Ken Talks on Martial Arts Intent for Yang Tai Chi Movements
Tai chi as taught by everydaytaichi by Lucy is to promote health and wellbeing. This form of exercise draws from a base of principles related to the martial art form, tai chi chuan. The physical movements seen in tai chi seem at times to be more related to a dance rather than a martial art. The movements of, especially Yang style tai chi, are smooth and flowing and at times may not show this latter correlation. Unlike in the very long classic routines in which there is a much greater number of movements and variation of sequence, the more modern forms are relatively short with fewer numbers of movements and variations. From a martial art standpoint, each movement has precise intended movements and utilization of all parts of the body directed by the conscious mind to achieve its martial art goal whether it be advancing or retreating, striking or blocking/evading In the short forms the movements are commonly “root” movements from which variations of movement and maneuvers can be derived. Tai chi for health and exercise uses the same principles in performing the respective routines. In this way, one can perform the detailed physical maneuvers involving the various parts of his body to develop strength and coordination and gain a better understanding of how the body and mind work.
In tai chi it is said that: “the mind directs the body.” The working of the conscious mind, commonly referred to as “intension” is the part of the human nervous system being referred to. Therefore, the understanding of what is to be performed is of great importance to get the maximum benefit out of tai chi. While initially tai chi involves one getting familiar with the pace, sequence and gross movements of each of the individual movements, eventually an understanding the basis of what is involved in the precise performance of these movements becomes apparent. A better understanding of the underlying intent allows one to perform each movement more precisely and consistent with the martial art basis in order to obtain maximum benefit in training the body and mind.
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