Discovery: Make Your Tai Chi

Martial artists who don’t do Tai Chi often say that, “Hey, I can do my form slow, too.” Martial artists who only do Tai Chi are generally unaware that the Tai Chi practice method is not exclusive to Tai Chi. In fact it is an old and very well respected form of Kung Fu practice which can help ANY aspiring martial practitioner. So how would we go about retooling your practice with a little Tai Chi?

First: slow down. Those aerial kicks, for instance, will be hard to execute in slo-mo so I suggest keeping them in a relatively low flight pattern.

Second: cut off the ends of the French Bread. Tai Chi eliminates the hard snapping and focused power at the ends of the moves (at least initially). You want to keep up the internal intent, focus and timing, but lose the “POP” at the end.

Third: In Tai Chi the punching coming back (negative) deserves the same attention as the punch going out (positive). In other words keep the light of your consciousness continually shining on your moves. Don’t blank out the brain while throwing that kick!

Fourth: As you slowly perform the postures of your chosen, be prepared to fire off with speed and power not just at the conclusions of each move but AT ANY POINT OF THE MOVE! In Tai Chi EVERY INCH of the move should have the same potential for exploding, even in the middle of the move. That’s the Tai Chi difference and that is why Tai Chi is round.

Try it once and you will, at least, have a hint why all those old Kung Fu players can get so involved. It kind of grows on you. And it can’t help but improve your practice.

One Response to “Discovery: Make Your Tai Chi”

  1. patrick hodges says:

    How true. In fact when I first started to learn CMA at the Hawaii Jing Wu, there was one form that wasn’t “Tai Chi” but was done like Tai Chi from the Northern Branch of Tao Chia. This was even before I had a glance of what Tai Chi was. Now with the advent of technology, the world has gotten a lot smaller and you can view some Chinese arts like Fujian White Crane and even Shaolin routines that are indeed done like Tai Chi. In Hawaii a thousand years ago, I had the fortune of seeing some old Okinawan masters run through their kata or routines and they were done softly and slowly. And if you believe in the metaphysics of the so called san-chin routine, well the gains are both spiritual and deep in addition to strength and physical development. This practice is not just found in the Chinese or
    Far Eastern martial arts. Yoga has this and to some extent, even classical ballet has training. Think of the Native American who had to move ever so slowly when hunting or stalking an enemy.
    Alas, it has its drawbacks as my wife says I move too slowly to get anything done. =D

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