T’ai Chi Chuan is an ancient Chinese system of movement for health and vitality. Its practice results in increased awareness, sensitivity, and an unexcelled art of self-defense. The T’ai Chi form consists of a series of postures performed in a slow, continuous sequence. Unlike exercise which relies on muscular force and tension, the graceful movements of T’ai Chi emphasize relaxation, straightness, and true balance. The T’ai Chi form taught by the New York School of T’ai Chi Chuan, and its parent organization, the T’ai Chi Foundation, was refined from the Yang Family form by Master Cheng Man-Ch’ing. This form, commonly known as Yang Style Short Form, takes only 7–10 minutes to perform and is a complete physical exercise, balancing and rejuvenating both the internal organs and external musculature. No special clothing or equipment is required. It can be done in a small space and is suitable for men and women of all ages.
Literally translated as “Supreme Ultimate Fist,” T’ai Chi Chuan has been called the queen of martial arts. Its basic tenet is simple and evident in Nature— “In Softness there is Strength.”
While buildings and hard trees
Tumble before the typhoon
Blades of grass and willows yield
And remain unharmed.
Normally, human beings waste most of their energy holding unnecessary tension in the body and mind. In time, the body’s youthful pliability and straightness give way to stiffness and imbalance. Circulation becomes impaired, organs deteriorate, illness and injury become frequent, the mind loses its attentiveness. For thousands of years, the principles and practice of T’ai Chi Chuan have been helping people to eliminate tension, regain their health, and experience the full potential that is the birthright of everyone.
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Please credit: Neil Gumenick