Tai Chi

Tai Chi (太极拳)

Tai Chi Chuan (also called Tai Ji Quan) is a traditional Chinese martial art and a Chinese treasure.

In Chinese “Tai” means the highest or supreme, as in describing the highest heaven or supreme ruler. Chi (Ji) means the last or the ultimate. The word “Tai Chi” (Tai Ji) first appeared in the book “Yijing”, which was written more than 3,000 years ago, in a reference to the most primitive state of the universe, the origin of all changes, or the highest realm of existence.

Here Tai Chi refers to the origin of changes, the most primitive state from which everything evolves. It is the highest state of existence. Throughout the ages, Chinese scholars have offered different philosophical interpretations of the world based on the Tai Chi Yin-Yang theory.

They are five traditional Ti Chi Chuan styles in China. However, the popular are Yang and Chen style. During the 1950’s, the Chinese Athletic Committee, organized a team to compile the 24 postures of simplified Tai Chi Chuan. This compilation was based on the foundation of Yang style. The movements of this new simplified Tai Chi Chuan are easy to learn and the postures are accurate and standardized. These 24 postures of simplified Tai Chuan have been popularly welcomed and practiced both in China and many countries in the last forty years.

In 1989, The Chinese Martial Arts Research Institute organized prominent martial artists, and coaches from all over China to create a series of martial arts sports competition forms in seven areas: Long Fist Boxing, South Style Boxing, Thi Cai Chuan, Broadsword Play, Swordplay, Cudgel Play and Spear Play. Among the forms created was 42 postures Tai Chuan and Sword.

Tai Chi Chuan is beneficial to people of all ages and all lifestyles. It integrates the physical external and the meditative internal. It is one of the few sports that improve balance, coordination, flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular health.

Feel free to ask Dr. Shen about Tai Chi.

Key Points for the General Practice of Tai Chi
1. Push the head up; be calm and natural (Xuan Ding Zheng Rong 悬顶正容)
2. Keep the shoulders and elbows down (Chen Jian Zhui Zhou 沉肩坠肘)
3. Stretch the arms with empty armpits (Zhan Bi Xu Ye 展臂虚腋)
4. Relax the fingers and lower the wrist (Shu Zhi Ta Wan 舒指塌腕)
5. Sink the chest and broaden the back (Han Xiong Ba Bei 含胸拔背)
6. Relax the waist and straighten the spine (Song Yao Zheng Ji 松腰正脊)
7. Keep the hips and buttocks down (Suo Kuan Lian Tun 缩髋敛臀)
8. Lift up the perineum and keep the abdomen firm (Ti Gang Shi Fu 提肛实腹)
9. Bend the legs and drop the hips (Qu Tui Luo Kua 屈腿落胯)
10. Keep the knees flexible and the feet solid on the ground (Huo Xi Kou Zu 活膝扣足)

Names of the movements of 24 Tai Chi Chuan Form
1. Beginning position (Qishi 起勢)
2. Part the wild horse’s mane - left and right (Zuoyou Yema Fenzong 野馬分鬃)
3. White crane spreads its wings (Baihe Liangch 白鶴亮翅)
4. Brush aside over the knee in reverse forward stance (Louxi Aobu 摟膝拗步)
5. Play the Lute (Shouhui pipa 手揮琵琶)
6. Step back and curl the arms – left and right (Zuoyou Daojuangong 倒卷肱)
7. Grasp the peacock’s tail on the left (Zuo Lanquewei 左攬雀尾)
8. Grasp the peacock’s tail on the right (You Lanquewei 右攬雀尾)
9. Single whip (Danbian 單鞭)
10. Move the hands like clouds (Yunshou 雲手)
11. Single whip (Danbian 單鞭)
12. High pat on horse (Gaotanma 高探馬)
13. Kick with the right heel (You Dengjiao 右蹬腳)
14. Strike the opponent’s ears with both fists (Shuangfeng Guaner 雙封貫耳)
15. Turn and kick with the left heel (Zhuanshen Zuo Dengjiao 轉身左蹬腳)
16. Push down and stand on the left legs (Zuo Xiashi Duli 左下勢獨立)
17. Push down and stand on the right legs (You Xiashi Duli 右下勢獨立)
18. Move the shuttle left and right (Zuoyou Chuansuo 左右穿梭)
19. Needle at bottom of the sea (Haidi Zhen 海底針)
20. Send a flash through the arms (Shntongbi 閃通臂)
21. Turn the body, deflect, Block and punch (Zhuanshen Banlanchui 轉身搬攔捶)
22. Pull back then push, as if to close (Rufeng Sibi 如封似閉)
23. Cross Hands (Shizishou 十字手)
24. Closing position (Shoushi 收勢)

Names of the Movements of 32 Tai Chi Sword
Beginning position (Qishi起勢)
1. Stand with the Feet Together and Point (Bingbu Dianjian並步點劍)
2. One-leg Stance and Reverse Stab (Duli Fanci獨立反刺)
3. Crouch Stance and Sweep to the Side (Pubu Hengsao撲步橫掃)
4. Horizontal Draw to the Right (Xiangyou Pingdai向右平帶)
5. Horizontal Draw to the left (Xiangzuo Pingdai向左平帶)
6. One-leg Stance , Circle and Chop Down (Duli Lunpi獨立掄劈)
7.Step Back and Draw the Sword Back (Tuibu Huichou退步回抽)
8.One-leg Stance and Stab Up (Duili Shangci獨立上刺)
9.Empty Stance and Intercept Downward (Xubu Xiajie虛步下截)
10.Left Bow Stance and Stab (Zuogong Buci左弓步刺)
11.Turn the Body and Draw on a Slant (Zhuanshe Xiedai轉身斜帶)
12.Contract Body and Draw on the Diagonal (Suoshen Xiedai縮身斜帶)
13.Raise the Knee and Hold the Sward (Tixi Pengjian提膝捧劍)
14.Jump Step and Stab with a Flat Sword (Tiaobu Pingci跳步平刺)
15.Left Empty Stance and Slice Upward (Zuo Xubu Liao左虛步撩)
16.Right Bow Stance and Slice Upward (You Gongbu Liao右弓步撩)
17.Turn the Body and Pull Back (Zhuanshen Huichou轉身回抽)
18.Stand Upright with Feet Together and Stab with a Flat Sword (Bingbu Pingci並步平刺)
19.Left Bow Stance and Block (Zuo Gongbu Lan左弓步攔)
20.Right Bow Stance and Block (You Gongbu Lan右弓步攔)
21.Left Bow Stance and Block (Zuo Gongbu Lan左弓步攔)
22.Step In and Stab Backhand (Jinbu Fanci進步反刺)
23.Reverse Body and Chop Behind (Fanshen Huipi返身回劈)
24.Empty Stance and Point the Sword (Xubu Dianjian虛步點劍)
25.One-leg Stance and Lift Horizontally (Duli Pingtuo獨立平托)
26.Bow Stance, Hook and Chop (Gongbu Guapi弓步挂劈)
27.Empty Stance, Circle Sword and Chop (Xubu Lunpi虛步掄劈)
28.Back Step and Strike Backhand (Chebu Fonji撤步反擊)
29.Step In and Stab with a Flat Sword (Jinbu Pingci進步平刺)
30 .T-Stance and Pull Back (Dingbu Huichou丁步回抽)
31.Turn Around and Smear Horizontally (Xuanzhuan Pingmo旋轉平抹)
32.Bow Stance and Stab Straight (Gongbu Zhici弓步直刺) Closing Position (Shoushi收勢)