William C. C. Chen Tai Chi Chuan
An Internal System
The slow motion of T’ai Chi Ch’uan activates an internal energy (qi) flow in the fingers. When the (qi) flow gradually increases, the energized fingers gently move away from the palms in an outgoing motion, this contributes to forming a Tai Chi posture. When the energy flow slowly defuses, the fingers fold back and the palms descend inward and downward, as the posture dissolves.
The energy qi is life energy that is inherent with our birth. A newly born baby with its arms swinging, feet kicking and crying is activating by their feeling of Qi. Chinese call it “Yuan-Qi” (??); it is the original source of energy that is with us when we are born.
Yuan-Qi is the energy source that is refined energy from the breath, blood and nutrient in our body, which is the energy that runs human body or machine. It is like gasoline that is a refined from crude oil. It becomes the fuel used in engines that move vehicles and industry machines. And the energy (qi) flow is directed by the feeling awareness of “Yi” (?) in the heart.
This is the Yuan-Qi that wakes us up from bed and moves us around to fulfill our daily obligation. Without the feeling from the heart to create the qi flow, our mind and body would be immobile. Life would be like a living death e.g., (in a coma or in a vegetative state).
When we are sleeping, the body has no energy (qi) pressure inside. It is like a flat tire, and if anything crashes down, the body will be easily crushed. When we sit on the sofa, the inner pressure is like an under inflated tire. When we are standing up or walking around, the energy pressure inside the body is moderately relaxed, the same as the air in a properly pressurized tire.
This internal energy (qi) is pressurized to help our body sit up, stand up, jump, punch and kick. The pressure changes of the energy (qi) in the body are controlled by the awareness of the feeling from the heart. This slowly increasing or decreasing awareness, results in the slow motion of Tai Chi Chuan. When awareness is sharply escalated, it can result in powerful quick punches and kicks. This is the same pressurized energy that trains the body to absorb punches and kicks. Chinese martial artists call it “iron shirt” (???).
The awareness feeling generates and pressurizes the accumulation of (qi) flow to absorb the impact of the punch. No one is able to give punches or take punches while he or she is unconscious. In a boxing match, the unconscious boxer will be on the floor because the body has no qi pressure. The referee must step in to stop the fight. Whether or not the referee continues the match depends on whether or not the boxer regains consciousness.
The conscious mind and body gives us the feeling awareness from the heart that is feeling heart. It is activating and generating the qi flow. A person without consciousness would have no feeling heart, which means there would be no (qi) to support his or her physical motion. Without qi, the body is like a ball without air. The unconscious boxer, is both unable to deliver punches and unable to absorb punches. Qi is the central principle for Chinese martial artists. Cultivating chi is the main objective of their daily training.
Most eastern martial artists emphasize the internal power of (qi). The energy of (qi) is easy to inflate and exploitable energy in the body can create an outward compression, which is the energy (qi) expanding outward against resistance from outside. It is like the air pressurizing the tire against the rim that it can meet the resistant from the ground.
Western martial artists emphasize the external muscle power. Muscles are able to create a contracting force to absorb resistance. Same as when weightlifters contract their muscles to hold the weight. They boost (qi) in the fingers to dash the weight half way up and to hold the weight in the air, at the same time they drop their body down and contract their whole body muscles to hold the weight.
When we practice the movements, we should direct our feeling from the heart. Feeling creates emotion in the heart it converts that emotion into the moving fingers and toes. The fingers and toes are the remote extensions of feeling from the heart. When we talk the fingers move. When we are nervous or angry the fingers are clenched. The toes tense up and try to grip the floor without intention.
In the slow movements of Tai Chi Chuan, the hands never move by themselves without the pressurized (qi). Tai Chi players often say that: (??????, ??????.) — In the movements of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, the hands do not move independently. If they do, the movements are not considered as Tai Chi Chuan. Every movement must be created by the pressurized (qi) flow.
The slowly decreasing and increasing (qi) pressure results in the slow motion of the movements. As it applies to martial art aspect, the swift surge of the (qi) flow provides an explosive force into the fingers to deliver the knuckles for a quick punch, while the arm muscles stay relaxed. A quick punch requires a frictionless arm.
All the motions of the palms are moved by the pressurized (qi) flow in the fingers and toes to form T’ai Chi postures. Keeping the physical arm muscles loose is very important. The looser the arm muscles, the quicker a punch is delivered (????). The inner (qi) flow for action without activating tension in the muscles is the objective of T’ai Chi Ch’uan. Therefore, it is an internal martial art.
By William C. C. Chen
November 2, 2006
The principles of body mechanics are appropriate to the soft and slow unhurried Tai Chi movements; they help to relieve tense muscles and lubricate joints that promote automatic body alignment and a solid center of gravity. The mental concentration, deep breathing, relaxing, sinking and pressing, generates a marvelous inner energy flow throughout the system, resulting in the movements of Tai Chi Chuan.
Loosening the tense muscles and joints animates one’s daily activities, enhances athletes to have a quick physical action and reflexes in their competition; and helps martial artists obtain higher speed and power of punches and kicks.
The basic Yang Style Tai Chi way of combat training is done in slow motion, eliminating mistakes and bad habits; it is a similar manner to that of a beginner typist. Slow and deliberate motion training conserves energy and gets the job done well. It is also an excellent way of daily working out for Western boxers, and for practitioners of any other style of martial arts or sports.
To prepare for a serious martial art match or any sport competitions, muscle power is required, and muscle training is needed. There are many ways to build up muscles, such as running, jumping, weight lifting, punching and kicking, or hitting the heavy bags. Ring fighters need strong muscles in order to produce powerful actions.
Bigger muscles can deal with stronger resistance for the impact. Muscles are like tires. We use regular-size tires for regular cars, bigger and thicker tires for trucks. We cannot use automobile tires for jumbo jet!
Muscles are like tires, in that too much or too little muscles are not good. The size and strength of muscles depends on the resistance that is met or dealt with. The soft movements of Tai Chi Chuan do not meet any resistance, and do not require big muscles: the movements rely on the inner pressurized energy flow to form the posture.
These rhythmic, soft and slow movements are like ocean waves. They push and merge into one another, creating a continuous flow of energy, seemingly with no beginning and no end. This gentle and unhurried motion of Tai Chi Chuan helps to regulate the nervous system, relieve muscular tension, reduces anxiety, stress and depression. It is an optimistic result of mental/physical fitness and spiritual well being.
Full exhalation increases lung capacity for incoming oxygen. The high level oxygen is presented into the body, gives us adequate energy to optimize metabolism and remove toxic wastes from the tissues. The more oxygen we have in our system, the more energy we produce and the healthier we will be.
Practicing the solo movements with relaxed mind and body helps loosen the organs, lymph system and tense muscles. This helps energy flow evenly and thoroughly throughout our entire body’s respiratory system. It limits sickness, removes life-threatening diseases, and amplifies the immune system. It creates a good circulation in the body, and can transform a miserable, sick person into a happy and healthy one.
In order for us to be productive, healthy, and balanced, we should understand the importance of yielding and going with the flow of life. There are millions and millions of people around world who are enjoying the significant health benefit available by daily practicing the slow and “not in a hurry” motion of Tai Chi Chuan.
Companies know that their success is dependent on the well being of their most valuable resource, their employees. Tai Chi Chuan meets the modern criteria for keeping employees healthy in mind, body and spirit. It can be inexpensively implemented while keeping employee productivity levels high.
Tai Chi Chuan is best of the best exercises for physical fitness and overall psychological fit. It does not require any equipment, or a large space. Male or female, old or young, weak or strong, you will definitely receive great benefits by regularly and faithfully practicing Tai Chi Chuan, whether for your physical health, mental well being, or for the art of self-defense — even just for the joy of life.
“My objective is to make Tai Chi Chuan easy, simple, natural, enjoyable and productive.” William C. C. Chen
BODY MECHANICS of TAI CHI CHUAN
by William C. C. Chen
Published by William C. C. Chen
2 Washington Sq. Village – 10J
New York, New York 10012
First Edition – 1973
4th – 1989
5th – 1992
6th – 1994
7th – 1997
8th – 1999
9th – 2002
CHINESE BOXING / MASTERS and METHODS
by Robert W. Smith
QIGONG – The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing
by Kenneth S. Cohen
Published by Ballantine Books N.Y.C. 10022
Tai Chi Chuan and Blood Pressure
(Reuters) – T’ai chi – a slow, relaxed form of exercise with origins in ancient China – lowered people’s blood pressure almost as well as moderate intensity aerobic exercise, according to a study presented recently at a meeting sponsored by the American Heart Association. “You better believe we were surprised by those results,” one of the researchers, Dr. Deborah R.Young from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD said in a statement. “We were expecting to see significant changes in the aerobic exercise group and minimal changes in the T’ai chi group
The scientists studied 62 sedentary adults, aged 60 years and older, assigning half to a program of brisk walking and low-impact aerobics and the other half to learning T’ai chi. After 12 weeks, systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading) had fallen significantly in both groups, an average of 8.4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) in the aerobic exercise group and 7 mm Hg in the T’ai chi group. “It could be that in elderly, sedentary people, just getting up and doing some slow movement could be associated with beneficial reductions in high blood pressure,” Young theorizes.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Young cautions that the results of her research need to be confirmed by studying a larger group of people. “Until we know more, I encourage people to go out and do brisk walking on a regular basis,” she said. “We know it’s associated with an attitude of health benefits.”
Two Studies by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) initiative, launched in 1990
The two studies were the first involving Tai Chi to be reported by scientists in a special frailty reduction program sponsored by NIA Public Information Office.
In the first study, Steven L. Wolf, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga., found that older people taking part in a 15-week Tai Chi program reduced their risk of falling by 47.5 percent.
A second study, by Leslie Wolfson, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, found that several interventions to improve balance and strength among older people were effective. These improvements, particularly in strength, were preserved over a 6-month period while participants did Tai Chi exercises.
From Harvard Medical School
Published in the HARVARD HEALTH LETTER
Volume 21 Number 11 – September 1996 Issue
20TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR
The following is an excerpt from the article “Injury Prevention” of this issue citing a study by the American Geriatric Society on Tai Chi:
“…Another promising way to prevent falls is exercise to improve balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and reaction time.
A study in the May 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that Tai Chi — an ancient Chinese martial art that employs slow, precise movements — helped improve balance and strength among seniors. Those who underwent Tai Chi training for 15 weeks reduced their risk of falling by 47.5% compared with those who didn’t take classes.
Another major benefit was decreased fear of falling — a worry that often prevents older people from being as active as they’d like…”
Additional article from Harvard Health Publications: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2009/May/The-health-benefits-of-tai-chi?print=1
From University of California, Berkeley
Wellness Letter The Newsletter of Nutrition, Fitness & Stress Management
Volume 15, Issue 2 November 1998 From the School of Public Health
Tai Chi: smooth, balanced, low-impact
Though it originated as a self-defense technique, tai chi chuan (or simply tai chi, pronounced tie-jee) has been practiced in China for centuries as an art form, religious ritual, relaxation technique, and exercise for people of all ages, even those in their eighties and nineties. Tai chi chuan literally means “grand ultimate fist,” but most people today do not practice it as a martial art. Across America and Canada thousands of people perform the slow, balanced, low-impact movements of tai chi, generally as a means of improving flexibility and balance, strengthening muscles, and reducing stress.
Tai Chi involves dozens of dance like postures, performed in sequences known as “forms” or “sets,” derived from animal postures (such as the snake, dragon, or tiger). At first glance it resembles karate in slow motion or swimming in air. In fact, it is based on the concept of withstanding aggression without force—yielding to a blow and using an attacker’s momentum against him. It calls for concentration, controlled breathing, balanced shifting of body weight, and muscle relaxation—thus it is often called “moving meditation.” Though tai chi movements are slow, they can provide a fairly intense workout.
Under Western eyes: the latest research
Here are some of the potential health benefits of tai chi:
Flexibility: The choreographed exercises gently take your joints through their full range of motion. Studies show that the controlled movements can be helpful for people with arthritis (but they should check with their doctors before starting any exercise program).
Physical therapy: Some research has found that tai chi can be a form of physical therapy and aid in the recovery of injuries.
Balance: The smooth, slow movements help instill physical confidence and may enhance balance and coordination.
Strengthening: Tai chi helps tone muscles in the lower body, especially the thighs, buttocks and calves.
Posture: Your head, neck, and spine are usually aligned, thus relieving strain on the neck and lower back.
Relaxation: Tai Chi can have some of the same psychological benefits of yoga. The concentration on the body’s fluid motion and on breathing helps many people relax, and can relieve tension and anxiety.
Lower blood pressure: Though studies have had conflicting results, a recent study presented at the American Heart Association meeting found that 12 weeks of tai chi resulted in a small but significant drop in blood pressure in older people.
Tai chi requires no special clothing or equipment and can be done even in a small space. The best way to learn tai chi is in a class from an experienced instructor who can guide you through the positions. Tai chi classes are often available at the Y, health clubs, colleges, and adult education programs. Check the Yellow Pages under “martial arts instruction.” Books and videos may also be helpful, though these seldom can take the place of a n instructor. It takes year to become adept at tai chi, but within a few weeks you can learn several movements or positions.
Second thoughts. A few researchers claim that tai chi can provide a cardiovascular workout as good as jogging. But any such benefit is likely to be minimal. Do some aerobic exercise along with your tai chi.
Health & Nutrition Letter – YOUR GUIDE TO LIVING HEALTHIER LONGER
Volume 17, Issue 10 December 1999, Volume 17, Number 10
FITNESS FORUM A No-Sweat Exercise with Multiple Benefits
Imagine participation in a fitness study turning out so enjoyable that the subjects decide to get together o their to get together on their own to continue the activity once the research itself comes to an end. That’s what happened at the conclusion of a 15-week Tai Chi study conducted at Emory University in Atlanta several years ago. Dozens of men and women in their 70’s and older so enjoyed learning Tai Chi graceful movements that improve balance that they kept meeting by themselves.
The Emory University researchers were happy, too. They found that those people who learned to perform Tai Chi were almost 50 percent less likely to suffer falls within a given time frame than subjects who simply received feedback from a computer screen on how much they swayed as they stood. That’s no small thing. Each year, almost one in three people over 65 takes a fall. And fall survivors suffer great declines in activities of daily living than non-fallers and are also at greater risk of institutionalization.
But Tai Chi does more than help prevent falls. Research suggests that it also improves heart and lung function; reduces the body’s levels of cortisol (a stress hormone”; and improves confidence. Now a new study, conducted at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, indicates that it can also lower systolic blood pressure, the first number in a blood pressure reading.
People between the ages of 60 and 80 with moderately high blood pressure were instructed to engage either in low impact aerobic dance or Tai Chi Several times a week. The Tai Chi Group, it turned out, lowered their systolic blood pressure by an average of 7 points—just a point less than the aerobics group.
And they did it without even working up a sweat, even though they were medically obese and lived sedentary lives. Tai Chi barely raises the heart rate.
Just What Is Tai Chi?
Practiced by the Chinese for centuries, Tai Chi is a series of slow movements, or forms, that flow one into the other. As you progress through the gentle, graceful forms—which have names like “White Crane Spreads Its Wings” and “Step Up to Seven Stars”—you end up almost standing on one leg. (Older learners often start by holding onto a chair while moving in their environment.” explains Steven Wolf, PHD, en Emory University researcher and physical therapist. That’s extremely important. As we age, the brain’s ability to process multiple tasks simultaneously diminishes. For example, it becomes harder to walk down a hallway with someone, engage in conversation, and step over a loose cord all at once. But Tai Chi raises awareness of how the body moves and thereby helps people focus on their relationship to their physical environment in everyday situations.
How to Learn Tai Chi
Your local “Y,” health club, or senior citizens center probably offers a Tai Chi class. Dr. Wolf says there are tow things you should do before signing on. First, find out whether the instructor has had experience doing Tai Chi with older people. There are rigorous forms that are not appropriate for folks who are not confident about their balance. Second, get a physician’s approval. While Tai Chi is not physically demanding, it can be somewhat postural demanding. A primary care physician should know whether a patient is taking medications that could interfere with balance or has a condition that might make a series of Tai Chi movements unadvisable.
Health Benefits, Tai Chi Linked
New research from Tufts finds the ancient practice of tai chi may actually help improve health.
Boston [04-28-04] The two thousand year old practice of tai chi a combination of martial arts movements and deep breathing has been used for generations in China to release energy and negative feelings. But an effort by Tufts to review the body of research on tai chi finds that the ancient practice may also be linked with a variety of other health benefits from flexibility to cardiovascular health.
Using 47 studies on tai chi in English and Chinese medical journals, Tufts Dr. Chenchen Wang a physician at Tufts-New England Medical Center analyzed the effect of the practice on healthy people as well as those with assorted health conditions.
Overall, these studies reported that long-term tai chi had favorable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in the elderly, said Wang, an assistant professor of medicine at Tufts. Benefit was also found for balance, strength and flexibility in older subjects; and pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects.
Wang and colleagues concluded that tai chi is generally a safe exercise, and one that may be most beneficial for older adults, including those who suffer from arthritis, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
The sickly elderly who participated in the program also showed improved balance, strength, and flexibility and fewer falls, reported the Jerusalem Post.
While the study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health provided insight into links between tai chi and improved health, it left some unanswered questions, including which mechanisms were responsible for tai chis apparent health benefits.
Despite its popularity, the biological mechanisms and clinical effects of tai chi are not well understood, Wang and colleagues wrote. The long-term effects of tai chi practice are still unknown, and there is insufficient information to recommend tai chi to patients with chronic conditions.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Effect of 4- and 8-wk Intensive Tai Chi Training on Balance Control in the Elderly.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 36(4):648-657, April 2004.
TSANG, WILLIAM W.N.; HUI-CHAN, CHRISTINA W.Y.
Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine whether 4 and/or 8 wk of intensive Tai Chi practice could improve balance control in the healthy elderly subjects.
Methods: Forty-nine community-dwelling elderly subjects (aged 69.1 +/- SD 5.8 yr) voluntarily participated in an intervention program of either supervised Tai Chi or general education for 1.5 h, 6x wk-1 for 8 wk. Two balance tests were administered using computerized dynamic posturography before, at 4 and 8 wk during training, and at 4 wk after training ended: 1) the sensory organization test measured subjects’ abilities to use somatosensory, visual, and vestibular information to control their body sway during stance under six sensory conditions; and 2) the limits of stability test measured subjects’ abilities to voluntarily weight shift to eight spatial positions within their base of support. These outcome measures were compared between the two intervention groups, and with those of experienced Tai Chi practitioners having means of 7.2 and 10.1 yr of practice from two previous studies.
Results: Statistical analysis demonstrated that, after 4 and 8 wk of intensive Tai Chi training, the elderly subjects achieved significantly better 1) vestibular ratio in the sensory organization test (P = 0.006) and 2) directional control of their leaning trajectory in the limits of stability test (P = 0.018), when compared with those of the control group. These improvements were maintained even at follow-up 4 wk afterward. Furthermore, the improved balance performance from week 4 on was comparable to that of experienced Tai Chi practitioners.
Conclusions: The above findings indicated that even 4 wk of intensive Tai Chi training are sufficient to improve balance control in the elderly subjects.
(C)2004The American College of Sports Medicine
Effects of Tai Chi on Joint Proprioception and Stability Limits in Elderly Subjects.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 35(12):1962-1971, December 2003.
TSANG, WILLIAM W. N.; HUI-CHAN, CHRISTINA W. Y.
Purpose: The objectives of this study were to examine whether elderly Tai Chi practitioners have developed better knee joint proprioception and standing balance control than control subjects.
Methods: Tai Chi and control subjects (N = 21 each, aged 69.4 +/- SD 5.5 and 72.3 +/- 6.1 yr, respectively) were matched with respect to age, sex, and physical activity level. Passive knee joint repositioning was used to test joint proprioceptive acuity. Control of body sway during static standing and subjects’ intentional weight shifting to eight different spatial limits of stability within their base of support were conducted using force platform measurements.
Result: Tai Chi practitioners were found to have better knee joint proprioceptive acuity, in that they made less absolute angle error (2.1 +/- 1.2[degrees]) than control subjects (4.0 +/- 3.4[degrees], with P = 0.023) in passive knee joint repositioning. No significant difference was found in the anteroposterior and mediolateral body sway during static standing (P > 0.05). However, Tai Chi practitioners initiated voluntary weight shifting in the limits of stability test more quickly (reaction time: 0.8 +/- 0.2 s for Tai Chi practitioners) than control subjects (1.1 +/- 0.3 s; P = 0.008). Moreover, they could lean further without losing stability (maximum excursion: 5.2 +/- 0.6% for Tai Chi practitioners and 4.6 +/- 0.5% for control subjects; P = 0.001) and showed better control of their leaning trajectory (directional control: 75.9 +/- 10.0% for Tai Chi practitioners and 68.5 +/- 6.9% for control subjects; P = 0.008).
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that long-term Tai Chi practitioners had improved knee joint proprioception and expanded their limits of stability during weight shifting in stance.
(C)2003The American College of Sports Medicine
The Effect of Tai Chi Chuan on the Autonomic Nervous Modulation in Older Persons.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 35(12):1972-1976, December 2003.
LU, WAN-AN 1 2; KUO, CHENG-DENG 1 3
Purpose: This study evaluated the effect of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on the autonomic nervous modulation in older persons.
Methods: Twenty TCC practitioners and 20 normal controls were included in this study. The stationary state spectral heart rate variability (HRV) measures between TCC practitioners and normal controls, and the sequential changes in HRV measures after classical Yang’s TCC were compared.
Results: The total power, very low-frequency power, low-frequency power, normalized low-frequency power, and low-/high-frequency power ratios in TCC practitioners were all significantly higher than those of normal controls, whereas the heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were not different between these two groups of subjects. After TCC, the normalized high-frequency power increased significantly from 22.8 +/- 14.6 normalized units (nu) before TCC to 28.2 +/- 16.1 nu 30 min after TCC and to 30.6 +/- 18.4 nu 60 min after TCC. In contrast, the low-/high-frequency power ratio decreased significantly from 2.5 +/- 2.4 before TCC to 1.8 +/- 1.4 30 min after TCC and to 2.2 +/- 2.9 60 min after TCC. The heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial blood pressure, and pulse pressure also decreased sequentially after TCC.
Conclusion: The short-term effect of TCC was to enhance the vagal modulation and tilt the sympathovagal balance toward deceased sympathetic modulation in older persons. TCC might be good health-promoting calisthenics for older persons.
(C)2003The American College of Sports Medicine
Tai Chi for Balance Study
Timothy C. Hain, MD, Last revised: 4/2002
STUDY: N.I.H. Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM). “Tai Chi for Balance Disorders.” 1993-1994, Reference # 1R21RR09535-01. Site, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Sponsoring Institution: Northwestern University, Chicago Illinois, USA. Principal Investigator: T. C. Hain, MD. Other investigators: J. Kotsias, Lynne Fuller (PT), L. Weil (PT)
Our aim was to determine if eight weeks of daily practice of an alternative health care exercise, T’ai Chi, can significantly improve balance of persons with mild balance disorders. We studied 22 persons with stable and mild balance disorders, with numbers distributed equally between 3 age groups : 20-44, 46-60, and 61 and beyond. We evaluated efficacy of T’ai Chi through comparison of functional tests of balance (Romberg, Duncan Reach Test, Moving Platform Posturography) and self-reports of balance and falls (Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) questionnaire, Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) questionnaire), obtained prior to and following the T’ai Chi course.
The Tai Chi movements that we used were selected from several different schools of T’ai Chi and included the following sequence: Hold the Ball (Wu style), Turning the Wheel (Yang style, as illustrated to the right), Brush Knee and Twist Step (Yang style), Step Back to Repulse Monkey (Yang style), Walking the Circle (Pa-Kua style), Kick heel to left and right (Wu style), Partition of the Wild Horse’s Mane (Wu style), Hold the Ball.
Highly significant improvements were noted in posturography (average score improved from 59.5 to 64.3) and the MOS and DHI tests. An insignificant improvement was found in the Romberg test (although there was a strong trend). There was no effect on the Duncan reach test scores. Improvements were found in all age groups.
Eight weeks of T’ai Chi was associated with significant improvement in balance.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.tchain.com/taichi/default.htm
Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan
The Yang Style Tai chi chuan Form is unlike other forms. It is a series of slow, continuous and even flowing movements that can be practiced by people of all ages.
Imagine how happy you would feel if each new day brought you plenty of energy for all of lifes duties and responsibilities.
Do you have sufficient energy to accomplish all you want to accomplish?
If you could become the creative person you always wanted to be?
Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan can help you experience the changes you seek. Daily Tai Chi practice can transform a ready supply of energy. Our bodies are made up of food and water, a delicate balance of the five elements. Regular practice can become powerful and practical mechanism to increase your inner reserves of energy.
We can show you how a 15 to 30 minutes of low impact exercise daily can mean an improvement in joint mobility and muscle flexibility; and improvement in the circulation of lymphatic and venous fluids; better assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of toxins; a reduction of stress; and a better overall flow of energy through the entire body.
Tai Chi for stress reduction, better focus and concentration, increased flexibility, improved strength, enhanced immune system, balance, improved memory, improved circulation and coordination.
Movement & breathing may help the following conditions. Always check with your health care professional: Arthritis, Allergies, Osteoporosis, Hypertension, Anxiety, Fatigue, Depression, Back Pain, Post Surgery Recovery, Muscle Tension and Spasm, Poor Circulation, Stroke Recovery, Asthma, Stress Reduction
Yang Short Form – 60 Movements
The Short Form in particular is easy to learn; with proper instruction and practice, it’s a recognized form of therapy, an effective alternative to regular calisthenics and stress management. It requires very little space and no special attire. Due to the ever growing popularity and demand for the Yang Short Form, we therefore have had ongoing classes here in Chelsea since 1965.
William C. C. Chen Tai Chi Chuan
Martial Arts Links
NIA – Tai Chi for Older People
Laura Stone’s TaiChi Page (Netherlands)
Peter Herman’s Tai Chi Pages (PA)
The Patience Tai Chi Association (NY)
Rick Barrett (NYC)
The Shi Zhong Association Taiwan (Chinese)
Master Ju Hong Bin’s Website (Chinese)
Josh Waitzkin’s Website
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/youngzen (John Tao’s Website in Taiwan)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051206163517.htm (Traditional Chinese Exercises Can Help Combat Diabetes)
La mecánica de Los Tres Clavos 99
por William C. C. Chen
La raíz es elemental. Es al mismo tiempo base y fundamento, uno de los puntos más importantes en la vida. Un edificio bien construido debe tener una base fuerte y sólida, una empresa con éxito necesita también una buena base, una planta sana requiere de una raíz sana, así como para una perfecta fluidez del Tai Chi Chuan se debe tener una raíz firme y equilibrada. Sin una fuerte raíz, el cuerpo entero no puede estar relajado.
La relajación es la última meta para un aficionado al tai chi chuan. Los movimientos suaves, lentos y armoniosos necesitan de una base firme y sólida en el pie. Una vez que el pie está enraizado, el resto del cuerpo podrá moverse libremente y permanecer relajado.
Si el pie está enraizado, estos tres puntos se agarran como tres clavos o tornillos penetrando el suelo. Sin una raíz fuerte, el cuerpo entero no se puede relajar, y la relajación es uno de los más importantes motivos para todos los que practican Tai Chi Chuan. Si todo el pie está enraizado, los tres puntos en la medial o parte interna cobran una extrema importancia. El primer punto es el dedo gordo del pie, los otros dos puntos son la parte interna del talón y el nudillo más gordo, estos puntos están al lado contrario del empeine. Yo llamo a estos puntos “los tres clavos activos”. Cuando el pie está enraizado, estos tres puntos se agarran como tres clavos penetrando la tierra. Si los tres clavos activos están fuertemente asegurados al suelo, el cuerpo y la mente se relajan. En los movimientos del Tai Chi Chuan estos tres puntos están unidos con la línea central que soporta el peso del tronco del cuerpo. También tienen un papel muy activo y crucial en el desarrollo de nuestros movimientos diarios: al caminar, el pie enraizado con los tres clavos empuja al otro pie a dar un paso, ayudan a servir una taza de café o te, y ayudan a nuestros dedos a cerrar una puerta con la llave.
Estos tres calvos activos parecen tener el mismo efecto de secuencia de transmisiones como ocurre en un televisor. Al igual que tres interruptores electrónicos reciben las señales del un satélite de una estación de televisión y reflejan las imágenes en la pantalla, estos tres clavos reciben las señales que memorizamos de las posturas de tai chi chuan en la mente y se transmiten al cuerpo.
Si los movimientos del Tai Chi Chuan son el resultado de la transmisión de señales de la mente al cuerpo los tres clavos guían los movimientos del cuerpo, no la cintura. La cintura era considerada en los textos clásicos del Tai Chi Chuan como el inicio de la dirección de los movimientos del cuerpo, pero eso es solo la parte de un punto de vista externo del cuerpo. El proceso de esta transmisión debería empezar en los pies; en los textos clásicos se debe haber pasado por alto algunos detalles pues hay procesos aún más sutiles que los de la cintura; las actividades de los tres clavos activos requieren mucha sensibilidad y atención. Los tres clavos tienen una actividad no visible, no se mueven. En los movimientos de Tai Chi Chuan, uno puede ver claramente el giro de la cintura, y cómo el cuerpo la sigue así como los brazos. De esto se podría deducir que la cintura es la que ordena.
Mis estudios sobre la mecánica del cuerpo indican que los tres clavos activos son en realidad los que controlan el muslo, que controla a su vez a todo el cuerpo. A principios de los 60 experimenté que el giro del cuerpo estaba dirigido por los músculos del muslo, por lo que pensé que el muslo era el que guiaba. Al practicar los movimientos lentos, me parecía que los músculos del muslo ayudaban a hacer posible los giros y movimientos del resto del cuerpo. No fue hasta mediados de los 80, cuando empecé a darme cuenta de que el muslo por sí mismo no tenía facultades para hacer ningún giro o movimiento sin la ayuda del pie que estaba firmemente enraizado en el suelo. Por eso, el pie enraizado y los tres clavos activos llevan la orden y el control del cuerpo para hacer los giros y movimientos y llevarlos a los dedos y los puños.
Los tres clavos activos, o los puntos de apoyo en el pie, forman una base que ofrece estabilidad en cualquier condición y bajo cualquier actividad física. Mientras se está bailando, andando, jugando al golf ó al tenis, los tres clavos activos crean la estabilidad y firmeza necesaria para cada actividad en concreto. Sin la capacidad de poder enraizar de los tres clavos, no se podrían realizar actividades corporales.
La opinión generalizada en el Tai Chi Chuan es que debería enraizarse el punto denominado “El Manantial”, que se encuentra justo detrás del metatarso. “El Manantial” es un punto aislado, y es el comienzo de un meridiano importante. Este punto es importante para la circulación de la energía, pero no necesariamente para los actos o movimientos físicos. Está basado en principios matemáticos y físicos, tres puntos determinan un plano, y tres colores básicos se combinan entre sí para crear los demás. Nosotros necesitamos la combinación de tres elementos, tales como los tres clavos activos, para poder ejecutar todo tipo de actividades corporales. “El Manantial” no es capaz por si solo de producir los movimientos de Tai Chi Chuan o cualquier otra actividad física.
Aun aunque el pie este firmemente enraizado en el suelo, sin el soporte del “Tan Tien”, las acciones de los tres clavos estarían inactivas. La mente asigna la señal a los clavos, y el “Tan Tien comprime le energía abajo a los tres clavos. Los tres clavos activos transmiten las señales a través del muslo hacia los dedos, las manos, los puños o al otro pie, donde quiera que las acciones estén teniendo lugar.
Después de un intensivo examen y control de los movimientos interiores he descubierto los componentes ocultos, los tres clavos activos, que pueden activar el músculo del muslo. La combinación de estos músculos puede proteger las articulaciones de la pierna y dar al cuerpo estabilidad y fuerza. Pueden cargar con el peso del cuerpo y preparar la fuerza necesaria para las actividades básicas como andar, correr y saltar. Están, además, en disposición de absorber la energía acumulada de estas acciones en la articulación del pie y la rodilla, así como sobrellevar las posturas de Tai Chi Chuan y producir sus delicados movimientos. Debajo del músculo del muslo está el sartorio, que es el más importante. Este músculo posee mucha fuerza y es además el músculo más largo del cuerpo. Tiene su origen en la pelvis y cruza el muslo en forma de espiral hacia la parte interna de la rodilla y une la rótula a la parte inferior del muslo.
En los últimos años muchos practicantes de Tai Chi Chuan se quejan de dolores en las rodillas. El motivo de esto puede ser demasiada relajación en la zona de la rodilla por lo que ésta se dobla o se hunde con demasiada presión en la pierna que soporta el peso.
Esta hipotensión podría llevar a largo plazo a una debilitación del músculo sartorio y/o de los músculos sinérgicos. Sin embargo, estos mismos, si tuviera un tono muscular fuerte, son los que ayudarían a la rodilla a reducir las molestias producidas por el peso de la parte superior del cuerpo. La raíz en los tres clavos y la transmisión de señales se encargan de crear una energía adecuada para así descargar a la rodilla de la presión de tanto peso.
Cuando los tres clavos se agarren firmemente al suelo, el cuerpo y la mente se relajan. Al mismo tiempo las articulaciones se abren en un cuerpo ya relajado y una mente tranquila, los músculos se suavizan y todos los meridianos y recipientes comienzan a abrirse. Esto permite que la energía interior fluya sin esfuerzo y que la parte superior del cuerpo se mueva en libertad, sin perder la raíz. Esta permanecerá firme y sólida para poder obtener los movimientos lentos y perfectamente fluidos del estilo Yang de Tai Chi Chuan.
“Mi objetivo es hacer el Tai Chi Chuan fácil, simple, natural, agradable y productivo”
Attributes of Yin and Yang
Yin is the female
passive intuitive receiving force Yang is the male
strong creative force
Associated with the earth Associated with heaven
The earth is the source of all physical life The heavens are in motion and bring about change
Yin is associated with the following properties Yang is associated with the following properties
Odd Numbers Even Numbers
The Moon The Sun
Curve Straight Line
Kidneys Heart Liver Lungs Bladder Intestines Skin
North side of a hill South side of a hill
Away from the sun Toward the sun