What is Tai Chi? Tai Chi is a martial art from China. Strictly translated, it is “The Supreme Ultimate”.
The history of the martial arts in China is shrouded in mythical stories and tales. In that tradition, Tai Chi is the supreme art, and a skilled practitioner will prevail over any other type of fighter. In today’s times we do not need fighting skills, but we do need the inner centering, focus and strength that comes from martial arts training. In today’s world we often need to prevail over difficult and complex circumstances.
Tai Chi is a graceful martial art that originated in Chen Village in China. Chen style Tai Chi is more vigorous and is well suited to young persons. I must say that contemporary history was made at our Tai Chi Workshop several years ago with the introduction of “Elder Chen” Style by Master Dan Jones. Most of the Tai Chi you see practiced world wide today is Yang Style. Yang learned Chen style and then adapted it for the Imperial Court. This is a more gentle and flowing style. More recently, Sun style was developed as a fusion between Tai Chi and two other internal Chinese martial arts. Sun style is designed specifically for health improvement.
Tai Chi can be practiced alone and needs essentially no equipment. Once you have invested the time and money to learn a form, it is yours forever. Tai Chi can be safely practiced at any age, making it an ideal life long health practice. The scientific research on Tai Chi is growing with hundreds of articles published annually. These are well designed studies and authoritative consensus statements that show Tai Chi improves balance and flexibility, prevents falls, and improves activities of daily living. What is difficult to measure, but equally important, is the improved quality of life and lifting of mood from regular Tai Chi practice. Because Tai Chi is so immediately rewarding, it easily becomes a life long practice.
The best way to learn Tai Chi is from an instructor, although it is possible to get some basic knowledge from a DVD. We have a variety of excellent teaching videos covering basic beginners to very advanced styles. If you would like to browse the selection, you can link to www.taichiproductions.com and select the “DVD” button on the left panel. You can call a USA number: 901-388-3253 to order. Tai Chi for Health also sponsors a week long workshop in the United States every June and Dr. Lam offers a week long workshop in Sydney, Australia. This year our workshop sold out despite the poor economy. That is a real testament to the benefits of Tai Chi practice. If you would like to learn from a teacher, I offer classes weekly on Saturday mornings. I hold classes at Chautauqua Hall in Pacific Grove. Preregistration is required and you can call 831-622-1995 and talk to Jane about the classes. We will start a new series August 14th, 2010. We would love to see you make 2010 your year to become a Tai Chi enthusiast!