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Tai Chi Instructor Leadership Training Manual by Tai Chi Healthways Association

Tai Chi Instructor Leadership Training Manual-Vol. 1

Part I. Tai Chi Classics Collection


Part II. All about Tai Chi
Part III. What is Qigong / Chi Kung

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Tai Chi Instructor Leadership Training Manual by Tai Chi Healthways Association

Part I. Tai Chi Classics Collection

Wang Zhongyue: Tai Chi Quan Lun 


Tai Chi comes from infinity; from it springs yin and yang. 
In movement the two act independently; in stillness they fuse into one. 
There should be no excess and no insufficiency.
You yield at your opponent's slightest pressure and adhere to him at his slightest retreat. 
To conquer the strong by yielding is termed "withdraw" (tsou). 
To improve your position to the detriment of your opponent is called "adherence" (chan). You
respond quickly to a fast action, slowly to a slow action. 
Although the changes are numerous, the principle remains the same. 
Diligent practice brings the skill of "interpreting strength". 
Beyond this achievement lies the ultimate goal: 
complete mastery of an opponent without recourse to detecting his energy. 
This, however, requires arduous practice.
The spirit of vitality reaches to the top of the head and the qi sinks to the navel. 
The body is held erect without leaning in any direction. 
Your opponent should not be able to detect your change from substantial to insubstantial or vice
versa, because of your speed in affecting this change. 
When your opponent brings pressure on your left side, that side should be empty. 
The same holds for the right side. When he pushes upward or downward against you, he feels as
if there is no end to the emptiness he encounters. 
When he advances against you, he feels the distance incredibly long; 
when he retreats, he feels it exasperatingly short.
The entire body is so light that a feather will be felt and so pliable that a fly cannot alight on it
without setting it in motion. 
Your opponent cannot detect your moves but you can anticipate his. 
If you can master all these techniques you will become a peerless fighter.
In martial arts there are myriad schools. 
Although they differ in form and scale, they can never go beyond reliance on the strong
defeating the weak or the swift conquering the slow. 
Yet these are the result of physical endowments and not practical application and experience.
The strong and the quick, however, cannot explain and have no part in the deflection of a
thousand pounds of momentum with a trigger force of four ounces or of an old man defeating a
great number of men.
Stand like a balance and move actively like a cart wheel. 
Keep your weight sunk on one side. 
If it is spread on two feet you will be pushed over easily. 
Coordinating the tsou, stickiness, is the key here. 
If that is achieved, then you can interpret strength. 
After this, by practicing vigorously, studying and remembering, 
one can reach the stage of total reliance on the mind. 
Forget yourself and yield to others. 
Go gradually, according to the right method. 
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Above all, learn these techniques correctly; 


the slightest divergence will take you far off the path.

(Another Version)
Tai Chi is born of wu chi. It is the origin of dynamic and static states and is the mother of Yin
and Yang. 
If they move, they separate. 
If they remain static, they combine.
Neither overextends nor underextends. 
The crooked should be made straight.
To overcome the strong and the hard by the gentle and the soft is termed tsou or “lead by
walking away.” 
To remain in the most advantageous position and let one’s opponent be at a disadvantage is
called nien or sticking.
Respond quickly to fast actions and respond slowly to slow actions. 
Although the changes are numerous, the principle remains the same.
Understanding the jin, or tong-jin, is attained through continuous practice. 
Only continuous practice will eventually lead to this sudden illumination or a godlike stage.
The spirit, or shen, reaches the top of the head, and the qi sinks to the tan-tien.
Keep the central position; do not show anything substantial or insubstantial to your opponent. 
When the opponent brings pressure on one’s left side, that side should be empty; this principle
holds for the right side also. 
When he pushes upward or downward against one, he should feel as if encountering
nothingness. 
When he advances, let him experience the distance increasing drastically. 
When he retreats, let the distance seem exasperatingly short. 
The entire body is so light that a feather can be felt and so pliable that a fly cannot rest without
setting it in motion.
Your opponent cannot detect your intentions, but you can anticipate his. 
If one can master all these principles, one will become a peerless fighter.
In fighting there are many teachings about combat. 
Although they differ with respect to postures, they can never go beyond reliance on the strong
defeating those who are weaker, or the swift conquering those who are slower. 
These, however, are the result of physical endowments and in many cases are not necessarily of
practical application and experience.
The strong and the quick, however, cannot explain nor implement the deflection of a thousand
pounds of momentum with a force of four ounces, or an old man’s conquering over a great
number of men.
Stand like a poised scale and move actively like a cart wheel.
With your center of gravity displaced to one side, you can be fluid. 
If you are weighted on two points, you become stagnant.
Many persons who have studied Tai Chi for a number of years have not developed properly and
continue to be subdued by others because they have not realized the error in double
weightedness.
To avoid this fault, the relationship between Yin and Yang must be understood. 
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Nien is tsou and tsou is nien. Yin cannot be separated from Yang nor can Yang be separated
from Yin. 
When Yin and Yang complement each other, one will interpret the tenacious energy, or tong jin,
correctly.
Comprehend the tong jin; the more you practice, the more wonderful your development will be. 
You understand in silence and experience in feeling until you may act at will.
Forget yourself and yield to others. 
Learn these techniques correctly, for the slightest divergence will take you far off the path.

太極拳論    王宗嶽

太極者,無極而生,動靜之機,陰陽之母也。動之則分,靜之則合。無過不及,隨曲就伸。

人剛我柔謂之走,我順人背謂之粘。動急則急應,動緩則緩隨。雖變化萬端,而理爲一貫。

由招熟而漸悟懂勁,由懂勁而階及神明。然非用力日久,不能豁然貫通焉。虛靈頂勁,氣

沈丹田。不偏不倚,忽隱忽現。左重則左虛,右重則右杳。仰之則彌高,府之則彌深,進

之則愈長,退之則愈促。一羽不能加,蠅蟲不能落,人不知我,我獨知人。英雄所向無敵,

蓋皆由此而及也。斯技旁門甚多,雖勢有區別,概不外,壯欺弱,慢讓快耳。有力打無力,

手慢讓手快,是皆先天自然之能,非關學力而有爲也。察四兩撥千斤之句,顯非力勝;觀

耄耋禦衆之形,快何能爲。立如秤准,活如車輪,偏沈則隨,雙重則滯。每見數年純功,

不能運化者,率皆自爲人制,雙重之病未悟而。欲避此病,須知陰陽;粘即是走,走即是

粘,陽不離陰,陰不離陽;陰陽相濟,方爲懂勁。懂勁後,愈練愈精,默識揣摩,漸至從

心所欲。本是舍己從人,多誤捨近求遠。所謂差之毫釐,謬之千里。學者不可不詳辨焉。

是爲論。

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Tai Chi Instructor Leadership Training Manual by Tai Chi Healthways Association

Chang San-Feng: The Theory of Tai Chi  


In any action, the whole body should be light and agile.
One should feel that all of the body’s joints are connected with full linkage.
Qi should be stirred. The spirit of vitality, or shen, should be concentrated inwards.
Do not show any deficiency, neither concavity nor convexity in movement. 
Do not show disconnected movement.
The jin is rooted in the feet, bursts out in the legs, is controlled by the waist and functions
through the hands. 
From the feet to the legs, legs to the waist; all should be moved as a unit. 
By moving as a unit, one can advance or retreat with precise timing and have the most
advantageous position.
If precise timing and good position are not achieved and the body does not move as a unit, then
the waist and legs need more development; they may not be strong or flexible enough. 
This often shows when moving up or down, backwards or forwards.
Where there is something up, there must be something down.
Where there is something forwards, there must be something backwards. 
Where there is something left, there must be something right. 
If one intends to move up, one must simultaneously show a contrary tendency (downwards) and
loosen the roots, so that it can be easily pushed off.
One must distinguish substantiality from insubstantiality. 
Where there is substantiality, there must be insubstantiality. 
In all ways, one has to distinguish one from the other.
The whole body should be linked together through every joint; do not show any interruptions.

(Another Version)
At the start of any movement, all parts of the body are called upon to move and act agilely.
They should be functionally and sequentially linked through out the body.
The chi should be stirring, and vital force is concentrated inwardly. 
There should be no deficiency nor pitfalls; no concavity nor extension.
The strength is rooted in the feet, bursts out the legs, is dominated by the waist, and exhibited in
the fingers.
Only when the feet, the legs, and the waist are organized as their functional integrity, 
you are then able to catch the optimum moment and advantageous position whenever you are
confronted with an opponent.
If you fail in holding the optimum moment and advantageous position, your body will be in
disorder, and strength will be dispersed.
The cause of this fault must be sought from the waist and legs, 
whether the distortion is on top or below, in front or behind, or to the left or right. 
And all of these use the mind, not in the outward forms.
If there is something on the top, there must be something below;
if there is something in front, there must be something behind;
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if there is something in the left, there must be something in the right.


Like pulling a tree out of the earth, it will be much easier if the root has been shaken and
loosened first.
The changing of solid and void must be distinct. 
There is solid and void in any movement, and any movement consists of void and solid.
The chi and strength link throughout the body without interruption.

拳論    張三豐

一舉動中周身俱要輕靈,尤須貫串,氣宜鼓蕩、神宜內斂,無使有缺陷處、無使有凸凹
處、無使有斷續處,其根在腳,發於腿、主宰於腰、形於手指,由腳而腿而腰。總須完
整一氣,向前退後乃能得機得勢,有不得機得勢處,身便散亂其病必於腰腿求之,上下
前後皆然。凡此皆是。意不在外面,有上即有下,有前則有後,有左則有右,如意要向
上即寓下意,若將物掀起即加以挫之之意;斯其根自斷。乃壞之速,而無疑。虛實宜分
清楚,一處有一處虛實。周身節節貫串,無令絲毫間斷耳。

長拳者,如長江大海滔滔不絕也。掤、捋、擠、按、采、挒、肘、靠,此八卦也。進步、
退步、左顧、右盼、中定,此五行也,『掤捋擠按』,即乾坤坎離四正方也。『采挒肘
靠』,即巽震兌艮四斜角也。『進退顧盼定』,即金木水火土也。合之則爲『十三勢』也。

【原注雲:此系武當山張三豐祖師遺論欲天下豪傑延年益壽不徒作技藝之末也】
【太極拳由張三豐所創此說法,始於武禹讓,但據考證並非如此,故此文何人所作無法
得知】

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The Song of Push-Hands


In ward-off, rollback, press and push,
Have purpose with every action
Every part of the body in motion is supported by another part.
This way there will be no opening to let your opponent attack you.
If your opponent uses force against you,
Use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.
Lead your opponent in and allow him to lose his balance.
Yield and assert at the same time.
Do not forget to use the techniques of tsou and nien.

(Another Version)
The Song of Push-Hands
Warding, diverting, pressing and pushing,
Always done with significance and caution.
With all parts of the body coordinated,
That protects you from any invasion by an opponent.
Let one strike with all of his might,
Only four-ounces may be used to deflect a thousand pounds.
Divert the oncoming force into emptiness,
And attack when the forces join.
Sticking, connecting, adhering and following,
Do not lose contact and do not resist.
It is also stated: "If he doesn’t move, neither do I. If he starts
to move, I move beforehand. The strength appears loose, but it is not so.
It is ready for exertion, but it doesn’t appear so.
Even if the strength appears broken,
The sense of continuity remains."

打手歌   王宗嶽

掤捋擠按須認真。上下相隨人難進。

任他巨力來打吾。牽動四兩撥千斤。

引進落空合即出。沾連粘隨不丟頂。

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Chant of the Thirteen Kinetic Movements


Never neglect any of the thirteen kinetic movements.
The waist is the source of sense and perception.
Be attentive to the changes of void and solid,
and the chi goes throughout the body without stagnating,
There is movement in stillness, and stillness in movement:
And miracles will evolve during competition.
Every posture is the creation of your will,
Relax the abdomen, but put the chi in full swing,
with coccyx centered and spirit rising up.
The body should be light and agile, and the top of the head is "suspended."
Carefully study the means of opening and closing, bending and stretching;
they are done with effortlessness and freedom.
Fundamentals and guidance should be made through oral teaching,
while skill is gained through self-study and continuous practicing.
Ask what is meant by making good use of the "body," and its function,
It is the guidance of spirit-mind that is the master, and the bones and flesh are the servant.
Think what the final purpose is –
It is longevity with eternal spring.
If you don’t seek in this direction, it will be a sheer waste of effort and time.

(Another Version)
Never neglect any of the thirteen postures.
The source of the will is in the waist.
Pay attention to the slightest change from full to empty.
Let the chi flow through the whole body constantly.
Stillness embodies motion, motion embodies stillness.
Seek stillness in motion.
Surprising things will happen when you meet your opponent.
Give an awareness and purpose to every movement.
When done correctly all will appear effortless.
At all times pay attention to the waist.
With abdomen loose and light, the Chi can be activated.
If the coccyx is erect, the shen rests to the top of the head.
The body should be pliable.
Hold the head as if suspended from a string.
Be alert and seek meaning in the purpose of Tai-Chi Chuan.
Bent and stretched, open and closed,
Let nature take its course.
Beginners are guided by oral teaching.
Gradually one applies oneself more and more.
Skill will take care of itself.
What is the main principle of Tai Chi Chuan?

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The mind is the primary actor and the body the secondary one.
What is the purpose and philosophy behind Tai Chi?
Rejuvenation and prolonging of life beyond the normal span.
So an eternal spring.
Every word of this song has enormous value and importance.
Fail to follow this song attentively, and you will waste away your time.

十三勢行功歌訣
十三總勢莫輕識,命意源頭在腰隙。變轉虛實須留意,氣遍身軀不稍癡。

靜中觸動動猶靜,因敵變化是神奇。勢勢存心揆用意,得來不覺費功夫。

刻刻留心在腰間,腹內鬆靜氣騰然。尾閭正中神貫頂,滿身輕利頂頭懸。

仔細留心向推求,屈伸開合聽自由。入門引路須口授,功用無息法自休。

若言體用何爲準,意氣君來骨肉臣。詳推用意終何在?益壽延年不老春。

歌兮歌兮百四十,字字真切義無遺。若不向此推求去,枉費工夫遺歎息。

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Wu yiuxiang: An Internal Explanation of the “Chant of the Thirteen


Kinetic Movements”

The mind directs the movement of the qi, which must sink deeply. 
Then the qi can be gathered into the bones. 
When the qi circulates the body freely, without any obstacles, it can easily follow the mind.
If the qi is cultivated, the spirit of vitality, or shen, will be raised. 
One can feel as if one’s head is suspended from above; thus one can avoid any slowness and
clumsiness.
The mind and the qi must coordinate and blend with the interchange between the substantial and
the insubstantial, so as to develop an active tendency.
In attacking, the energy should be sunk deeply, completely released and aimed in one direction.
In standing, the body should be erect and relaxed, able to respond immediately to an attack from
any direction.
The qi is to be directed throughout the body as if passing a thread easily, without hindrance,
through a pearl having nine zigzagging paths.
The energy is mobilized like steel refined a hundred times over, enabling it to destroy any object.
One’s appearance should be like a hawk swooping down upon its prey; the spirit should be like a
cat caching a mouse.
It rests as a mountain; it flows like the current of a river.
Reserving the potential, or jin, is like drawing a bow; releasing it is like shooting an arrow.
Seek the straightness in a curve; reserve jin before releasing it.
Strength comes from the spine. 
The steps must be changed following along with changes in the position of the body.
To withdraw is also to attack and to attack is also to withdraw. 
The jin is sometimes broken off but must be immediately rejoined.
When going back and forth, one should draw into folds. 
When advancing or retreating, one should turn the body and vary the steps.
Extreme softness leads to extreme hardness.
Alacrity comes about when one’s respiration is exact.
Qi should be cultivated naturally so no injury will occur. 
Jin is stored by moving in curves.
The mind is the commander, the qi the flag, and the waist the pole.
Movements should be stretched at first and become tight later. 
In this way one’s movements will be perfect.
The following is also said: 
Concentrate your mind, then your body keep the belly completely relaxed; 
let the qi adhere to the bones. Always bear these facts in mind.
Remember that when one part of the body moves, all other parts should move; 
when one part of the body is still, the rest of the body should be still.
In all movements to and fro, the qi adheres to the back of the body and gathers into the spine. 
Inwardly one concentrates one’s spirit, or shen, and outwardly one appears peaceful.
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Walk like a cat; mobilize your energy as if pulling silk threads from a cocoon.
One’s attention should be on the spirit, or shen, not on the breath, or qi. 
Special care of the breath makes one clumsy. Once one can forget the qi, one’s energy will be
strong as steel.
The qi is like a cart wheel, and the waist an axle.
It is also said that if your opponent does not move, you should remain still. 
But at his slightest move, you should be ahead of him.
The jin seems loose, but it is not; it seems stretched, but it is not. 
If the jin is broken off, the attention of one’s mind still remains.

打手要言   武禹襄  

解曰:

       以心行氣,務沈著,乃能收斂入骨。所謂“命意源頭在腰隙”也。

       意氣須換得靈,乃有圓活之趣。所謂:“變轉虛實須留意”也。   立身
中正安舒,支撐八面;行氣如九曲珠,無微不到。所謂:“氣遍身軀不稍癡”也.

       發勁須沈著鬆靜,專注一方。所謂:“靜中觸動動猶靜”也。

       往復須有折叠,進退須有轉換。所謂:“因敵變化是神奇”也。

       曲中求直,蓄而後發。所謂:“勢勢存心揆用意,刻刻留心在腰間”也。

       精神提得起,則無遲重之虞。所謂:“腹內鬆靜氣騰然”也。   虛領頂


勁,氣沈丹田,不偏不倚。所謂:“尾閭正中神貫頂,滿身輕利頂頭懸”也。

       以氣運身,務順遂,乃能便利從心。所謂:“屈伸開合聽自由”也。

       心爲令,氣爲旗,神爲主帥,身爲驅使。所謂:“意氣君來骨肉臣”也。

解曰:   身雖動,心貴靜;氣須斂,神宜舒。心為令,氣為旗,神為主帥,身為驅使,
刻刻留意,方有所得。先在心,後在身;在身則不知手之舞之,足之蹈之。所謂:“
一氣呵成,捨已從人,引進落空,四兩拔千斤”也。   須知一動無有不動,一靜無有
不靜,視動猶靜,視靜猶動;內固精神,外示安逸;須要從人,不要由己;從人則活,
由己則滯。尚氣者無力,養氣者純剛;彼不動,己不動;彼微動,己先動。   以己依
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人,務要知己,乃能隨轉隨接;以己粘人,必須知人,乃能不後不先。精神能提得起,
則無遲動之虞;粘依能跟得靈,方見落空之妙。   往覆須分陰陽,進退須有轉合;機由
己發,力從人借;發勁須上下相隨,乃一往無敵;立身須中正不偏,能八面支撐;靜
如山嶽,動若江河;邁步如臨淵,運動如抽絲,蓄勁如張弓,發勁如放箭。   行氣如
九曲珠,無微不到;運勁如百煉鋼,何堅不摧?形如搏兔之鵠,神如捕鼠之貓,曲中
求直,蓄而後發;收即是放,連而不斷。   極柔軟,然後能極堅剛;能粘依,然後能靈
活;氣以直養而無害,勁以曲蓄而有餘;漸至物來順應,是亦知止能得矣。

又曰:   先在心,後在身;腹鬆,氣斂入骨。神舒體靜,刻刻存心。切記,一動無有
不動,一靜無有不靜;視靜猶動,視動猶靜。動牽往來氣貼背,歛入脊骨,要靜。  
內固精神,外示安逸,邁步如貓行,運勁如抽絲。全身意在蓄神,不在氣;在氣則滯。
有氣者無力,無氣者純剛;氣如車輪,腰如車軸。

又曰:   彼不動,己不動;彼微動,己先動。似鬆非鬆,將展未展,勁斷意不斷。

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Part II. All About Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese art of relaxation, healing and self-defense. Its gentle and fluid
motions are suitable for everyone, regardless of age or athletic ability. Tai Chi is widely
practiced for stress reduction, energy enhancement, preventing illness, improving concentration,
strengthening the mind and body, and slowing the effects of aging. It is a natural solution for
stress. Tai Chi has been recognized by medical experts as a practical, effective alternative to
expensive drugs and therapies to control chronic disease. Tai chi is the fastest-growing popular
exercise in the world today.

An article titled “Why Tai Chi is the Perfect Exercise” in Time magazine, August 2002 said:
Practitioners praise Tai Chi’s spiritual and psychological benefits, but what has attracted the
attention of Western scientists lately is what Tai Chi does for the body. Scientists at the Oregon
Research Institute in Eugene reported that Tai Chi offers the greatest benefit to older men and
women who are healthy but relatively inactive. Tai Chi combines intense mental focus with
deliberate, graceful movements that improve strength, agility, and best of all, balance.

The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter in April 2002 said that people with osteoarthritis may benefit
from Tai Chi. “A Korean study presented at the American College of Rheumatology conference
examined the effect of this ancient Chinese exercise discipline in 31 inactive 64-year-olds with
osteoarthritis. Seventeen of the participants practiced Tai Chi daily for 12 weeks; the remainder
did not. At the end of the program, those in the Tai Chi group had significantly more abdominal
muscle strength, better balance, and less pain and difficulty in performing daily activities than
their sedentary counterparts.”

Health Journal Silver, a CIGNA Medical Group’s publication, said “The Ancient Art of Tai Chi
Can Be Good for Your Health” on its Spring 2002 issue. “Regular Tai Chi practice can help you
maintain muscle strength, lower your blood pressure, and relax. It can also improve your
balance, which reduces your risk for falls. In a study of people ages 70 and older, 96 percent of
those who practiced Tai Chi said they felt more secure in their movements. They also felt more
confident, alert, energetic, and relaxed.”

The health benefits of Tai Chi tie in strongly with the practice of internal motion, which fully
utilizes the powerful core of the body. It is a uniquely effective means of invigorating the
internal organs, circulatory systems and nervous systems. The ultimate purpose of practicing Tai
Chi is to live longer in the spring season of our lives. Tai Chi is not just for longevity, but also
for robustness, even at an old age.

When examining the movements of very young children, we see that their movements of arms
and legs often originate from their torso. Their movements are relaxed and without tension. As
we grow older our movements tend to concentrate on our arms, legs and shoulders and less on
our torso. Also, tension and stiffness start to creep into our movements. Gradually, we loose
touch with the torso, and stagnation in the torso sets in. Tai Chi is considered as a means to

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return to our childhoods. Physically, the internal movements penetrate to the deep recesses of
the torso, stimulating and invigorating the inner organs and the circulation systems in the torso.

The origin of Tai Chi

There are many different versions of the history of Tai Chi. One thing is certain – it developed
under the influence of the philosophy of Taoism, which over the years evolved into exercise
routines. According to Chinese legend, Tai Chi began in the 13th century when a Taoist named
Chang Sanfeng who lived in Wudang Mountain saw a crane swoop down to capture a snake.
Despite many attacks, the snake was able to avoid the bird’s beak (the strong point) by
constantly shifting from side to side and attacking the crane’s weak side. As the snake tried to
dart its fangs into the crane's leg, the crane would raise the leg and lower a wing to ward off the
attack. Chang saw how softness could overcome hardness, and how the idea of yielding to
enemy’s strong force and striking his weak part could have practical application in the martial
arts. Therefore, he created Tai Chi and handed down through generations. It is believed that
Taoist monks began practicing Tai Chi in monasteries for two reasons: one was to defend
themselves from bandits, and second was to promote health because they were out of shape from
sitting around meditating all the time.

The original goal of Tai Chi’s training is to cultivate a kind of 'whole body' power. This refers to
the ability to generate power with the entire body, making full use of one's whole body mass in
every movement. Power is always generated from "the bottom up, meaning the powerful
muscles of the legs and hip serve as the seat of power. Using the strength of the relatively
weaker arms and upper body is not emphasized. The entire body is held in a state of dynamic
relaxation, which allows the power of the whole body to flow out of the hands and into the
opponent without obstruction. This is described in the Tai Chi Classics as "being rooted in the
feet, developed by the legs, directed by the waist transferred through the back and expressed in
the hands."

During the past 300 years, the practice of Tai Chi has been developing into a graceful exercise
with its movements tending to be more relaxed, smooth, even and graceful like floating clouds
and flowing streams. Many explosive strength moves disappeared, as did excessive foot
stamping. As a result, Tai Chi became popular with men and women, young and old alike.
Increasing attention was also paid to the health building and therapeutic value of Tai Chi.

Styles of Tai Chi

There are five major styles of Tai Chi. Chen style is the oldest practiced today, and is widely
acknowledged to be the ancestor of all other practiced styles. It originated in Chenjiagou in
Henan province near the town of Dengfeng and was first taught by Chen Wangting in the late
17th century. It is characterized by supple whole-body twining, coiling movements, and
occasionally explosive releases of power. There are some vigorous movements that involve
jumping, spinning while in the air, and dropping the body low to the ground. Technically, in
addition to the explosive strikes and throws, the Chen style contains a great number of Chin Na
(joint locking and leverage) techniques. These techniques are a remnant of the original weapons

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disarms popular on the ancient battlefields, and reflect the warrior background of Chen
Wangting.
In the early 19th century, Yang Luchan learned Chen style Tai Chi and soon became a highly
skilled and enthusiastic practitioner. He developed his own particular Yang style of Tai Chi. By
comparison with Chen style, the movements of the Yang style are more even and extended with
large frame, less visible coiling and twining, and little or no variation in pace. Yet another style
was developed by Wu Chuanyau, a student of Yang Luchan in Beijing. The Wu style
emphasizes quietness with moderate postures and deep rooting in steps. Hao/W’u style is
another popular Tai Chi practice with simple, quick and short-range movements mostly
involving the opening and closing of the arms. Sun style is the youngest among the five major
Tai Chi styles, and its founder was Sun Lutang who combined his martial arts background of
Xingyi and Bagua with Tai Chi. Sun style is characterized by its compactness of movement, its
high, upright posture, and its lively footwork.

Tai Chi Training

Tai Chi is commonly known in the West as the yin-yang symbol/diagram. The core training
involves two primary features:
Solo routine of bare-hand (or with weapon), a slow sequence of movements which emphasize a
straight spine, abdominal breathing and a natural range of motion. Accurate, repeated practice
of the solo routine will retrain posture, encourage circulation throughout the students' bodies,
maintain flexibility through their joints and further familiarize students with the martial
application sequences implied by the forms.
Push hands is a training for martial application scenarios to prepare students for self-defense.
The philosophy is that if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certain to
be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to tai chi theory, is a natural
consequence of meeting brute force with brute force, a collision of two like forces, yang with
yang. Instead, students are taught not to directly fight or resist an incoming force, but to meet it
in softness and "stick" to it, following its motion while remaining in physical contact until the
incoming force of attack exhausts itself or can be safely redirected, the result of meeting yang
with yin. Done correctly, achieving this yin/yang or yang/yin balance in combat (and, by
extension, other areas of one's life) is known as a primary goal of Tai Chi training. Lao Tzu
provided the archetype for this in his book Tao Te Ching. He wrote, "The soft and the pliable
will defeat the hard and strong."
Tai chi's martial aspect relies on sensitivity to the opponent's movements and center of gravity
dictating appropriate responses. Effectively affecting or "capturing" the opponent's center of
gravity immediately upon contact is trained as the primary goal of the martial tai chi student.
The sensitivity needed to capture the center is acquired over thousands of hours of first yin
(slow, repetitive, meditative, low impact) and then later adding yang ("realistic," active, fast,
high impact). So that, pushing hands is the foundation for fighting.
Tai chi trains in three basic ranges, close, medium and long, and then everything in between.
Pushes and open hand strikes are more common than punches, and kicks are usually to the legs
and lower torso. The fingers, fists, palms, sides of the hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders,
back, hips, knees and feet are commonly used to strike, with strikes to the eyes, throat, heart,
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groin and other acupressure points. Joint traps, locks and breaks (chi-na) are also used. Most tai
chi teachers expect their students to thoroughly learn defensive or neutralizing skills first, and a
student will have to demonstrate proficiency with them before offensive skills will be
extensively trained. There is also an emphasis in the traditional schools that one is expected to
show wude (武德), martial virtue or heroism, to protect the defenseless and show mercy to one's
opponents.

The Modern Tai Chi

Tai chi has become very popular in the last twenty years or so, as the baby boomers age and Tai
Chi’s reputation for ameliorating the effects of aging becomes more well-known. Some
hospitals, clinics, community and senior centers host classes in communities around the world.
As a result of this popularity, there has been some divergence between those who say they
practice Tai Chi primarily for self-defense, those who practice it for sport, and those who are
more interested in its benefits to physical and mental health. The sport aspect is primarily for
show, and the routines taught for those purposes are designed to earn points in competition and
are mostly unconcerned with either health maintenance or martial ability. More traditional
stylists believe the two aspects of health and martial arts are equally necessary. The traditional
Tai Chi schools therefore still present their teachings in a martial art context whatever the
intention of their students in studying the art.
Along with Yoga, Tai Chi is one of the fastest growing fitness and health maintenance activities
in the Western countries. Because there is no universal certification process, practically anyone
can call themselves a teacher. This is especially prevalent in the New Age community. Few of
these teachers are aware of the martial applications to the Tai Chi routines and do not teach
martially. If they do teach self-defense, it is often a mixture of motions which the teachers think
look like Tai Chi with some other system. While this phenomenon may have made some external
aspects of Tai Chi available for a wider audience, the traditional Tai Chi schools see the martial
focus as a fundamental part of their training, both for health and self-defense purposes. The
traditional schools claim that while the students may not need to practice martial applications to
derive a benefit from Tai Chi training, they assert that Tai Chi teachers at least should know the
martial applications to teach correct and safe movements. Also, the ability to protect oneself
from physical attack is considered part of "health maintenance." For these reasons traditional
schools claim that a syllabus lacking the martial aspects is not teaching the art, and is less likely
to reproduce the full health benefits of Tai Chi.

The Standard or Competition Tai Chi Routines

In order to make Tai Chi practice reaching to big population, Chinese Sports Committee brought
together major Tai Chi masters in China and headed by Li Tianji to create the Standard Tai Chi
Form 24 based on Yang style in 1956. They wanted to retain the fundamentals of tai chi but
create a routine that was less difficult to teach and much less difficult to learn than longer
(generally 83 to 108 posture) classical routine. In 1976, they developed a longer form combined
with Chen Yang Wu Sun styles, also for the purposes of demonstration. This was the Combined
48 Forms that were created by three wushu coaches, finalized by Professor Li Deyin. The
combined forms were created based on simplifying and combining some features of the classical
forms from four of the original styles; Chen, Yang, Wu, and Sun.
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Tai Chi became popular on the Mainland China in the 1980s. In order to standardize Tai Chi
for competition tournament judging, more competitive forms were developed within a six-
minute time limit. In the late-1980s, the Chinese Sports Committee standardized many different
competition forms. They developed sets to represent the four major styles as well as combined
forms. These five sets of forms were created by different teams, and later approved by a
committee of wushu coaches in China. All sets of forms thus created were named after their
style, e.g., the Chen Style Competition Form 56, and so on. The combined forms are The
Standard International Competition Form 42. Again, Professor Li Deyin was the leading
designer for this routine.

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Part III. What is Qigong/ Chi Kung?

Qigong is an ancient form of Chinese energetic medicine, and is one of the four main branches of
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), along with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and medical
massage. As with the other "branches" of TCM, healing occurs through balancing Qi or
electromagnetic energy, which surrounds and pervades all living creatures. Qigong is used as a
preventative measure as well as a remedy for specific conditions.

Qigong (pronounced chee gung) and sometimes spelt Chi Kung, comes from the words Qi =
"energy" and Gong = "cultivation" or "work". The various translations include "energy
cultivation", "energy work". At it simplest, the aim of Qigong is to promote personal energy for
self healing and well-being.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the premise that there is a bio energy system in the
body. The bio energy or Qi gets carried round the body in energy channels called meridians - a
bit like the way the veins carry blood around the body. There are 12 main meridians carrying Qi
throughout the body and through the major organs. In this system of medicine, illness is the
result of interrupted, weak or blocked flow of Qi.

Disruptions in the electromagnetic energy of the body occur throughout our lifetime as a result of
poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, injuries, surgery, suppression of emotions, and aging.
 
The goal of Qigong is to correct these bio-energetic imbalances and blockages. This enables the
body to strengthen and regulate the internal organs, the nervous system and the immune system,
relieve pain, regulate hormones, and strengthen and release deep-seated emotions and stress.
 
Qigong is a complete system of health care that recognizes the root causes of symptoms or
disease, and treats the client as a whole. Practiced as an excellent adjunct to Western medicine,
Chinese medicine may successfully treat people with conditions which Western medicine finds
resistant or ambiguous. In China, doctors have applied Qigong in hospitals and clinics to treat
individuals suffering from a variety of ailments. Like any other system of health care, Qigong is
not a panacea but a highly effective health care practice. Many health care professionals in the
Western countries recommend Qigong as an important form of complementary and alternative
medicine.

Qigong has many individual exercises each having the purpose of massaging or healing a
specific meridian and improve the flow of Qi. The most popular traditional or classic Chinese
Qigong are “Five Animal Frolics”, “Six Healing Sounds”, “Eight Piece Brocades”, “Yi Jin
Ching”, ….

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