When the majority of people think of tai chi, they think of it as a slow moving exercise done for relaxation or as a sort of moving meditation. To an extent, they are right but it is very much a standard martial art style. Tai Chi Chuan is the initial name for this martial art style and it means “supreme ultimate fist.” The name suggests that Tai Chi was initially intended to be a martial art style and not an exercise for seniors.
It is easy to think tai chi isn’t a martial art as the movements are very slow. Whereas, you will see quick and impressive movements in karate and kung fu. Tai chi, however, is executed in what appears to be slow motion. Just because it is done in slow motion doesn’t mean it cannot be done fast. As a matter of fact, performing it slowly requires more control and accuracy. To really learn how to apply tai chi as a martial art style, you’d have to practice it at different speeds, but moving at a low speed gives you greater coordination and balance.
Push hands is one of several classic tai chi methods. In push hands, two people face one another and push against each other with their hands and attempt to get the other person off balance. There are events where this is practiced, just like sparring competitions in karate. The idea of push hands is to use very little force against the opponent. By using the weight and strength of the other person and not yourself, you attempt to take them off balance. It requires lots of practice but once perfected, you can be considered a powerful martial artist. If you’d like to learn this practice, you must find a qualified instructor or a tai chi school that teaches it. It takes more than doing tai chi form if you want to become great in martial arts.
You will need to look for a martial art school or instructor that is experienced with tai chi as a martial art form. Practicing tai chi form as purely as an exercise is perfect for your health and will help reduce stress but you will likely not really develop your martial art skills. By improving your balance and flexibility, you should have a good foundation for the martial arts, but you will not actually know how to apply it in an actual situation if you haven’t been taught that way. If your area doesn’t offer tai chi as a martial art, you can invest in instructional books or videos on the subject.
Karate is regarded as an external martial art but tai chi is generally known as an internal martial art form. Besides push hands, practitioners of tai chi also make use of swords and other common Chinese weapons. Whether or not you wish to learn tai chi for exercise or as a martial art, it will help you to become flexible and balanced plus it will boost your health.
Truly, what we have offered you here, today, is by no means the end of the learning process about Tai Chi in Los Angeles.
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