Articles

Tai Chi Chuan

There are two ways that Tai Chi Chuan can be viewed: as a health exercise or as a unique style of boxing and self – defense. For one who wishes to practice for exercise, to increase strength, flexibility, vitality, relaxation and mental awareness (all well into old age), it may be practiced only as recreation. One who wishes to proceed further to develop technical skill in self-defense needs firmer dedication.

Value to Health

With dedicated practice, Tai Chi Chuan Provides enormous benefits to both men and women, young and old alike. It has been known to cure hypertension and other cardiovascular complications, arthritis, back pain, ulcers, and related gastrointestinal disorders as well as complaints such as fatigue and tension due to stress. Moreover, it is not strenuous and can be practiced anytime, anywhere.

Value in Self–Defense

Many renowned martial artists, past and present, have practiced Tai Chi Chuan. It is said that women and men can attain equal proficiency in the Tai Chi art of self-defense. This is true because skill, from the Tai Chi point of view, is not restricted by one’s size, strength or natural quickness. Practice rather than raw talent is more important here than in other forms of boxing.

The outstanding characteristic of Tai Chi Chuan is that its practice centers on the slow development of a flexible, tenacious strength that enables the body not only to withstand punches and kicks of great force but also to generate tremendous power of its own. The root of this strength is not in the muscles and bones, the Chinese say, but in the organs, the tendons, the ligaments and the mind.

Unlike muscular power, there are no measurable limits to this “internal” power. In practical application, the opponent’s force is never met head–on, rather, the practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan will neutralize and divert his opponent’s energy, however subtly, and turn it back against the opponent himself.