Tai Chi Chuan - Practice

Training in Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) is made up of several different components:

- Neigong: Neigong strengthens and stretches the body to make it best suited to Tai Chi practice. Neigong is something that is missing from many modern schools of Tai Chi. It also allows the body of a martial artist to withstand greater punishment during fighting, as well as strengthening the martial artists own techniques.

- Fighting Techniques: The fighting techniques of a particular Tai Chi style are recorded in varying numbers of preset routines, known as forms. Different styles have different numbers of forms to learn, with different forms emphasising different aspects of fighting techniques. Seperate from learning the techniques in a rountine, each technique is removed from the form, and practiced alone or in small combinations with other techniques, both solo and with a partner to give the practitioner an idea of how each technique is applied with a partner, and the strengths and weaknesses of each given technique.

-Pushing Hands: Pushing hands is an exercise that seeks to develop "touch-sensitivity" - that is; the ability to feel an opponents imminent, yet uninitiated, technique, and how best to respond to it, before he is able to strike. There are both pre-set and free-form pushing hands methods, utilising both fixed feet and moving step methods.

-Free Fighting: As with any martial art, a student of Tai Chi is not able to gauge his fighting ability based solely on his ability in fighting applications and pushing hands. When ready, a student must begin to engage in various levels of resistant free-sparring. Without this, the practitioner will not be able to appropriately deal with the emotional stress of a violet confrontation, nor will the student have tried and tested ability in judging of distance or speed.

Below are some short tutorial videos, based on the Yang style of Tai Chi. These videos are set into Foundation, Form and Function.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Foundation Videos: Foundation Video #1

A short introduction to the four primary powers of Peng, Lu, Ji & An of Yang style Tai Chi.

Foundation Video #2

Nine Circles neigong is a Yin (soft) excercise system, that strengthens and stretches the muscles around the major joints of the body, as well as improving the range of motion of joints. This system is extremely beneficial for practitioners of all styles.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Form Videos Form Video #1

This video introduces the opening movements of the Yang style long form, including the sequence "Grasping the Bird's Tail" This sequence is often regarded to be the core of Taijiquan, and can be practiced as a form of Jibengong (foundation exercise) in itself. It should be practiced on both sides repeatedly, with great focus on the alignments of the body. Once you can understand the principles of this sequence, it will be much easier for you to learn the rest of the form, and understand the power generation, and so the applications, of the movements.

Form Video #2

Following straight on from the previous video, this film covers the basic movements and transitions from Single Whip, to Step Up Raise Hands and into White Crane Spreads Wings.

Form Video #3

This third video continues on from the posture of "White Crane Cool's Wings", moving through "Brush Knee & Strike", "Step Up & Play the Lute", "Monkey Steals Peaches", "Deflect, Parry & Punch" and finally "Like Sealed As If Closed". This completes the first section of the Yang style Taijiquan form, and can in fact be practiced as a short form in it's own right.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fighting Technique Video #1: