Tai Chi or Taijiquan
Scientifically verified benefits:
Taijiquan is an excellent mind body exercise, integrating internal kung fu, meditative awareness, Taoist philosophy, and the physics of efficient movement.
Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) Videos
Master Yang Jun, Yang Family lineage holder teaches Yang Long Form
Master Arthur Du, excellent videos
Master Arthur Du, Yang 24 Taijiquan
Master Liang, Simplified Yang 24 Short Form
Yang 24 Taijiquan (rear/side view)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X16NbG0pM0
24 Tai chi with the english name of each movement performed by a Chinese Taijiquan champion ("the Lady in Pink"). Please be aware that her stance is too low for most people. She is young and has developed her ability from intensive training at an early age! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua-M7js0F0g
Ian Sinclair's instructional video's:
Bruce Frantzis has some excellent Tai Chi tips here:
Master Chen Zheng Lei Demonstrates Chen Style Tai Chi
Master Dong Huling demonstrates Yang style long form
Gary McCabe's Taijiquan Classes
Learn 24 step Yang style Taijiquan (Tai chi chuan), the same form practiced in parks throughout China. Widely known as "the Short Form", it is the most popular in the world, enjoyed by millions.
What is it?
While witnessing the peaceful flowing movements of Yang style, it may be hard to believe that Taijiquan (Tai chi chuan) means "grand ultimate fist". Most people practice Taiji solely for its health benefits and may have no interest in its martial dimension.
It is difficult to know the true origins of Taijiquan. Some claim it began at Wudang mountain, others say the Shaolin temple had a form of Taiji, but most acknowledge that Chen family style is the oldest verifiable form of Taijiquan. Today, there is a place known as Chen village where family members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of their art. Chen style is characterized by slow, even movements alternating with powerfully explosive ones. It is often done in a lower stance and is more martial looking, with explosive kicks, punches, elbow strikes and joint locking techniques evident.
Yang Lu Chan was the first person outside the Chen family to learn their style and later created a very different version of Taijiquan. He may have had other influences besides Chen style, but some believe that he basically made the large spirals, circular movements and martial aspects less obvious and more internal. His grandson, Yang Cheng Fu, modified this form further and eliminated its most vigorous martial movements. His style is recognizable by its flowing, continuous tempo. Yang Cheng Fu traveled widely, successfuly promoting his art and soon his Yang Taijiquan Long form (85 step) and Tuishou (push hands) became famous.
Yang style also has a martial version which is less well known. Its training is far more extensive and intense than the popular style.
In 1956 a group of Yang style Taiji Masters were commissioned by the Chinese government to create a simple, shorter form for the public. The 24 step Tai chi form was the result of their research. It has a focus on health, is easier to learn and can be done in under 7 minutes. Its combination of flowing movement, stable footing and awareness to detail make it a perfect remedy to modern stress and tension. Even watching a good Tai Chi Chuan performance is relaxing, but only actual practice will reveal its mysterious power to recharge you, boost immunity and calm your mind. Modern practitioners continue to find that Taijiquan can become a source of endless fascination and deepening well being.
US trail study of Tai Chi for fibromyalgia
The Tai Chi Space by Paul Cavel 40 principles to bring your Taijiquan
and Qigong practices to deeper levels.
Tai Chi in 10 Weeks-Beginner's Guide by Dr. Aihan Kuhn
Best beginner's book for Simplified Yang Style.
The Yang Taiji 24 Step Short Form by James Drewe
Intermediate level, very detailed book on the 24 Yang form.
Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan by Fu Zhongwen
About the Yang 85 long form.
(Taijiquan philosophy)- brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/the-taiji-manual-of-xu-yusheng/
Additional Taiji Videos
Yang style Martial applications- an external view (you can't easily see the internal)
Yang 24 Taijiquan Sequence
1 Commencing (Qishì)
2 Part the Wild Horse's Mane (Yéma Fenzong)
3 White Crane Spreads Its Wings (Báihè Lìangchì)
4 Brush Knee and twist step (Louxi aobù)
5 Playing the Lute (Shouhui Pípa)
6 Repulse Monkey (Daojuan Gong)
7 Grasp the Bird's Tail (ZuoLan Quewei)
a) Ward Off (Peng)
b) Rollback (Lu)
c) Press (Ji)
d) Push (An)
8 Right Grasp Bird's Tail (You Lan Quewei)
9 Single Whip (Danbian)
10 Wave Hands Like Clouds (Yunshou)
11 Single Whip (Danbian)
12 High Pat on Horse (Gao Tan Ma)
13 Right Heel Kick (You Dengjiao)
14 Strike to Ears with Both Fists (Shuangfeng Guaner)
15 Turn Body and Left Heel Kick (Zhuanshen Zuo Dengjiao)
16 Left Lower Body and Stand on One Leg (Zuo Xiashi Duli)
a) Snake Creeps Down,
b) Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg
17 Right Snake creeps down, Golden Rooster Stands on one leg
18 Play the Shuttle (Yunu Chuansuo)
19 Needle at Sea Bottom (Haidi Zhen)
20 Fan Through Back (Shan Tong Bei)
21 Turn Body, Deflect, Parry, and Punch (Zhuanshen Banlanchui)
22 Appears Closed (Rufeng Sibi), Withdraw and Push, as if Closing a Door
23 Cross Hands (Shizishou)
24 Closing (Shoushi)
Sunday Push hands Practice (Tui Shou)
at the Veteran Park, Parsippany, NJ
(Canceled until further notice)
This is not a teaching environment, but anyone who has at least 5 years Taijiquan practice and would like to explore push hands in a friendly way is welcome. A group of Taiji Quan practitioners practice "Push Hands" at the Veterans Park, Parsippany, NJ 07054 (The entrance to Veterans Memorial Park is located on Route 46 East at Vail Road, directly after Cerbo's Lumber) every Sunday morning from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM. Starts again in Spring.
Please email me before attending.
Tai Chi Chuan or Taijquan? Chi Kung or Qigong? Chi or Qi? Hsing-I Chuan or Xingyiquan?
These are the same words but are spelled differently because initially Chinese words where romanized according to the Wades-Giles system. In the 1980's the transliteration was switched to the Pinyin system. Today you may see a combination which may vary from author to author. Hence, the confusion.
What is Taijiquan? "Taiji" refers to the duality of the universe depicted by the famous symbol of yin and yang. That symbol is called the Taiji symbol. It's half black with a white dot and half white with a black dot. It symbolizes a dynamic state of interdependence, transformation, and balance. Taiji refers to the primal condition of the universe after it split into two from the primordial Oneness. It is often translated as the "grand ultimate or grand terminus". "Quan" refers to fist or force and martial arts. Taijiquan was originally known as Cotton fist.One story is that the originator of Yang style Taijiquan, Yang Lu Chan, was an unbeaten pugilist who employed the principles of yin and yang. His embodiment of Taiji philosophy in his art gave rise to the name, Taijiquan.
The vast majority of people who practice Taijiquan today do not use it as a martial art. Most practice it as a flowing set of mindful movements which reduce stress, increase well-being and balance.It has a long list of scientifically verified benefits including, increasing grey matter in the brain, helping with diabetes, improving bone density, reducing blood pressure and more..
To study the martial aspects of Taijiquan is becoming a little more popular in America than it once was. To actually use it effectively in real martial arts contests is rare and would require very intensive mental, physical and energy training for years. Taijiquan is a masterpiece. Woven within it is Qigong, the physics of effortless movement, a through and gentle exercise system, Meditation, Inner Alchemy and the study of Yin and Yang within oneself as well as with others.
It is deeply influenced by Taoist philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of being natural and harmonizing with Nature.
Taijiquan has different branches named after families or locations: Yang, Chen, Wu, Sun, Wu/Hao, Wudang etc. Each Taijiquan style has an external form or choreography which takes some time to learn properly. Along with form study, Taijiquan's internal training involves learning "Sung", listening and sensing skills or "Ting jin", Fajin or explosive power, push hands etc. Weapons like sword, are used for training in later stages of development.
What is Qigong or Chi Kung? Qi or "chi" basically means energy or life force** and "gong" refers to any skill which is highly developed through dedicated practice. Qigong is a method of building, balancing, and refining your energy and awareness. There are thousands of forms of Qigong which may focus on health, martial power, inner alchemy, spirituality and ethical development or can be a synthesis of these. Qigong often includes still meditation and self-massage/acupressure as well.
Qigong movements are done mindfully with different focuses depending on the goal. Generally, there is regulation of breathing, mind, movement and posture with deeper alignments of energetic structures (danteins,sinew channels, meridians, energy gates) all done in an integrated fashion.
Most Qigong sets are separate movements which are easy to learn. Externally, they may look simple but internally, they are more complex. There are some Qigong forms, like Wild Goose Qigong, which have a long series of linked movements.
** Qi meaning life force is very simplistic and limited. To begin a deeper understanding of "Qi", please read this: http://jaybulloch.com/articles/what-is-qi/ and start practicing Qigong or Taijiquan.
Understanding the philosophy of Yin and Yang