Tai chi chuan is a Chinese internal martial art which developed through the last 700 years to the form that is practiced today. The slow and gentle movements contain inner strength and internal energy. Its philosophy is based on the two opposites of Yin & Yang. Taichi’s forms are specific movements with a continuous flow that express the force of life that is constantly changing. The stable rhythm lets the subconscious mind to calm down and focus. The movements are learned during some months or years by attending regular classes.
Having an irregular attendance to classes is not worthwhile. The basic training includes learning and correcting in detail those movements for quiet some time so that the internal energy (chi) can be cultivated and flow through the body. The student can learn various forms once he has learned the basic long form. A teacher’s guidance is really necessary for several years so that one can embody the basics. Taichi helps the development of the internal energy, calms down the nervous system, opens up the breath, eases up joint pains, and helps blood circulation. It improves cell replacement helps with insomnia and can work as a preventive method for several diseases as long as proper life style and diet are taking place. It improves once patience and self confidence.
It is an exercise that can be practiced by people of all ages. As a martial art (for those who want to practice this side of taichi) it strengthens the internal energy more than an external martial art. It helps the elasticity and flexibility of the body without injuring it. Every movement of the form is a self defence movement and while it is practised the mind is calm but aware and directs the energy in the body. That way there is a union of calmness within movement.
The main Tai Chi styles are Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao & Sun. Chan San Feng is Tai Chi’s creators according to legends in China. Chen style is the oldest one. Yang style’s creator is Yang Lu Chan (1799- 1872). The Yang style traditional long form that is practiced today has been created by Yang Chen Fu (Yang Lu Chan’s grand child). He simplified the movements by taking out the more complicated ones, the athletic and explosive moves and stomps and created a more calm form with constant flow.
The long traditional Yang style set as taught by Dong Family.
TAI CHI PUSH HANDS
Two person exercises where one learns the basics of yin yan, energy exchange, and self defence applications
It is necessary to have accomplished the learning of the slow set before taking this lesson. In push hands one can learn the basics of Tai Chi as a martial art, first in a gentle way and later more dynamic. The way push hands is used is according to one’s level and preferences.
DONG FAMILY FAST SET
This is a form that has been created by Tung Yin Jie. It is short and has slow and dynamic moves. One should have learn very well the slow set before learning this form.
KNIFE SET or Broadsword (Dao)
A short form where one learns how to use a weapon. Is suggested as a first weapon to learn before all others.
STRAIGHT SWORD (Jian)
It is mainly taught to those who have learned the knife set first.
FA JIN SET
The slow set in fast motion with fa jin energy.
TWO PERSON SET
Practicing the full sequence of the applications of the 1st part of slow set with a partner.
HAO STYLE (HARD STYLE)
This style has been created from Yang style. Is only taught to advanced students.
ADVANCED KNIFE SET
The second knife set (more advanced) for people who already have learned the first knife set.