Chinese martial arts (2)

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Tai chi?

The most common internal martial art is tai chi. However, when modern people say 'tai chi' they usually mean tai chi for health: the peaceful slow motion exercise and that is not martial.

A complete art

Tai chi chuan (dynamic balancing boxing)
training is thought-provoking and insightful; with lessons about living, as well as about combat.
There is nothing macho, aggressive, confrontational or competitive about tai chi.
Health, wellbeing, character development and philosophical study are just as important as combat skills.

Stamina & endurance

Tai chi training is renowned for improving stamina and endurance. Students can concentrate longer and sustain prolonged physical activity without fatigue.
They gain the ability to withstand hardship and cope with difficulty.

Adapt, change & improvise

Modest and understated, tai chi is the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life.
The training encourages people to consider how they live their lives and open-up to new choices, options and alternatives.


Tai chi is ultimately a journey of discovery; simultaneously uncovering the art and ourselves. The subjects and insights revealed in our training have ramifications beyond class.
We can take new skills, methods and attitudes into all aspects of life.

When to start?

The young are impatient and expect instant results. The old are lazy and just want to talk. The best age for learning an internal martial art is after the teenage years and before the onset of decline.

Easy ride?

Chinese martial art is hard to learn. Hard, soft, internal or external. There is no easy martial art. Yet, people sign up for tai chi expecting an easy ride.
Tai chi is internal. Internal is advanced. Advanced means harder to learn, not easier. Tai chi is not the soft option.

Students of the martial arts in the West feel that they must use their art to fight, or at least to compete, to show people how good they are. In tai chi, this is unacceptable, because that is against the principle of tai chi.

(Gabriel Chin)

An attitude

Martial training has an attitude, a state of mind. It requires tenacity. A student of
tai chi seeks hard work. They want to work, grow and endure. They are not weak. They are not seeking an easy ride.
They would sooner walk.

Deliberate practice

Hard work alone is not enough, though. Simply working hard will not necessarily lead to progress.
It needs to be deliberate, focused improvement designed to improve your practice by developing key skills outlined by your instructor.
The student must implement corrections, study the recommended books, undertake assignments and challenge their comfort zone.

3 methods

Our students study 3 kung fu methods:

  1. Chin na (seizing)

  2. Shuai jiao (take downs)

  3. Tai chi chuan (dynamic balancing boxing)

They all use the body in an internal way. Chin na and shuai jiao are fighting methods rather than a separate system.

Page created 25 March 1994
Last updated 23 October 2023