Function in form

Many have seen Tai Chi sequences and Qigong demonstrated either in public or through the media.

Some may have seen the two person sequences and weapons being used.

There is no doubt, Tai Chi Chuan is a Martial Arts system, but why and how are these slow sequences be effective?

Knowing is not the same as understanding

So how does it work?

The solo sequences and postures are normally practised slowly to provide a better understanding of one’s body mechanics and balance.

More importantly, the movements are initially slower to learn and adapt to the basic principles of Tai Chi.

They can represent actions following principles and need to be explored both solo and with a partner.

The effects of expanding parts of the body without using tension and then releasing creates a flow of energy through and around the body.

Following some principles

Once we have learned some movements and postures we begin the principles of expanding and releasing. These are key to understanding how Tai Chi ‘works’

For example:

When we move our arm in an upwards direction, we are going against gravity and therefore must use more energy compared to moving downwards. This of course is common sense.

The tendency though, is to use force to move the body in both directions, usually much more than is needed.

If we can utilise gravity more when moving downwards for example then we are wasting less energy and have more for the upward movement. This is of course obvious intellectually, but physically we tend to control all movements too much resulting in tiring both the body and mind.

This idea is fundamental to understanding Tai Chi.

Two person activities

Virtually impossible to learn with any depth about Tai Chi without putting it into practice.

Realising you are not releasing or controlling/resisting is invaluable.

Enjoy life with less tension.

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