Would you like to learn Tai Chi, but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you're an experienced practitioner looking to enhance your skills. Well, you've come to the right place!
Healthy Wu Taiji philosophy is simply derive by firstly having been taught correctly undistorted Taiji. We've no need to pirate other styles or collect techniques or lineages. It's simply finding the true art and maintaining constant practices to derive maximum health benefits. - and that's not that difficult.
Wu Style Tai Ji Form-37 Postures
The practice of moving in accordance with nature, expressed as early as 5000 years ago in ancient China as the theory of yin-yang and depicted by the tai ji symbol, has been called many things. Not until Zhang San Feng (circa 12th century) coined the term "tai ji quan" were these types of movements referred to as tai ji quan. Before Zhang San Feng named these practices tai ji quan, they were called Yi Quan (Mind Form) Mian Quan (Cotton Form) and Xiao Jiu Jiu Hua Quan. It had since been a common practice in China for thousands of years. By moving in a unified state, where your body's cells all move with the same amount of force, at the same speed, circular and thus non-frictional, as done with tai ji quan, one can maintain a physiologically elevated state. The greatest benefit of practicing tai ji quan is it's ability to heal the body and prevent illness. Tai ji quan also benefits the joints by using each joint in its fullest range of motion passively. Injuries and aging restrict joint movement, decrease ligament and tendon elasticity and stiffen the body. All of these ailments can be reversed by practicing tai ji quan. Spinal problems, organ pathologies, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, muscle atrophy and hypertension, are only a few of the ailments which tai ji quan can help ameliorate. With continuous and proper practice your body will return to a healthy state. The 108 movement Wu style form is one of the traditional Wu forms. The following is a list of the series of movement which compose the Wu form.
Prepare: 预备始 yù bèi shì
1.) 起势 qĭ shi, Beginning of the Form 2.) 揽雀尾 lán què wĕi, Grasp Birds Tail
3.) 搂膝拗步 lóu xī ào bù, Brush Knee and Twist Step 4.) 手挥琵琶 shŏu huī pí pa, Play The Flute
5.) 野马分鬃 yĕ mă fēn zōng, Part The Wild Horse's Mane 6.) 玉女穿梭 yù nŭ chuān suō, Fair Lady Works As Shuttles
7.) 肘底锤 zhŏu dĭ chuí, Watch With Fist Under Elbow 8.) 金鸡独立 jīn jī dŭ lì , Golden Rooster Stands On One Leg
9.) 倒辇猴 dào niăn hóu, Step Back and Repulse Monkey 10.) 斜飞势 xié fēi shì , Diagonal Fly
11.) 提手上势 tí shŏu shàn shì, Lift Hand 12.) 白鹤亮翅 băi hé liàng ci, Stork Spreads It's Wings
13.) 海底针 hăi dĭ zhēn, Insert Needle To Sea Bottom 14.) 闪通臂 shăn tōng bì, Flash The Arms
15.) 左右分脚 zùo yòu fēn jiăo, Left and Right Separate Instep Kicks 16.) 转身蹬 zhuăn shēn dēng, Turn and Strike With The Heal
17.) 进步裁锤 jìn bù cái chuí, Step Forward and Punch Down 18.) 撇身锤 piē shēn chuí, Turn Around and Cast Down With Fist and Palm
19.) 二起脚 èr qĭ jiăo, Double Kick 20.) 左右打虎 zŭo yòu dă hú, Left and Right Striking Tiger
21.) 双风贯耳 shuān fēng guăn, Two Fists Blow Ears 22.) 披身脚 pī shēn jiăo, Dodge and Kick
23.) 回身蹬 huī shēn dēng, Turn Around and Kick 24.) 扑面掌 pū miàn zhăng, Press Face With The Palm
25.) 十字脚shí zi jiăo, Cross Form Kick 26.) 搂膝指裆锤 lóu xī zhī dāng chuí, Brush Knee and Punch Below The Navel
27.) 单鞭 dān biān, Front Single Whip 28.) 云手yún shŏu, Cloud Hands
29.) 下势 xià shì, Down Pushing Stance 30.) 上步七星 shàn bù qī xīng, Step Forward To Form Seven Stars
31.) 退步跨虎 tāi bù kuà hú, Step Back and Ride The Tiger 32.) 回身掌 huī shēn zhăng, Turn Around and Press Face With The Palm
33.) 摆莲腿 bāi lián tuĭ, Turn and Kick Horizontally 34.) 弯弓射虎 wăn gōng shè hú, Bend Bow To Shoot The Tiger
35.) 卸步搬拦 xiè bù bān lán, Step Back, Deflect, Parry and Punch 36.) 如封似闭 rŭ fēng sì bì, Seeming Close Up
37.) 抱虎归山 bào hú guī shān, Embrace Tiger and Return To The Mountain
收势shōu shì The Closing
New classes may be starting soon, many had asked to join but places are few. You see Sifu personally conduct all classes. Monthly tuition fee is from $50 on-wards. Flexible training schedule at our 3 different venues may be arranged once you've completed the 3 month basic course. Lesson usually starts at 5pm and ends around 7-9pm, depending on your physical fitness and learning abilities. For for details please send your query from our contact form.
Tai Chi is an ancient healing art that has been used for centuries to help promote the flow of energy throughout the body. A type of alternative medicine that originated in China, Tai Chi is routinely used all over the world as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. It is a practice that relies on the mind-body connection to help create a healthy balance and improve overall health. Referred to as “moving meditation” by many health professionals, most practitioners support the use of Tai Chi by elderly individuals to help improve both their physical health and emotional well-being.
One of the greatest benefits of Tai Chi for the elderly is that even individuals who have physical limitations can practice this ancient healing art. Because it is comprised of a series of slow, relaxed movements, Tai chi is a non-strenuous activity that will not put added strain on weakened muscles. Tai Chi movements help encourage proper posture and rely on constant gentle movements that force the individual to concentrate and breathe deeply, two important techniques that are often overlooked in the elderly community.
There have been numerous studies conducted in recent years on the benefits of Tai Chi. Although research points to Tai Chi’s positive health effects in a variety of groups, some of the most promising results have been observed in elderly patients.
1. Relieves PainTai Chi may be best known for its ability to decrease the sensation of pain in elderly individuals. As people age, they often become more sedentary. As a result, they can suffer from joint stiffness, muscle atrpphy, weakness, a limited range of motion and loss of balance. The combination of these conditions often leads to the development of pain in bones, muscles and joints. This can lead to difficulty with simple, everyday tasks such as getting in and out of bed. Many elderly patients report that they experience varying degrees of pain with simple activities such as taking a shower or getting dressed. The gentle yet steady motion of Tai Chi is intended to develop better muscle tone, improve flexibility and strengthen weak muscles without causing additional strain to the body. Elderly patients who engage in Tai Chi can begin to experience decreased pain in as little as two weeks. Some elderly patients have been able to discontinue the use of pain medications after just four weeks of Tai Chi.
2. Fights DepressionDepression is a common condition that affects a large percentage of the elderly population. Elderly individuals living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes often report symptoms of depression to their counselors and nurses. In addition to feelings of loneliness and despair, many elderly people are plagued with a variety of medical conditions that result in chronic pain. All of these factors can contribute to depression. Tai chi can help fight depression in a variety of ways. It encourages individuals to get up and get moving, often in a group setting that allows them to interact with others. Not only are they getting the benefits of exercise, but they are forming new relationships, both of which can minimize depression. Tai Chi can relieve stress, reduce anxiety and improve sleep, all of which can aid in the treatment of depression.
3. Eases Arthritis DiscomfortTai Chi can be especially helpful in easing arthritis symptoms in elderly patients. The gentle movements and simple motions make it a low impact exercise that will not further aggravate arthritis symptoms. Recommended by the Arthritis Foundation, Tai Chi helps loosen joints and improve range of motion in elderly arthritis patients. Many of the Tai Chi movements focus on improving flexibility in the knees, one of the most common parts of the body affected by arthritis. In addition, the movements that focus on the upper body help to stretch the muscles of the shoulders and arms, resulting in improved range of motion and increased flexibility. When elderly patients experience improved range of motion and more flexible muscles, a decrease in painful arthritis symptoms usually follows.
4. Promotes Deep BreathingThe art of Tai Chi is based on the theory of deep breathing. When performing Tai Chi movements, individuals must participate in uniform breathing that focuses on slowly exhaling through the mouth. This type of breathing helps to release stored up tension in the muscles. Elderly patients who practice Tai Chi regularly can benefit from improved overall health as a result of deep breathing, which improves lung function, respiration and the rate of oxygen flow.
5. Lowers Blood PressureTai Chi is believed to have powerful stress reducing properties. Because the technique is so closely related to meditation, the positive health effects that occur as a result of the mind-body connection are also very similar. When performing Tai Chi movements, feelings of stress and anxiety are significantly reduced, as is muscle tension and mental distress. This can lead to a decrease in blood pressure that can last for several hours after the exercise is performed. Elderly individuals who participate in regular Tai Chi sessions can see a decrease in blood pressure after just a few weeks.
6. Improves Mental ClarityMany elderly individuals complain of having racing thoughts, an inability to concentrate and high stress levels. This can be a result of illness, pain, loneliness, fear and general concerns about growing old. Tai Chi gives elderly patients a platform for releasing pent up emotional stress. The focus on proper breathing combined with the Tai Chi movements can improve mental clarity by engaging areas of the brain that may not have been used otherwise.
7. Improves BalanceElderly patients often have poor balance and, as a result, may suffer from excessive falls and injuries. Many of the movements in Tai Chi focus on rotary motions that shift the body from one side to the other. This shifting engages muscles that would not normally be used during everyday activities such as walking, showering and dressing. By increasing strength in those muscles that are not normally used, they help improve balance by strengthening their as well as their hips. Stronger hips and a strong core lead to better balance and less falls.
8. Strengthens Lower BodyIn the same way that it helps to improve balance, Tai Chi is an excellent exercise for improving lower body strength. The elderly often suffer from hip fractures, which can have a devastating effect on overall health. By performing Tai Chi movements that focus on the lower body, elderly patients can strengthen their leg muscles, improve core strength, increase their range of motion and exercise without putting strain on delicate knee and ankle joints.
9. Raises Energy LevelsIndividuals of all ages have reported a significant increase in energy after performing Tai Chi. This is especially important for elderly individuals who often feel lethargic. Elderly patients can suffer from fatigue for a variety of reasons, including illness, poor eating habits, medication and depression. Tai Chi not only can help improve all of those conditions, but can raise energy levels as a result of the increased oxygen supply that occurs from the combination of movements and deep breathing.
10. Improves SleepOne of the most common complaints expressed by elderly individuals is poor sleep quality. Insomnia is often treated with sedative medications that may not work, or worse, can have dangerous side effects. Many elderly patients who participate in regular Tai Chi exercise report some improvement in their quality of sleep. Although the reason is for this is unknown, it is believed to result from the improved overall health that occurs with Tai Chi, especially the reduction in pain that many experience when practicing Tai Chi.
My best tip: go to lessons
Here are my pages about my experience of Tai Chi Chuan and free tips/advice. I practice Yang syle 24 and Chen syle, also Chi Kung and Chi Kung Meditation. This page will grow as I add more advice and tips.
At school a friend used to tell me about Tai Chi, but this was the combat version which is mostly about pushing away your oponent. He talked of a Master pushing a group of men back accross the room as they tried to attack him. I have always been interested in Tai Chi and when I went on my honeymoon to Hong Kong we saw many people practicing it in the parks.
After that visit the idea began to grow on me. My wife was into Yoga for sometime and we started to get Yoga DVD's for her. Then I thought about looking for a Tai Chi DVD. The result was Master Wong's Combat Tai Chi which has led me onto wanting to learn about Tai Chi in general.
My Tai Chi Tips:For those taking up Tai Chi (of any type) I would say don't expect immediate results. It takes a long time to learn especially if like me you try to learn without personal tuition. However it is possible and after doing basic exercises you get stronger and when before the instructor looked so much more advanced you slowly begin to catch up. The benefit you will feel is quite something. As I say my number one tip is: don? rush! Also proper shoes is the most essential purchase don? do it barefoot for sure.
One thing that is very important is breathing. The breath should be synchronised with the movement. Also you should breath down into your stomach, or Tan Tien and not with your chest. The breath will regulate the speed of movement as the slower the movement the better it is for you. Certainly slow movement helps with balance as you need to take all the weight on one leg when stepping across and with a slow movement you are not tempted to quickly take up your weight by shooting your leg out quickly.
It is usually recommended to breathe though your nose but if you get short of breath you can breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. This is also useful if you have a cold and a blocked nose. In the yang family translations book this is actually the preferred method, rather than through just the nose. However I personally prefer deep breathing through the nose only, but the exhale option is handy.
Although you dont have to do Tai Chi everyday soon after starting you will want to. The desire for the art is strong once you feel the rewards. When you get onto the form you will find it hard to remember the sequence of moves if you leave it to long. I find that doing the form once a day is just right but sometimes twice if the mood takes me. Certainly if I miss a day I feel as though something is wrong.
In order to learn the form from DVD I would recommend sitting down with paper and pen and drawing the DVD instructor doing the form in little stick men and then using this as reference. Don? try to copy the form as a whole from the screen as you will soon get in a mess. Telling left from right alone will confuse: as the screen is a mirror. Don? fall into the trap of doing the form back to front as I did in some places!
Watch your knees! You must be careful not to hurt your knees. Don't 'jerk' up from stepping out and across: use the strength of your legs to bring you into the new form, but don't force it, if you are not strong in the legs keep your feet closer together. Also think of the 'empty/full' movement, let one leg become 'empty' while the other becomes 'full' then as this happens transfer your weight across. Watch where your back leg is when bringing your other leg forward and don't twist your leg by having your back foot fully 'planted' make sure the foot spins on your toes, hence putting less strain on your knee. Really there is nothing worse than enjoying your Tai Chi every day and then getting knee pains, try to avoid it before it happens.
Warm up and warm down is a very good idea. Even though it is usually said that you don? need too with Tai Chi I have found it best to get the joints working first. I have found that doing some Chi Kung exercises and then some basic Tai Chi exercises before and after doing the Tai Chi form helps a lot. Also at least five minutes of standing Chi Kung meditation is a must otherwise you tend to walk away with blocked chi and an un-rested mind. Ideally a balance of movement, standing still and mediation is best, however that would take some time, and I find that 5 minutes warm up/down 8 minutes form and 5 minutes meditation is good for a daily routine. However when learning new forms longer will be needed.
Another tip I have is: watch tai chi videos on You Tube and Google Video. One thing to watch is the positioning of the feet, this is very important, more important than the arms.
From my experience it is not possible to learn from a DVD and you should go and learn from a Tai Chi Master. The Master Wong DVD starts with a massive disclaimer about health issues. I nearly ruined my knees doing Tai Chi wrong. Now I do it right after learning from a proper intructor.
One of the Tai Chi books I had talked of a master who wanted to learn something new from another master. He was not proud saying that he knew it all already but told the master to treat him like he knew nothing. This is what I took with me when I decided to throw away almost everything I had learnt which was flawed and start again as a Tai Chi beginner learning directly from a master.
My Biggest Tip: if in doubt see an instructor!
After you have explored this site, and if you are a genuine applicant you may wish to avail yourself of our contact details to discuss with Sifu your interest in healthy Wu Taiji and possibly arrange a free trial lesson to assess your interest in learning the art and to determine your suitability.
This Friday, tomorrow Sifu acceptance of discipleship tea ceremony at Redhill 9pm. See you there ;)