train traditional Yang Style Taijiquan which originated from Yang, Ban-Hou. This style emphasizes al aspects of Taiji training, including the martial content. This style is different from the style which was passed on by Yang, Chen- Fu which mainly emphasizes the health aspects of Taiji.
Taiji Solo Sequence, Applications from the Solo Sequence, Fast Taiji training, Still Meditation, Qi Circulation Training, Jin Training, Pushing Hands and its Applications, Taiji Fighting Set and Deeper Martial Applications, Taiji Free Pushing Hands and Sparring.
Taiji Sword Solo Sequence, Qi Enhancement and Extension Training, Martial Applications, Matching Forms, Sparring.
Taiji Saber Solo Sequence, Martial Applications, Matching Forms and Sparring.
Taiji Spear and Staff
Individual Spear and Staff Martial Techniques, Sticking and Matching Practice, Long Weapons Sparring
Listening and Understanding Jin Training, Adhere-Stick Jin Training, Qi Enhancement and Extension Training, Two-person Taiji Ball Training.