The ultimate exercise...
The name Tai Chi Chuan actually means "Grand Ultimate Fist" in Chinese. It was the ultimate fighting art for one reason. It held the keys to the only sure-fire door to personal mastery; body awareness and self-knowledge. No wonder it is one of the fastest growing health crazes in the world. Breathe deep from your center, empty your thoughts, sink your Chi energy to the navel and move slowly from the spine. This is the essence of Tai Chi and can take a lifetime to learn.
Please be my guest to sample this ancient path toward personal mastery.
- 1) Completely relax the musculature.
- 2) Clear your mind and become acutely aware of your internal and external environment.
- 3) Achieve a stress and tension free posture.
- 4) Increase the unhindered flow of energy throughout the body, with a systemic increase of blood flow.
- 5) Defend oneself with minimal use of effort by applying the concept of accommodation. (yin/yang)
Tai Chi trains students in what is known as a yielding or soft style of martial arts. The internal art of Pa Kua Chang teaches to evade attacks through a fluid, circling pattern of movements including steps designed to throw an opponent simply by coiling and uncoiling the body. At a higher level, the entire art of Shing Yi Ch'uan (Fist of Will) teaches the student to explode their internal power into every strike.
Meditation exercises help students control their breathing, develop a greater awareness of their body and encourage a calm and controlled mental attitude. The internal arts require decades to master and the constant addition of new material at the Shaolin-Do school ensures that each student remains interested and challenged for a lifetime. Like the famous yin/yang symbol, the balance of these two unique strategies, SHAOLIN & TAI CHI, creates a powerful force and well-rounded martial artist.
Tai Chi in the News...
Tai Chi has been used by the NBA San Antonio Spurs for it's numerous benefits. Master Ryan Howard (owner & head instructor of San Antonio Shaolin-Do) has worked with players and coaching staff, teaching Tai Chi to NBA San Antonio Spurs. Call us at 210-340-7811 to schedule your first intro Tai Chi class with Master Ryan.
DOES TAI CHI WORK?
Tai Chi work's its stress relief magic by teaching each student a new type of attention and open awareness. Rather than the scattered inner mental world that most of us suffer in, the Tai Chi open awareness state is mentally peaceful while physically relaxed and balanced.
HOW DOES A PERSON RELAX?
We certainly do not relax by thinking the word "relax" or even trying to "relax". The way a person reaches a relaxed state has nothing to do with consciously letting go of muscular tension. Tai Chi teaches the student become more aware of their body feelings and to include the feelings of space and the environment around them. This open state of awareness has been shown to increase the relaxation response of the human autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic). The student doesn’t have to "do anything" in order to relax; just perform the Tai Chi postures slowly with their attention as wide as possible.
Tai Chi done in this state will completely reverse feelings of tension and anxiety within minutes. In fact, 20 minutes of this type Tai Chi can turn around a person's entire day.
Unfortunately, learning the movements of tai chi alone will not guarantee that you reach this state. The instructor must understand how the tai chi practice operates on attentional states and how the meditative state differs from the waking, thinking mental state.
How many Tai Chi forms do I need?
A person could perfect motion an spend their entire life benefiting from just one individual Tai Chi movement. You could rise every morning and practice that one movement for 30-60 minutes and gain every positive benefit Tai Chi people usually talk about. However, the average person would quickly become bored by a single movement practiced over and over again for all the years of your life.
Are You in it for the Long Haul?
So if your goal is to use Tai Chi in your daily healthful rituals you should pick a program where you can learn many things in the years to come.
Each day you can say,
"I am little tired of the Yang Family forms, I think I'll practice Chen style today."
"I'm little tired of empty hand forms, this week I'll practice the slow and graceful weapon forms that I have learned".
Since all the forms apply the principles of Tai Chi, you benefit the same from them all. So take a quick look at the incredible list of forms you can learn in the Shaolin-Do internal curriculum. Each of them uses relaxation, awareness, deep breathing and movements from the spine. So do you want to learn in a Tai Chi school that goes from kindergarten through 8th grade, or in a school that goes from Kindergarten to Ph.D.?
Shaolin-Do Internal Curriculum
- White - Yellow Sash
- Yang Tai Chi 24
- Pa Kua section 1
- Yellow - Blue Sash
- Tai Chi 2 edge sword
- Pa Kua Section 2
- Blue - Green Sash
- First Half of Yang Tai Chi 64 (3rd Single Whip)
- Pa Kua Section 3-4
- Green - 3rd Brown Sash
- 2nd Half of Yang Tai Chi 64
- Pa Kua Section 5-6
- 3rd Brown - 2nd Brown Sash
- Pa Kua Section 7-8
- Chen Tai Chi Fan
- Buddha Fist
- 2nd Brown - 1st Brown Sash
- First Half of Chen Tai Chi 83 Form (3rd Single Whip)
- Yin Dagger
- 1st Brown - 1st Black Sash
- 2nd Half of Chen Tai Chi 83 Form
- Yang Dagger
- 1st Black - 2nd Black Sash
- 8 Animal Pa Kua
- Tai Chi Broadsword
- Broadsword 2-Man Set
- 2nd Black - 3rd Black Sash
- The Entire Hsing Ie Chuan
- 5 Roads
- 12 Animals
- Two-Man Set
- Pa Kua Spear
- Hua To's Five Animal Live
- Hua To's Five Animals Dead
- Shien Tien Chi Training
- 3rd - 4th Black Sash
- Snake Pa Kua
- Hsing Ie Entwine the Dragon Sword
- Pa Kua Wu Tze Kun
- 4th - 5th Black Sash
- Dragon Pa Kua
- Mulan Double Fan
- Hsing Ie 6-Harmony Staff
- Pa Kua Broadsword