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T’ai Chi Exercises (T’ai Chi Walking)

If time is limited, the following basic T’ai chi walking exercise teaches all the fundamental T’ai chi skills, including: bodily awareness, correct back alignment, rooting, sinking and balance skills, and the differentiation of substantial & insubstantial. It is in fact a complete set of T’ai chi exercises. With the feet just under shoulder width apart, and weight distribution at 50/50 on each foot, ensure the...

The T’ai Chi Ball (Breathing Exercise)

Many people mistakenly believe that a physical ball is required to practice T’ai chi ball. The real ball is the ball of ch’i or life force or energy. One form of this ch’i is brought into the body by breathing. Through correct breathing practice this ball of ch’i is nurtured and held in the abdomen. Its external manifestation is the imaginary ball which is gently held in line with the lower abdomen when starting to...

The 42 Step Form (Competition Form) of T’ai Chi ch’uan (Taijiquan)

This is the standard Wushu (Chinese martial arts) competition form that combines movements drawn from the Yang, Wu, Chen, and Sun styles of traditional T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Taijiquan). It was developed principally by grandmaster Li De Yin in 1989 in collaboration with members of the Chinese Sports Committee. The 42 Step Form has been criticized as a hybrid, incorporating styles that work with completely different dynamics and...

T’ai Chi Ch’uan Uniform

This heading may be rather misleading, because in reality there is no uniform or special clothing for T’ai chi ch’uan. The round neck Chinese style jackets often worn by teachers in photographs, videos or at exhibitions or tournaments are simply modern versions of the type of jackets that respectable Chinese would wear in a semi-formal situation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Because the earliest...

T’ai Chi Ch’uan Sword Forms

The sword is a powerful symbol in many cultures, including that of China.  Straight swords (chien/jian) are used extensively by Taoist priests in Religious Taoist liturgies (public worship laid down by a church or religion) for protection and exorcism, as powerful bearers of ‘yang’ energy (creative, brightness, male). The sword in Mahayana Buddhism represents the Sword of Wisdom, which cuts through ignorance and...

T’ai Chi Ch’uan For Combat

Many Westerners interested in T’ai chi ch’uan for its health and meditative benefits are unaware that it is originally a traditional Chinese martial art. This is indicated in the word, “ch’uan” (quan) which means “fist” or “boxing”. T’ai chi is one of the three internal martial arts systems of China. It emphasizes the use of rooted stances and body alignment, correct focusing of breath and energy, as well...

T’ai Chi Ch’uan For Seniors

T’ai chi ch’uan (Tai ji quan) is a tried and tested Chinese system integrating internal martial art, gentle exercise, meditation, and a preventative health regime. As such, it is ideally suited for older people, as has been recognised in Chinese communities for three hundred years. Though ideally best learned while young, the simpler forms of T’ai chi, and exercise or isolated stances, can be quickly learned by...