H. WON TAI CHI INSTITUTE
Traditional Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan
Although Tai Chi Chuan is an extremely effective martial art, few American martial artists consider it as such. How, they ask, can such a simple and peaceful way of moving be used for self-defense or even for good condition?
Tai Chi Chuan is both a health exercise, and a unique form of self-defense system. It can be practiced for recreation and to increase strength, flexibility, vitality, and mental awareness well into old age. However, greater dedication is needed to develop technical skill in self-defense.
Tai Chi Chuan requires as much mental concentration as physical control. It is not performed in the same manner as calisthenics or other sports. Some describe it as a form of meditation in motion, with the movements performed in a slow, continuous manner. After practice, one feels invigorated, clean-minded, and peaceful.
Value to Health: With dedicated practice, Tai Chi Chuan provides enormous benefits to people of all ages. It has been known to cure hypertension, cardio-vascular disease, arthritis, back pain, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders and complaints, such as fatigue and tension due to stress. Moreover, it can be practiced anywhere, at anytime, which makes it an ideal exercise for today's fast-paced, mobile lifestyle.
Value in Self-Defense: Many renowned martial artists, past and present, have practiced Tai Chi Chuan. Men and women can attain equal proficiency. From the Tai Chi Chuan point of view, skill is not restricted by body size, strength, or natural quickness. Practice, rather than raw talent, is more important than in other forms of martial art. The outstanding characteristic of Tai Chi Chuan is that it's practice centers around the slow development of a tenacious strength that enables the body not only to withstand punches or kicks of great force but also to generate tremendous power of its own. The root of this strength is not in the muscles and bones, but in the organs, the tendons, and the mind. Unlike muscular power, this tenacious power has no measurable limits, and there are many ways it can be used against the opponent.
Force is never met head-on. Rather, the practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan will subtly neutralize and divert on coming energy and turn it back against the opponent. The greater the force with which the opponent attacks, the more severe will be the returning blow or push. This skill of "borrowing energy" is one of many Tai Chi Chuan techniques structured around the basic principle of "tenacious strength".