About Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi is a centuries old Chinese art developed originally as a fighting art, but refined as a health and fitness regimen. It is soft, gentle, refreshing and fun. In parks throughout China every morning 250 million people start the day doing Tai Chi. The youthful energy of these senior and middle aged adults is inspiring. Even in the U.S.A. many are trying out this exercise in parks, senior centers, community centers, and martial art centers like ours!
The movements are done ever so slowly. The practitioner becomes aware of every subtle shift of balance and the principles behind the movements. The Chinese believe that Tai Chi promotes health by improving and regulating the flow of Chi (life energy force) from its' gathering place in the abdomen (tan tien, in chinese) throughout the body. Western and eastern doctors agree, that Tai Chi's slow rhythmic movements calm the mind, while the body is gently stimulated.
It is a great workout! There is no impact, and although the practitioner should never get out of breath, it really works a wide range of muscles, enhancing flexibility and strength.
How to Learn Tai Chi
Tai Chi must be learned slowly and progressively. We start with the basic exercises, plus slow, static stretches that simulate movements within a Tai Chi form, or allow the fullest development of these movements.
The next step is to learn the correct way of the formal movements, stressing flow, circularity, coordination and balance.
Then developing "Chi", intrinsic energy, comes next. This comes from using the body as a whole unit. "When one thing moves, everything moves!"
We sincerely recommend training with a qualified instructor that can give you feedback on what you are doing, and working with a group that can give emotional support and add context to what you are doing. If you are in the Western New York area, we'd love to have you train either at our main school with it's extensive set of classes and hours, or at one of our many outside classes in the community.