Tai Chi Chuan (Tai-Ji Quan, spelling in Pin Yin)

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Spellings: Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Tai Chi, Tai Ji Quan, Taiji, Tai Ji Chuan,

On spelling (transliteration): A proliferation of translation methods over the last century has given rise to a number of different spellings of the same words. Some examples are listed above. For the sake of consistency, on this website, unless an exact spelling is required (as in a title, quote or organization) the apostrophes are generally eschewed in favor of whole words.

Tai Chi Chuan (Tai-Ji Quan, spelling in Pin Yin) is an ancient chinese martial art system. It belongs to the predominantly Taoistic influenced internal or softer chinese martial art systems called Neijia. Other Neijia Systems are Ba Gua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan and Liu He Ba Fa. Tai Chi Chuan is divided in different styles which are named after the chinese family who did develop and hand it down.

Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan is arguably the oldest of the traditional styles. Although the origins of Tai Chi Chuan are lost in the mists of antiquity, it is probable that Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan was developed by Chen Wang Ting (9th generation Chen family) at the end of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The Chen family cultivated and developed this martial art. There are therefore different lines existing which can be assigned to various family members. A rough classification distinguishes Laojia (old frame), Dajia (great frame), Xiaojia (small frame) and Xinjia (new frame). This classification is a result of differences in sequence of movements and performance, while the principles of Chen Style are generally maintained. While in the past the martial art was mostly handed down within the family, there are today numerous members of the Chen family who teach and promote their style worldwide.

Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan combines many principles of movement with the development and cultivation of internal structure and energy. Chen Style uses hard, soft, fast and slow movements for offensive and defensive fight application. At the same time it is a method for the development of good health, preventing sickness, reducing stress and a way for meditation, quietness and relaxation. Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan is a complete system for martial art and health, based on simple and natural principles.


http://www.martnet.com/~swampkat/taichi/ Philadelphia Area T'ai Chi

Philadelphia area T'ai Chi: students of Maggie Newman who practice the short yang-style form taught by Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing.

Maggie was 75 in 1999.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan

T'ai Chi Ch'uan is an ancient Chinese system of physical exercise for health, vitality, longevity and self-defense. In the Orient, T'ai Chi is practiced daily by millions of people. Its roots reach back thousands of years into Chinese culture.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan is generally translated as "Supreme Ultimate Boxing." T'ai Chi, "Supreme Ultimate" is an all-embracing term which suggests a harmony with the universe in the Taoist tradition. The T'ai Chi form is a vehicle by which one can attain this harmony. It is said that a regular practitioner of T'ai Chi Ch'uan gains the strength of a lumberjack and the pliability of a child.

The short yang-style T'ai Chi form developed by Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing consists of 37 postures executed in a continuous sequence at a slow speed. Complete relaxation, accuracy of balance, and smoothness of motion are some of the elements which make up its correct practice. The form is performed alone and requires no special equipment. T'ai Chi Ch'uan offers a means of deeply relaxing while being very alert and active.

Push Hands Practice

An advanced T'ai Chi practitioner also will do push hands practice. This is an exercise done by two people in which one tries to unbalance or uproot the other with as little force as possible - only four ounces, according to the T'ai Chi Classics. The practice helps develop the qualities of rootedness and yielding as well as listening, which is the ability to react with lightning quickness to the opponent's movements.

Sword Practice

The T'ai Chi sword form is usually done more quickly than the regular form, but the principles mentioned above still determine its correct execution. Two sword practitioners can also perform a duel in which one tries to make the sword lightly touch the opponent's body. The swords are kept in constant contact in order to minimize force and clashing. The qualities developed in push hands such as yielding and listening are essential for correct sword dueling.

http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/cheng1.htm


Regarding Master Cheng Man-ch'ing (1901 - 1975)

"Without doubt, the most influential of these new forms in the West is the 37 posture shortened Yang form of Zheng Man Qing. Zheng was a disciple of the great master Yang Cheng Fu. Zheng developed the short form to enable the art to be learnt more quickly and to be less time consuming so that it can be practiced easily with modern day hectic schedules. Zheng's great skill in Taijiquan made his form very popular. Today it is one of the predominant forms practiced in the West. Many of Zheng's students are today noted masters of the art and continue to promote his short form for both health and self-defence. The shortened form is still Yang style Taijiquan but with the repetitions and some postures removed. The theories and techniques remain unchanged. Almost all of Zheng's works on Taijiquan have been translated into English and their influence is substantial."
- The Popular Modern Styles of Tai Chi Chuan, By Peter Lim Tian Tek

Master Chen, the late Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing, was one of the first tai chi masters to teach Westerners, and a master of 'five excellences' (tai chi, poetry, painting, calligraphy, medicine).

http://www.patiencetaichi.com/


http://www.williamccchen.com/ Grandmaster William C.C. Chen

http://www.taijiquan.com


http://www.americanchentaichi.com/ American Chen Style Tai Chi Assciation
http://www.guangpingyang.org
http://taijiquanclub.com
http://www.classicaltaichi.com

Taichi Qigong

http://www.qi.org/ Qigong Association of America
http://dolphin.upenn.edu/~yxqa1 UPenn YanXin Qigong Club
http://www.yanxinqigong.net Yan Xin Qigong
http://www.qigonginstitute.org/ Qigong Institute
http://www.chinaqigong.net/english/ China qigong net


About Qigong

Qigong (pronounced as 'chee gung') is a household name in China associated with a broad range of mental and physical exercises generally regarded as beneficial to health maintenance and health improvement and practiced by over 100 million people. It is related to martial arts, Chinese traditional medicine and Chinese culture in general. Qigong was  presented to the American public in Bill Moyers's PBS  TV series "Healing and The Mind.

In very broad terms, Yan Xin Qigong has two stages. The most important one called "cultivation of virtue" involves the development of a positive attitude in general. The other stage is the "concentrated practice. The practice method used is the "Nine steps child longevity method" where the practitioner is usually seated in a specific posture while breathing and visualizing a series of images described by a tape with the voice of Dr. Yan Xin (in chinese) and simultaneous English translation. After 3 months of regular group practice people are allowed to buy the tape ($10). Brief pamphlets are also available for purchase to those interested. Books can be borrowed by people who join the International Yan Xin Qigong Science Association.

Benefits
Practitioners report improvements in their physical, mental health and spiritual health. Comments, like the one by Professor Viktoria Dalko (Penn alumni) who states that "Yan Xin Qigong has helped me overcome feelings of isolation, improve relationships with my family and friends, improve my work habits, increase my respect for my students, and learn to enjoy the present while working for a bright, harmonious future", are not unusual. A summary of reported benefits can be found here.

Scientific Research
In order to demonstrate that Qigong goes beyond the realm of a "self-induced" placebo effect, Dr. Yan Xin has collaborated in many scientific experiments both in China and the United States. In 1999, a paper reporting measurable changes in the structure and properties of certain materials product of "external Qi emission" was published in the Material Research Innovation journal, edited by Springer-Verlag.


  Last Year's program This was a trial program that took place in the Fall of 1999 and was sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Student Health System (SHS), the Office of the Vice Provost of University Life (OVPUL) and the Yan Xin Qigong Club (YXQC) at the U. of Pennsylvania.

A total of twenty eight people registered for the five weeks seminar series, twenty actually participated , nineteen of which were present during the final session where evaluation forms were filled. Participants were encouraged to attend the practice sessions regularly held during the week. Their manifested purpose for attending the class included self healing, stress reduction, improving energy and concentration, peace of mind, improving working efficiency. Most of the respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that the program was inspiring, useful, informative and well prepared and all were interested in continuing to learn and practice Yan Xin Qigong.

Practice effects named were: "more relaxed",  "better focus", "inner-strength", "calmed mind", "happier", "improved attitude".
 

Quotes from their statements:

 
"I feel an internal peace that was not there previous to YXQ"

 
"(I got a) knowledge of something  unlike any other practice or experience I have known"

      Major Effects                            Percentage  for Each Effect
 -----------------------------------------
1.  Stress Reduction                               68%  (13 out of 19)
2.  Mental Health Improvement         58%  (11 out of 19)
3.  Energy Enhancement                     58%  (11 out of 19)
4.  Performance Enhancement          57%  (  8 out of 14)
5.  Study Hours Increased (Avg.=2.4hrs/day) 50%  (  7 out of 14)
6.  Concentration Improvement         37%  (  7 out of 19)
7.  Physical Health Improvement       21%  (  4 out of 19)
8.  Memory Ability Improvement     16%  (  3 out of 19)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dr. Longguang Gao received his Ph.D. in Physical Education in 1993 from the University of Madison-Wisconsin. Since 1979 he has been practicing TaiChi and Chinese Martial Arts attending sixteen advanced qigong training workshops directly taught by Dr. Yan Xin. He has taught TaiChi and Chinese Martial Arts at Michigan State University and the University of Madison-Wisconsin.

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        Revision:  13 May 2005
Last modified:  13 May 2005