Tai Chi is a centuries old Chinese discipline for health,
relaxation, balance, flexibility, strength, meditation, self-defense
and self-cultivation. It improves circulation, balance,
coordination, and helps relax and strengthen the muscular and
nervous systems. The stretching movements make the body
limber, tone up muscles, and help release tension. As a
meditation, Tai Chi is a way of harmonizing body and mind
Great Grandmaster Cheng Man-ch'ing describes Tai Chi Chuan simply as "The "Supreme Utlimate" exercise for health, sport, and self-defense." When discussing the principles of Tai Chi Chuan, he says, "As a whiff, nothing is more pliable than air, nothing more yielding than water. But as tornadoes and tidal waves, air and water carry everything before them. Mass integration makes the difference."
In his book called "Body Mechanics of Tai Chi Chuan",
Grandmaster William C.C. Chen
(pictured below) talks about the slow and even
movements relaxing the body and mind. This effect promotes
"...the flow of vital energy (chi)" and replaces "stiffness with
flexibilty and good body coordination. This helps fighters to
effectively reach the highest level in the art of self-defense.
Practiced daily and properly as an exercise, it promotes one's
mental traquility, improves physical fitness, increases blood
circulation to its fullest capacity, and provides the tissues of
various organs with the maximun amount of oxygen."
The Tai Chi form is composed of a series of postures, put together in
a very flowing, but precise way. In learning the postures and also
learning how to connect each posture in a prescribed manner, one
learns how to control body and mind in harmony. Once all the
postures are learned, the Tai Chi form is refined.
In the class called "Corrections", the body mechanics of the Tai Chi
form, the mind and how it relates, and the blending of the mind and
body is taught. The student becomes aware of new relationships, has
better control of his or her body, develops internal strength of one's
body and eventually learns to abandon fear and anxiety for calmness,
vitality, flexibilty and good body coordination.
Grandmaster William C.C. Chen - "Snake Creeps Down".
"Push Hands" is a two person exercise that helps the student learn how to
deal with energy coming from another person. After learning the benefits of
the "Form", the "Push Hands" exercise helps the student learn how to apply
the principles of Tai Chi in a self-defense, or martial art manner. After much
study, the student will learn how to absorb energy, and then use that energy
to defeat an opponent. Relaxation, sensitivity, internal strength, flexibilty, and
rooting are learned, rather than brute force and tension.|
|The Sword Form, like the William CC Chen 60 Movement Form, contains all the elements and principles of Tai Chi Chuan and adds the sword as part of the movements. The sword becomes part of the body, moving only when the body moves, and in the same direction. Because this form incorporates the use of a weapon, this form is more obvious as a martial art. The same health benefits, however, can be obtained when doing the Sword Form as doing the Form without a weapon.||