Tag Archives: Tai chi chuan

Tai chi: Discover the many possible health benefits-via MAYO CLINIC

Tai chi _ Discover the many possible health benefits-via MAYO CLINIC

Tai chi _ Discover the many possible health benefits-via MAYO CLINIC (click the picture to continue reading the article at MAYO CLINIC)

The ancient art of tai chi uses gentle flowing movements to reduce the stress of today’s busy lifestyles and improve health. Find out how to get started.

(Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tai-chi/SA00087)

Tai Chi Chuan: Where Do I Start?

Good Question: “A Journey Of Thousand Miles Starts With the FIRST STEP

Only when you can control yourself you can be “In control”:

  • Control your breathing (practice abdominal breathing)
  • Control your balance (keep a low stance, with your knees flexed, and lower your center of gravity, which is the same middle area of the body from where abdominal breathing originates)
  • control your Chi and exhale upon acting ( In Tai chi the lowering of the arms is concomitant with exhalations inhale as you raise your arms, and exhale as you bring them down, always from the diaphragm, exhale as you push your diaphragm upwards to compress the lungs, which as a result release the air reach in carbon dioxide, and water vapors, result of the burning at cell level) Easier done than said….(will continue, now is time for me to meet the  outdoors, to run, jog, ride my bike, take photos, meet people.)

See you soon!

Breath is a bridge between body and mind: Abdominal breathing is the most effective bridge

Brief descriptions: Below are brief descriptions of a broad range of breathing practices. These outlines give general descriptions, and are not intended to be complete instructions in doing the practices. To do the practices, it is important to have personal training, not merely relying on written words.

   Basics of breath 

Remember to build the foundation: First, you establish the basics of breathing. If you will quickly scan the topics listed in this section, immediately below, you will see that they are not so much breathing techniques as they are methods of establishing basic breath awareness, and elimination of irregularities. With breath training, one of the biggest mistakes is to skip the foundation, and go directly into the techniques themselves.

The science of breath
begins with awareness, 
and ends with awareness.

It begins and ends with awareness: Breath awareness is so important that, in a sense, you can say that the whole science of breath begins with awareness, and ends with awareness. Everything else, in the middle, is preparation for awareness.

The finest bridge between body and mind: Breath is a bridge between the body and the mind.

(Source: http://www.swamij.com/breath.htm)

Abdominal Breathing (Qigong Breathing)

Abdominal or Diaphragmatic_Breathing

Abdominal or Diaphragmatic_Breathing (click on picture to continue reading)

Abdominal Breathing

Animation of diaphragmatic breathing with the diaphragm shown in green

Qigong breathing in the manner of the water method of Taoist meditation is an exercise in relaxation.  Developing this skill requires patience and it should not be done in a forced manner.  To begin learning this way of breathing you can do it laying down.  When you are laying down, the chest and belly are relaxed.  As you inhale, you allow the diaphragm to move towards your abdomen to cause the belly and the sides of the body to expand.  Because of this movement in the abdominal region, this method is also called abdominal breathing.
Movement of the belly and the sides of the abdomen may be barely noticeable or uneven when you first start.  If, while you are practicing, you need a reminder for maintaining your breathing with your diaphragm, you can place a telephone book or some other large book on your belly and allow it to go up with your in-breath and down as you exhale.  Some find that placing of the hands on the belly works as well. You should work towards having smooth and even exhalations and inhalations, and relaxing into this pattern is the way to work towards that goal. Never exhale to more than 3/4 of your ability.                                   
(Source: http://www.qigonghealingarts.org/qigong-exercises/qigong-breathing)
Related Article:

What is Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan): Ultimate martial Art

Taijiquan_Tai chi chuan

Taijiquan_Tai chi Chuan


What does Tai Chi Chuan mean?

Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is a wonderful martial art. Besides being very effective for combat it is also excellent for health promotion and spiritual cultivation. Many people, however, are not aware of its combative and spiritual aspects. Even those who practise Tai Chi Chuan solely for health often do not get the best benefits of its health aspect. This article will explain why, and suggest ways you may adopt to get more benefits from your Tai Chi Chuan training.

The term ‘Tai Chi Chuan’ is a short form of ‘Taiji quanfa’. ‘Taiji’ is the Chinese word meaning ‘the grand ultimate’ or the cosmos. And ‘quanfa’ means ‘fist techniques’ or martial art. Tai Chi Chuan, therefore, means ‘Cosmos Kungfu‘. Indeed every movement in Tai Chi Chuan is made according to martial considerations, i.e. a Tai Chi Chuan practitioner moves the way he moves in a Tai Chi Chuan performance because that particular way gives him the best technical advantage in a given combat situation. Hence if you say that you practise Tai Chi Chuan for health and not for fighting, you probably do not realize that Tai Chi Chuan actually means Cosmos martial art, and that virtually all great Tai Chi Chuan masters in the past practised it for fighting.
ead more at: http://www.shaolin-wahnam.org/taichi.html)

How to Do the Simplified Yang 24 Style – With Rie Takahashi, All Japan Tai Chi Champion

How to Do the Simplified Yang 24 Style

How to Do the Simplified Yang 24 Style_Rie Takahashi_All Japan Tai Chi Champion

How to Do the Simplified Yang 24 Style_Rie Takahashi_All Japan Tai Chi Champion (Click the picture to access and view the video at yogagarden Studio "Grow With It")

Tai Chi: The Meaning Behind the Movements

This is Patrick from Yoga Garden. We all know Tai Chi as a series of slow and peaceful movements designed to improve health. Often it’s compared to dancing or moving meditation. However, it’s important to remember that Tai Chi originally developed as a kind of practice on your own Kung Fu and that will made you these beautiful hand motions and execute the softer work. We are actually practicing a martial art.


Understanding the martial applications of the Tai Chi movements will bring depth and vigor to your practice and if you are just starting, it’s a great way to remember the forms as well as the names. On the screen here is Kieye Go Hogi, we all call her Kieye (ph).  She heads up the Tai Chi program at Yoga Garden and as for me, I will be playing the part of Mr. Tanaka, drunk and slightly earnest salary man who just can’t get enough of Kieye. We will just add the glasses here and the transformation is complete. We hope you enjoy watching this video as much as we enjoyed making it.


Of the 24 forms in the game simplified style, we will just be taking a look at a few that shows some interesting variations on combat techniques starting with Yema Fenzong. This is a classic Tai Chi movement. You can see the curved arms encircling that Chi. All actions linked with bow steps, turning back and forth from the legs.


A primary importance in this posture is moving with the center rather than the extremities. You can see how she sweeps her arm forward, her whole body moves giving power to the action. Right hand switch back, as left hand pushes forward, all powered from the hips. In a fighting situation, it’s not going to make some ground for Kieye. She uses that forward powers, knock him off balance, hooks under his armpit and he is down. Then notice guy in the Yang style, he always maintain a 90 degree with her back and employ barbing the head up and down. This provide a lot more stability as you move through the forms.


Next is Louxi Aobu. This looks similar to Yema Fenzong but the power is actually quite different. Yema Fenzong used the sweep and as you can see here this is more of the foots. That’s why I start again. A key importance, using the hips, linking the arms and legs, watch how Kieye’s heels and toes have  the same timing as the forward pushing. This allow the natural force to the movements and the form strip down to its essentials, a sweeping blocking arm, a forward push, all powered from the back leg, linked with Dung Chen. This time Tanaka chose to kick Kieye. The Kick is blocked and the push is applied to the Solar Plexus.


Next up is Shouhui Pipa. This is one of my favorite forms, it looks so enocuous compared to the others but it’s has dangerous secret. Let’s watch that again. The right hand reaches forward and pulls back in console with the right foot, as together the left leg and left arm come to the front. In this angle, you can see a little better what’s happening. The right hand goes back, the left comes forward and together they both push towards the center, right there, push. You can see the result on Tanaka’s arms. As he goes for a punch, punches traps and the force is applied at the joints. Tai Chi is based upon the ideas of Daoism, one of the most important of which is the interaction between Yin and Yang, yin being passive with drawing energy. Yang being forceful, aggressive energy.


Nowhere is this more apparent than in Daojuan Gong, you can see the back hand is soft and withdrawing and suddenly transforms into a strong forward push. Even as the other hand against is melt away. It’s kind of like watching a living, breathing Yin Yang symbol in action. Let’s watch that again in isolation, the arms here are working together, one pushing as the other pulls, all linked with the hips. This movement is called for when someone is coming at you with strong energy, that forward moving energy is welcomed with the back hand, even as the front hand comes on, grabs it through as that’s for us. You can see here Tanaka san  getting up close and personal with Kieye. She uses that forward movement and applies it against him.


Of the 24 forms in the Yang simplified style, many practitioners argue that it’s this one, Zuo Lan Quewei, that is the most important. This series of movements has been called it by one master, a kind of entrance exam for Tai Chi because it contains the fundamentals of all of the forms. Zuo Lan Quewei actually consists of four parts, you know it is the first one moving a bent arm forward stiffly, Pong, using Pong energy and moving to U, from U we go right into G. Dispersing the G energy, we bring it back to one final action Aan, which is why there is an isolation, his Pong, again the shoulder is secondary, kind of a delivery system for the power of the hips, waiting until it is knocking his off balance and adding the correct force. Next is U, it’s pretty easy to see martial application of this part. Having trapped, you pull his arm, drawing back until he is off balance enough so that you can follow through, keeping him away from you.


Next is G, this is great for close corner situations. And finally pulling everything back. Watch how the hips are working. Arm, this form has the additional benefit of stripping the arms from the neck and shoulders. Tai Chi is always moving slowly, never stopping, you can see it close right here and it’s Dung Chen. One of the most recognizable Tai Chi forms. You can see how the weight is constantly shifting between Kieye, never static, never staying in the middle of the body where there is little power to be found. Timing with the front foot, as usual will get it into down yet, simplified it might look something like this. In a real life situation, to knock his punch, as he captured and the energy is transferred and amplified into a neck chop. That actually really hurts much as acting right there — following a heel kick, to move right into Shuangfeng Guaner.


You have watched a few of these now, so maybe you can tell of this would actually be used in a fight. Tanaka san going for Kieye’s neck and she tried to cease the knee to the head in the boxing of the ears or temple. Here at the end of the 24 form, we come to this individual movement, Haidi Zhen.  Haidi Zhen is a great example of balancing, the forces of Yin and Yang one action. You can see the right hand strongly moves forward but at the same time, the hips are dropping back and withdrawing. So their overall balance is maintained, that’s much of a Yin simplified.


You might be wondering, what the hell is going, well you will find out right here, a kick is blocked, oh that’s hard to watch, that’s hard to watch. Perhaps nowhere else can you see the Kung Fu history behind Tai Chi even in this action. Zhuanshen Banlanchui, there is that despite this being a very aggressive movement, you never see a straight line. There is always little bit of power with in. As always,  the timing of the legs and hips is key here, much of the back leg and hips go together to deliver maximum power to this punch. You also have the chance to stop on your importance foot here, throw him off balance. Tanaka san leaves himself open and from there on he is putty in Kieye san.


Our final movement today would be cross hands, Shizishou. Well, long time I thought this was just a pretty way to end the 24th form allowing you to come down and back to the original starting place. However, in the making of this video, I found out that this too has a martial meaning. Keeping these meanings in mind as you practice your Tai Chi forms will not only make them more interesting, but more powerful and authentic. As for  Tanaka san, this is as close as he ever got to Kieye. Well, a man can dream.

The Five Elements in Tai Chi Meditation: Concentrating on breathing connects one with one’s true self

The Five Elements in Tai Chi Meditation

The Five Elements in Tai Chi Meditation (click on Picture to view video)

Standing tall, heels in, toes slightly out, relax into the leg base, again, feeling that sense buoyancy. As you breathe in basing on the right leg, exhale forward stepping on to the left foot, fingertips touching fire, the first element. You cannot do that for too long so you shift back, fingertips in water. Second element, wood, the third is at your side, opening up into metal, grandeur and beauty of metal as you step forward, then shifting back, claiming and grounding with earth, the final element.

Let us do that again, slowly organically, easing into the right leg as a base. Stepping forward on to the left, fingertips touching fire, easing back, water, breathing, relaxing, wood is at your side, opening up, feel that beauty as you step forward, metal, shifting back, claiming, and grounding in earth.

Great, let us do the other side, easing now into the left leg as the base. Stepping forward on the right, just easily there, fingertips touch fire, shifting back, water, wood, relax, third element is at your side, opening up, metal, stepping forward, easing back, grounding in earth.

Great, one more time, slowly, just feel the beautiful organic aspect of movement. Noticing the solo nuance is in the body as you touch fire, easing back into water, wood, relax, supportive at your side, opening up, metal, stepping forward, feel that weight shift and easing back grounding into earth.

Excellent, stepping out into a horse stance, grounded to the leg base, spine extended, shoulders relaxed, arms coming up slowly, breathing in, exhaling, commencing form, palms coming down. Good, standing tall, let your arms relax slowly ease, and again, inhaling up, bending to the joints, relaxing shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers exhaling down. Good, feel that connection between your feet and your hands.

One more time, notice as my arms come up, I am going to ease back to in to my leg base. Inhaling, exhaling down, feeling very grounded in the center, lie your body to move a little bit there. Great, relax out.

Okay, commencing form right here, inhaling, exhaling down. Now, I am going to shift into what is called the right and left centering, easing into the left leg as the base, toes turning out to the right as you shift into the right leg, easing back, great, center.

The more you practice your daily Tai chi, it is a good idea to keep your head at a level, the same level as you move. So notice it was not a lot of rises and falls as I ease over.

Again, inhaling up, exhaling relaxed down, shifting to one side, relax into the body bending through the knees as you shift into the opposite leg. Elbows relaxed, shoulder relaxed, energy flow all the way through. Good, shifting into the right leg, left toes turn, easing into that left leg and shifting back.

Excellent, final, commencing form, energy down.