About Quiet Tiger | What is Tai Chi?
Tai chi is said to encompass the spirit of Chinese metaphysics, meditation, and medicine in the body of a martial art.
WHAT IS TAI CHI?
Tai Chi Chuan is a centuries old Chinese system of movement originally taught as a martial art. It is considered to be the softest of the internal martial arts “Kung Fu” of China, as well as a moving meditation. The internal martial arts stress cultivation of internal energy called Chi.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is interested in increasing or balancing the internal energy of the body to maintain health. Many exercises systems were developed along with the use of food, herbs, massage and techniques such as acupuncture, to ensure proper Chi flow and balance in the human body.
The Yang Style is one of many different Tai Chi systems practiced today. The word “Yang” refers to the family in China who taught this particular style – some of the family still teaches around the world today. The basis for this style is called the “Long Form.” The Long Form consists of one hundred and eight choreographed movements that have martial applications. All movements are connected and practiced in one slow continuous set without stopping (typically between 20 and 30 minutes). Emphasis is placed on proper body alignment, correct comfortable foot placement, deep abdominal breathing with soft relaxed movements. Though relaxation is the most important, the goal is generation and cultivation of internal energy.
After learning the entire form correctly, one can start to move more softly with deeper relaxation. Total concentration should be placed on the continuity and flow of the movements. When the form becomes more familiar, you spend less time thinking about external movements and start to look, feel and listen to the energy flow within your body. With continual practice, you begin to focus the mind only on the form, so all other thoughts are forgotten during the set. You will be performing a moving meditation. After years of persistent practice the flow of energy will become stronger, and you will gain more control over the flow of Chi in your body.