Things to know about learning Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)
For Easterners, particularly Chinese, this MAY not be an issue. Tai Chi Chuan is deeply rooted as part of the Chinese culture. It is known to almost everyone what Tai Chi Chuan is all about. Note there: I said "...MAY not be an issue", meaning that there are exceptions, particularly to Chinese who are not born and grown up in China.
For Westerners, surprisingly - I found many sites dedicated to Tai Chi Chuan, and some of this information is from Westerners. However, deep in my instinct, there are still many who want to know more about learning Tai Chi Chuan.
Moreover, many literatures and scriptures about Tai Chi Chuan are still mainly written in Chinese, and much translation is needed to make it more accessible to the West. I'm doing such translation work.
Yes, I'm a Chinese, trained in both Chinese and English languages since young. And, I would really love to share my passion in Tai Chi Chuan with whoever interested about the subject.
In my 23 years of learning and research in Tai Chi Chuan, martial arts, meditation and healing, I found some questions are very much of interest for a keen learner, or even beginner.
Examples of these are, "Can a senior person learn Tai Chi Chuan?", "Is it easy to learn and master?", "What do I need?", "Should I know about Daoism to learn Tai Chi Chuan?" and so on.
For a start, everyone and anyone can learn this art though it is once a closely kept secret among the family or clan, or later among Chinese. Age has no barrier. In fact, senior people found it very beneficial to their physical health and mental well-being, by practicing regularly.
The original forms of Tai Chi Chuan, irregardless of which styles, require a lot of effort, time, and dedication to learn and master. Simplifying is a necessity. In fact, I started learning the simplified version of Yang style 24 forms. This requires a lot of effort and time from my side to achieve reasonable level of mastery.
Tai Chi Chuan is the outward projection of certain principles found in the Chinese culture. Though the understanding of its principles is desirable, it is not necessary...yet, for a beginner. Principles I referred to here is not the fundamental principles of Tai Chi Chuan itself. It is more of philosophical principles - close to I-Ching, and some of Daoism.
The fundamental principle of Tai Chi Chuan is a must for a beginner, so that he or she will know the correct way to execute the movements.
Other things enquirer of Tai Chi Chuan would like to know is - "What's in for me?"
Particularly skeptics who see this as slow-moving, apparently energy-less, and senior-people related martial arts.
"Can this help me???"
If I say - "Yes, it can help!". You may also doubt my words. I don't mind that. But, how about keeping an open mind and you try it out for yourself. You will see the effects over time. And if you don't, then, you are not doing it correctly!
Sorry, no catch here! :)
Tai Chi Chuan may 'appear' to be slow - but this is only for practicing. It actual combat application - you should be able to move extremely fast in order for it to be of use.
The apparent energy-less motion is in fact energy in disguise. The energy gathered and harnessed in Tai Chi is not brute force - but vital energy, Qi that is even more potent than physical strength and energy.
Incidentally - yes, it seems more senior people practice Tai Chi Chuan than younger people, for health reasons. But international champion male and female Tai Chi exponents in China were been trained since childhood. And there are a lot of young adults learning and practicing this art. Hmm... should I still say senior-related???
It does bring a lot of benefits to anyone who practices it religiously, and in particular - correctly. And the best thing is - the benefits can be limitless, and may cover every aspects of your life! Try it for yourself!
Written by: C. Guan Soo
Tai Chi Practitioner
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