Have you ever wonder how it is that tai chi can be called a healing exercise, a fitness system, and one of the world’s most powerful martial arts, when the image of the art is often one of old people sneaking up on trees, and tai chi gatherings often look like a Gerry Garcia convention?
Well keep in mind, that tai chi is also an incredibly accessible exercise / sport / martial art. It can be modified to suit almost any age or fitness level. It also has so much therapeutic value that it is often prescribed for people with health conditions that preclude other types of exercise.
But the very attributes that make tai chi accessible and beneficial to the elderly and infirm, also make it extremely appealing to knowledgeable athletes and martial artists of any age.
Tai Chi is the art of relaxed efficiency. It harmonizes the body, mind and spirit. It conditions the body to use only the most practical and efficient alignments and movements. It refines balance and power generation to a subtle and sublime degree. It teaches the use of softness and the mind to overcome powerful resistance. It increases strength and flexibility, strengthens bones. It reduces inflammation. It improves the function of the back and joints. It improves concentration and awareness. And much more.
As a martial art, tai chi is known for its subtle technique, profound method, and superior internal power.
Most of the people who practise tai chi do so for the sake of health, relaxation, and general well-being. In fact, many teachers these days are unconcerned and unknowledgeable about the martial components of tai chi. This is unfortunate, since the martial context of tai chi is responsible of the development of the health benefits.
In this video series, I intend to do several things:
- Present easy to follow instruction in tai chi for students of all levels. This will include a comprehensive curriculum designed specifically for online video instruction. You can choose to learn the entire curriculum step by step, or simply follow along with each episode.
- The emphasis will be the essential core principles and proper method, and not simply a choreography lesson.
- The basic lessons will use simple, compact, and symmetrical routines which will allow you to practice more efficiently and follow more easily.
- In later lessons, I will teach the longer traditional routines.
- Demonstrate the scientific principles behind the health benefits of tai chi.
- Prove the value of tai chi as a fitness system by turning my 240 lbs of excessively well marbled muscle into a lean, serene tai chi-ing machine.
- I will also be explaining what we mean when we talk about internal power and I will teach you how you can cultivate it yourself.
- I will attempt to clarify the concepts central to tai chi training and philosophy, such as yin and yang, qi, 8-trigram theory, and the theory of the five elements.
- I will also demonstrate the martial techniques, methods, and conditioning of tai chi.
I will be posting instructional videos and articles on youtube and at TaiChiCentral.com, where you can find the World Tai Chi School Directory, Tai chi Event listing, and more information about tai chi.
About the 26-Section Yang Style Extraordinary Foundation Routine:
26-Section Yang Style Extraordinary Foundation Routine is one of the core routines of the Mariposa Tai Chi Method developed by Ian Sinclair.
- This routine contains all the important elements, both basic and advanced, of the tradition Yang Style tai chi.
- It is symmetrical, making it physically balanced and also easy to follow.
- It is designed to be performed in minimal space.
- It is oriented so that the student will be able to see the instructor easily. Very seldom will the student need to look over a shoulder to see the screen or front of the class.
- It is presented so that it can be taught in a phased curriculum with each section teaching certain core principles. Students can join in the beginning, the middle, or the end. With persistence, all students will be exposed to all elements.
This video presents the complete routine with narration. Front and rear views are shown simultaneously in split-screen. The routine is performed by William McHugh, as taught and directed by Ian Sinclair.