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Tai Chi

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I know nothing about internal arts.  What is Tai Chi and what does it do for you?

Tai Chi is known for it's slow flowing movements.
It focuses on breathing and energy fow through out the body and is probably know more for it's health benifits.

The Yang style is probably the most popular, but there are also the Chen, Sun, Wu, Ng..etc. Each having unique aspects but keeping core principls in common.

A short answer but hope it helps

Tai Chi Chuan is literally translated as "Grand Ultimate Excercise."  It is a means of developing the mind, the body, and most importantly, the connection between the two.  Through meditation, correct body alignment & structure, proper breathing, and relaxation, Tai Chi has the potential to releive stress, increase health & longevity, mental functionality, internal strength (power), balance, and coordination.  And best of all, anyone can do it!

It can be studied for health reasons and/or it's martial applications.  I could not do what I do in Tum Pai without it, I couldn't even do what I do in the lawn or on the job with out it.  It has improved my life tremendously.  In my school, I hear comments from students that study Tai Chi and ones that don't, that can see a major difference in the quality of martial skill from the Tai Chi practioners and the rest of the students.

Considering the fact that it's all about proper body mechanics and mental coodination, there is nothing mystical or religous about Tai Chi, but people who are very good at it, like my teacher, almost seem to have super natural powers.  They can release an incredible amount of power, along with other cool stuff.  One time I was sparring with my teacher and he shot some sort of energy fireball at me that repelled me backwards without him even touching me.  Ha ha, just kidding about the fireball.  

Did I mention Tai Chi can be boring?

Taijiquan is the full name for what most people over here call Tai Chi.  The direct translation as taught to me at Guangxi University in Nanning, P.R. China is "The Great Energy of the Fist."  The "ji/qi/chi" part is the energy part.  Similar to QiGung, or the "ki" in Ki-ai, it is supposted to mean your inner spirit.  Tai Chi is an exercise to harness that inner spirit.
It has been my experience that Tai Chi only enhances the Kaju techniques that we do.  I think it would enhance ANY martial art form for that matter.   Tai Chi principles teach balance by promoting great foot work, proper positioning of the upper body by not over exerting, and great control by focusing on the subtlies of movement accompanied by deep and thoughtful breathing.  By breaking down the movements into slow, flowing, but still calculated techniques, and then applying the same method to you Kajukenbo techniques - only good can come.
I have a list of drills that anyone can do.  These are techniques that I learned in the P.R. of China and continue to teach to my Tai Chi students today.  If you are serious about learning more about Tai Chi, I can email them to you.

One of the many side benefits of practicing Tai Chi Chuan is that your movements become very smooth and difficult for your opponent to key in on.  There is no jerk reflex or other indication that the attack or counter attack is forth coming.  Also the range of fighting is slightly different.  The distance that is the most effective seems to be the area that is not close to intermediate range nor the grappling range but some where in between.  The efficient economy of motion developed will make your fast movements faster.


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