Academy Tai Chi Chuan 

ITCCA Hungary – International Tai Chi Chuan Association

Body – Mind – Martial Art in Tai Chi Chuan

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 The origin of Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan has the following three sources: Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine (especially the practice of Qi Gong), and the martial arts.
Legend has it that in the 12th century, the Taoist monk Chang San-Feng saw a fight between a crane bird and a snake. At each pass, the bird fiercely pecked and clawed at the snake; however, through suppleness and coiling of his form, the reptile was able to evade the attacks and launch strikes of its own.  The bird in turn circled, raised its legs and kicked, while using its wings to beat the snake aside when it struck. 
The monk meditated on this experience, and after a dream he created a new martial art form that focused on the cultivation and precise application of Internal Power, or Qi.  
This art held as its foundation the truth that ‘yielding overcomes aggression’ and ‘softness overpowers hardness’. 


- tending to your health -

One look at children will tell you just how much people enjoy to move. Movement is a natural need for us. Only when we are confronted with a physical problem or find ourselves under strong emotional duress does the need diminish because the body will try and preserve its energy. This is actually a very smart response from our ‘system’.
In order to enhance our levels of energy, we need a type of movement training that takes both body and mind into account.
Tai Chi Chuan is a healthy way of exercise that does not exhaust and that stimulates the body’s own powers. At the same time, it also engenders calmness in our busy minds, away from our continuously revolving thoughts. It allows us to  experience something completely different.
By opening up the energy channels (meridians) and optimising our respiration, the body is returned to a natural state of balance. This contributes to less muscle tension and a properly functioning metabolism: it helps to improve the vitality of the organs, gives more flexibility in the joints and supports the immune system.


-meditation & Tai Chi Chuan -

When the mind is filled with focus attention (Yi) on the movement, it becomes silent. You can experience that as being in the present: in that moment, there is only the practice. The mind relaxes and the flow of thoughts diminishes. A relaxed and awake alertness arises, while concentration and perception deepen.
How does this translate in the practice:
In the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, exercise of the mind takes place by focusing the intent (Yi) and concentration upon the movement.  In the Taoist health exercises, we mainly focus on the relaxation and loosening of our body, which opens up the joints and creates flexibility and agility. 
In sitting mediation and standing meditation (Zhan Zhuang), we focus on the breath, allowing the breath to become free and spacious.
During the practice of the Tai Chi form we also become aware of how the energy in the body works, as we practice perception and intention. In partner exercises our focus is on remaining open and relaxed in the interaction with one another.
Conscious movement relaxes and returns the mind to a natural state of being: inwardly concentrated, open and clear.

Martial Arts

LMDV3540KLEIN- Apply the inner Principles kopiëren

- applying the inner principles -

In Tai Chi Chuan we learn to move naturally and to develop inner strength (jin). If a posture is performed correctly according to the principles of Tai Chi Chuan, the Qi can flow and we generate jin: even while receiving pressure from a partner, we can remain stable without effort.
In Tai Chi Chuan, ‘martial arts’ does not mean to fight (like Master Chu says:’ the best fight is no fight’). Rather it is a means to see if we have understood and trained the inner principles in the right way. Through Qi testing we can discover whether the Qi flows freely and whether jin is present. Partner exercises are great for seeing and feeling whether Tai Chi Chuan postures are being performed effectively. It improves our sensitivity. This kind of testing cannot be compared to the competitive atmosphere of regular combat sports. The tests have a more playful character and laughter is welcomed. The interaction of the partners is therefore more based on cooperation than on fighting. 
Having said this, if performed at a faster pace, Tai Chi Chuan can in fact be used in combat as a (defensive) form of kung fu. Each movement has several martial art applications and can be either Yin, defensive, or Yang, offensive. As Yin becomes Yang and Yang becomes Yin, defensive and offensive not only follow each other but can also be interchanged. 
While learning the Tai Chi form, we investigate the stability and balance of the postures in the more static Qi tests. Later, in the Pushing Hands and Fighting Form partner exercises, the approach becomes more dynamic and we test the jin, the inner strength, while moving.

Tai Chi Chuan – ITCCA – Hungary