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Chen-Style-Taichi

Chenjiagou Taichi June's School, China

 
 
 
 
 

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An Introduction to Tai Chi & The Internal Martial Arts of China  

2012-09-10 21:27:25|  分类: Cultural |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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An Introduction to Tai Chi & The Internal Martial Arts of China

The Martial Art Traditions in China have evolved into an amazing diversity of sophisticated art forms over the last thousand years.

They are divided into two basic groups :

1) Those using Internal Energy or Qi as the primary source of power for movement.

2) Those using External Energy i.e. muscle power.

The purpose of this website is to promote the Internal Martial Arts. Of these Tai Chi is the most famous and as such is the foundation of this website, though I hope to include more on the other arts in the future.


What is Tai Chi Chuan?
A Connected Meditation - eyes open, body active, mind connected with the external world yet still and quiet.
An Amazing Healthcare System.
The Ultimate Martial Art.
Beauty in Movement.
A Great Way to Start the Day.

Tai Chi is all of these things, although different teachers may focus more or less on the various aspects in their own practice and teaching.


History

Tai Chi Chuan is one of the products of the Taoist Spiritual Tradition and Chinese Martial Art Culture with roots dating back far into the past.

There are five main styles in existence today :


Chen Style originating in Chenjiagou Village - Chen Wang Ting (1580-1660)
Yang Style originating from Chen - Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872)
Wu (Hao) Style originating from Yang & Chen - Wu Yu-hsiang (1812-1880)
Wu Style (Small Circle) originating from Yang - Wu Chuan Yau (1834-1902)
Sun Style originating from Yang, Wu(Hao), Xinyi & Bagua - Sun Lutang (1861-1932)

Chen Tai Chi was probably the original Tai Chi. Other theories favour Zhang San Feng and Wudang Kungfu but there is no historical evidence for this.

Either way, Tai Chi was influenced by and inherited aspects of the Taoist internal energy tradition which existed much earlier and no doubt also included aspects of body movement.

Chen Wang Ting, by combining his knowledge of the Yin / Yang, Chinese Medicine Qi theory, 'Tu Na' (Exchanging Dirty Qi for Clean Qi) and Internal Qi Gong with the Chen family Kungfu, was able to create a new martial art form - Tai Chi Chuan.

Yang Style Tai Chi was originally created by Yang Lu Chan. Traditionally Chen Tai Chi was only passed on to family members but Yang Lu Chan worked as a servant for Chen Chang Xing and eventually received teaching from him. Yang Lu Chan later had contact with other martial arts including Baguazhang and his own personal style evolved forming the framework for Yang Tai Chi. His grandson Yang Chen Fu, further softened the style producing the Yang Tai Chi that is familiar today.

Wu (Hao), Wu (Small Circle) & Sun Tai Chi all evolved after this, though they are much less widespread than Yang Style.

Tai Chi has a strong tradition and foundation yet is alive and changing all the time with each master adapting it to the needs of the time.

In the last century Chen Tai Chi developed significantly with the addition of Xin Jia or New Frame by Chen Fake, adding more twisting movements and smaller circles and this has evolved further still with Feng Zhi Qiang's Xinyi Hunyuan which combines Qi Gong and Xinyi with Chen Xin Jia.

Yang Tai Chi has also adapted to modern times. The Simplified Yang 24 version was created in Beijing to make it easy to learn for the majority of people, and Chen Man Ching created other simplified versions though many may still prefer the Traditional Long Forms to all of these.

The 42 Style was also created, combining aspects of Yang, Chen and the other Tai Chi styles. In practice though it is most similiar to Yang Style.


So what is it?

Tai Chi Chuan is an Internal Martial Art system which places emphasis on the development and control of Chi (Consciousness) energy within the body.

This is achieved with the aid of the Tai Chi Forms, sequences of movement practised in a meditative state of mind.

Advanced internal energy exercises, Nei Gong, focusing on developing the 'Dan Tian', abdominal region, are also practiced, especially in Chen Style Tai Chi.

Practiced at the highest level, every movement orginates with the twisting and turning of the 'Dan Tian'. The body moving around it in relaxed, circles and spirals. Achieving this requires a body with near perfect posture and an amazing ability to relax deeply the mind, body and heart - energy channels fully open and flowing with Chi.

In Tai Chi, this state of relaxation is called 'fang sung' and can best be described as a combination of relaxation, alertness, poise and balance.

A state of being, totally in the 'Now' in body and mind.

If you were holding a glass, the tension in your body would be such that the slightest further relaxation would cause the glass to drop.

If you were to think of yourself as a glass with water in it, surrounded by an ocean. Forget the glass and become the ocean.

Tai Chi constantly brings up the challenges of polarities, of hardness and softness, of power and subtlety of yin and yang (the Tai Chi).

Committed practice teaches the practitioner to surrender to the Tao that can guide one between the yin and the yang in the truth of the moment.

This could be called natural movement, it is spontaneous and unaffected without conceptual 'faking' and the feeling when this happens deeply is extraordinary.

It can be a spiritual perfection path of the highest order for those who wish to reach for the Ultimate in their life.

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