Taiji chuan can be practiced as a martial art, as meditation, or as health exercise that develops and balances our internal energy (chi) therapeutically. The two first methods require strong determination, the kind that athletes or meditators have.
The majority of practitioners use it for health purposes. Millions of people around the world enjoy the softness and harmony of Taiji form – cyclical, repetitive movements that look like choreography. Seemingly simple, the movements of the form are accessible to everyone. The emphasis here is not on physicality – that does not mean that we don’t exercise body – especially the muscles of the lower body – but on the awareness of the body and coordination of limbs and spine. The cyclic movements are designed to tonify all the systems of the human organism – cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, digestive and muscular systems.
Wu style Taiji – Short and Long forms.
Wu style, right from the beginning, cultivates soft yin energy that gives excellent healing qualities, especially for joint and spine problems. The postures are high, in comparison to the other major styles, Chen and Yang. That enables practitioners, of all ages and capacities, to concentrate on inner workings of movements avoiding tension at the same time. Easy to perform from the beginning, with time and experience, it offers the depth and subtlety that give practitioners great joy and satisfaction.
The Short form takes less than 5 minutes to perform and is designed to offer the most benefits that taichi can give. It also serves as an excellent introduction to the long form.
Bruce Frantzis designed it after exhortation from his teacher Liu Hung Chieh.
The Long form is the one created by Wu Jien Chuan, the founder of the style. Wu Jien Chuan taught it to Liu Hung Chieh, who in turn taught it to Bruce Frantzis.
Our advice to you is to learn Chi gung / Nei gung first or simultaneously with it, and then Taiji or Bagua. It’s easier to understand the mechanics of the body this way in internal arts. In Chi gung / Nei gung you learn the basic principles of movements that will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Push hands / applications
The push hands (tui shou) is an exercise for two people. This exercise is the bridge between form and applications. You learn in push hands to follow without resistance, being sensitive to incoming energy of the partner. Later on you learn how to release stored energy explosively (fa jin). We teach applications in order to have better understanding of the movements of the form.