The Way the Ancients Taught Tai Chi
Tai chi chuan translates to: Grand ultimate fist. There are many different forms of Tai chi which are named after the families who derived them. the most practiced is the Yang family Tai chi. Tai chi has been documented more than 1,500 years ago, making it one of the oldest martial arts. It was considered the perfection of martial arts. If you are considering learning Tai chi and truly mastering the art, there are a few things you should know.
Tai Chi is all about stances. Classes which teach Tai Chi start out immediately with the form (martial stances with attacking and defensive moves) opposed to the stances of meditation. The ancients taught Tai Chi with Meditation first and breathing exercises, and opening and disciplining the mind. which took several years before any martial arts stance was combined into the training sessions. each meditation stance strengthened different parts of the body.
The concept of the Yin and the Yang, which is called the Tao, is crucial in Tai Chi. It is the balance of all things. before one could learn the form they had to understand the necessary from the unnecessary and the natural from the unnatural. They had to fully understand that there is no right or wrong. That there are many different angles to a question, and the right answer depends on your angle.
After all of the meditation stances and mental disciplining was mastered, then the martial form began. It was not the form with all movements connected as you see in a class. Each move was taught one at a time, and the student had to freeze his or her body in that movement for twenty breaths. Only when each movement was memorized and mastered were they combined.
This took a minimum of eight to ten years, depending on the progress of the student. The reason it is not taught this way in a class is because very little people want to put that amount of time into it. But as I wrote in the beginning of this article, if you truly want to be a Tai Chi MASTER, this is the way you want to train.
In my opinion Tai Chi was considered the perfection of martial arts because of all the mental discipline it required, That and the fact that each move was seriously mastered one at a time. Tai Chi is a graceful series of movements that never ends or begins. Any expert martial artist will tell you, your mind is the only real weapon. Everything you use (including your body) is an extension of your mind, and if you have that strengthened to the maximum (which no one knows just how strong a mind can be), no one can stop it.