Monday, April 8, 2013

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art hailing from the land of China. Steeped in mysticism, there is confusion around the name of the art.

 Tai Chi is commonly understood to refer to the slow, almost meditative style of exercise. It is based on the martial art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, which is sometimes referred to as Taiji. This confusion is a result of differing  translations of Chinese characters.

 The practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan is the same as other martial arts, it involves practicing techniques with a partner like Judo or Karate. Tai Chi techniques consist of the same movements but, performed solo.

 Qigong, Chi Gung and Chi Kung are all English translations of the same Chinese root. It's an important part of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and consists of meditation. In addition, students are taught to harness the power of their life force, in Chinese thought, referred to as Chi. In the days before exercise systems became a form of combat as martial arts, individuals tapped the mysterious power of chi for self-healing, self-discovery, even self-realization.

 Practitioners of Qigong are famed worldwide for their amazing feats of strength and endurance. The ability to break steel bars over their head is not uncommon! A short look at some footage of Shaolin monks, who also practice a form of Qigong, will reveal many imaginative ways in which the power of Chi is demonstrated.

 The importance placed on the internal aspect of martial arts within Tai Chi marks it radically different to many other martial arts, whose primary emphasis are on the external and technical aspects of combat. Whilst there is nothing to stop a T'ai Chi Ch'uan practitioner doing the kind of intense conditioning a Muay Thai boxer undertakes, the art is known primarily as an internal martial art focusing on more than pure power. This focus has left it open to criticism from some advocates of the external styles.

 We believe the attainment of a healthy blend of the internal and external aspects are the responsibility of every martial artist to pursue individually. This is why our classes are personalized for each student depending on their own needs and goals.

 It is undeniable that T'ai Chi Ch'uan has real self-defense value, and as seen with Aikido, the more circular flowing arts are excellent against weapon attacks, often succeeding where brute force would result only in bloodshed. Here at Bruce McCorry's Academy we place real emphasis on effective self-defense!

 In addition, the art of Tai Chi is famed for its long-lasting impact on mind, body and soul. Having worked with students suffering from arthritis, MS, strokes, muscle diseases and a variety of other ailments, we have seen firsthand, the health benefits this martial art has to offer. 

With the physical benefits including improved balance, better flexibility and more zest for life, we look forward to seeing you at our academy. 

 We offer a free introductory class and we hope the benefits to our members will shine through enough that you decide to join us. We are proud to be ambassadors for this beautiful art. Together with Tai Chi, we are stronger.    

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