Tai Chi Chuan ( Supreme Ultimate Fist)

Weapons TrainingIf you are discovering Tai Chi Chuan ( Supreme Ultimate Fist) for the first time or would like to know more about what classes at Roffey may consist of, the following information should be useful. Our aim at Roffey is to enable Tai Chi Chuan to be practiced by all ages and physical abilities and at many levels, from a simple ‘meditative’ exercise to a realistic martial art.

At Roffey we will try to cover full syllabus, form, pushing hands, applications, and weapons. However, we will also have some focus on health aspects of Tai Chi Chuan, along with Qigong (Chi Gung) exercises and meditation. The Hand Form ( Long Form) is the most familiar, aspect of Tai Chi Chuan, it is the series of slow movements you see performed in the parks, in China, early in the morning. There are many benefits to be gained from practising the Hand Form. At its simplest level, the Hand Form is an exercise system. You will find that the practice of these slow movements involves more exertion than it would seem.

The movements are based on energy flow CHI as practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This focusses on the flow of energy through the body and the the principles of Yin and Yang. CHI GUNG promotes the smooth flow of this energy. By performing the postures of the Form, in co-ordination with relaxed, natural breathing and the application of Yi, which is the intent or focus of the mind, we help to keep the CHI moving smoothly. Therefore, whilst doing these external movements, we are assisting the free flow of internal energy. Additionally Tai Chi Chuan can also help to increase flexibility, suppleness and exercise the muscles. The smooth, gentle movements also aid relaxation and help to keep the mind calm and focused. These benefits can all aid towards stress relief.

Martial Applications
Tai Chi Chuan is in itself a martial arts system and we will cover some of these aspects at Roffey. These aspects are practiced mainly through partner work (pushing hands). A key part of partner work is Tui Shi (pushing hands) this helps understand Yin and Yang (hard and soft) and helps you to become sensitive to the type of force being directed against you.Chuan, we have to work with a partner. One of the first exercises we learn is Pushing Hands, or Tui Shou. Here we have one partner pushing, with his/her palm against the wrist of the other. This exercise will increase your awareness of your partners energy (attack) and with practice enable you to react instinctively.

San Shou
San Shou is, depending on the style, can be a series of partner exercises where strikes or blows are delivered to various parts of the body. One partner strikes whilst the other neutralises the oncoming force by meeting it with softness or Yin energy. He/she then returns blows. Initially, these exercises are delivered softly and slowly, increasing the force and speed as your experience develops. In some styles, San Shou is performed as a structured routine or sequence which incorporates various aspects of self defence in a fixed pattern. Whatever the interpretation, San Shou would ultimately, train these techniques to be adaptable in free sparring.

Tai Chi Weapons Forms
Tai Chi Chuan has a variety of weapon forms. There is, traditionally, the straightsword, the broadsword and the staff / spear. The culture of Chinese martial arts also allows for the adaptation of other common implements for the use of weapons. Some styles may also use a cane, fan and short or long stick form. There are many benefits to be gained from practising weapon forms. Aside from the obvious martial benefits training in weapons can help to stretch and relax the muscles and promote blood circulation. Although Tai Chi may appear to some, to be an easy option, like other martial arts it requires commitment and dedication, to get the best from it. Like anything else in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. Our goal is to asist you and ensure that whilst you train and practice the whole experience is enjoyable and worthwhile.

PHIL SMITH 07708-432682