Why learn taijiquan?
   
     

classes     taijiquan     baguazhang     self defence     qigong     about us     reviews     a-z


Most martial arts are pretty effective, so why learn taijiquan?

Ask yourself:
What are you looking for?
What is your criteria?
How old are you?
How fit are you?
Are you looking for kicking, punching, grappling?
Do you want to
fight in the ring? Or do you want self defence for real life situations?
Are you seeking a more philosophical component?

Taijiquan teaches a wide variety of powerful, functional skills, along with an in-depth philosophical background.
It encourages a calm, focussed
mind and trains a supple, strong, flexible body.


Every school is different

No two martial arts schools are the same.
Every instructor teaches according to their own values, interpretation of the material, and personal preferences.
Ask yourself:

Does the class teach a 'complete martial art'?
Do you need to supplement the training with gym work, running or weight training?
How concerned is the class with health and wellbeing?
Are the students friendly and relaxed?
Is there a macho atmosphere?
Can smaller students use the Art effectively?
 

I have trained with many masters including yourself where I know that I want what they have.
However, you have a training method that works and have
students with real abilities.
This is very rare in the internal martial arts.

(Tim)
 

Something different

In most martial arts, the younger, stronger, faster and most aggressive person has the advantage.
The student of taijiquan discovers how to employ a different approach.



More than combat

Taijiquan is not simply a highly sophisticated, intelligent martial art.
It offers so much more:

A way to use millennia old Chinese wisdom in everyday life  
Meditation
An unusual form of strength that requires only moderate practice to maintain
Stress-relief
 Emotional composure in the face of confrontation and crisis
The release of deeply-held muscular tension   
Philosophical study involving some of the most influential books ever written 
Boost energy
Improve balance
Cultivate confidence and resourcefulness
Ease neck, knee, elbow and back problems


Conventional fitness


The ability to lift heavy weights, run, swim or workout in the gym may well improve your overall fitness level.
But this kind of fitness will not help your taijiquan training.
A student must learn how to use their body in a
very different way. The body needs to become agile, flexible, adaptive, sensitive and strong.
Engorged biceps are not going to help.


Taijiquan fighting method

We are not interested in pitting strength against strength.
Our aim is to evade strength, re-direct power and destabilise the attacker.
Instead of force against force, we circumvent. We break the root. We lead into emptiness.
You do not need to be immensely strong in the upper body.
The power will be coming from the ground, so
stronger legs and torso are more important.


Mind

The weakest part of any new starter is the mind.
Modern minds are lazy, distracted, eager for gratification and entertainment.

The calm, detached, logical, disciplined
mind of a martial artist is very different to that of a 'consumer'.
We recognise that there is more to life than shopping, celebrity, fleeting fads and fancies.
Patience, tenacity, endurance... these develop a quiet
strength.


Effort/reward ratio

Internal body use challenges conventional wisdom and the conventional application of strength.
The body must be strong.
The application of that strength is unorthodox.
The aim is to unite the entire body in application. Every action is a complete action. Every part of you does every movement.


Focus

Whole-body strength may sound strenuous but it is not.
Instead of delegating the workload to your arms and shoulders, every part of the body is involved.
Instead of forcing your will upon the entire attacker, you limit your attention to a small part of their body and use everything you have on that target.
The strategy comes from The Art of War.


There is no shortcut

Building up your strength takes time, practice, commitment and patience.
In truth, you may not even realise it is happening.
Internal martial arts training is not strenuous or stressful.
You undertake regular practice and let the mild exercise build up layers of strength.


Quiet strength

The strength mounts up over time.
Pretty soon you have a level of strength you never expected.
This is not the strength required to lift a massive weight. It is the strength to deliver a penetrating strike, snap a limb or flip an opponent without trying.
It is strength that will aid you in your everyday life.


Aging


Conventional martial arts favour the younger, stronger, fitter student.
By contrast; the internal martial arts encourage a mature mind.
Instead of retiring from combat at the age of 40, a student can look forward to spending the rest of their life training the Art.
Taijiquan works the body in a very safe, healthy manner.


At what cost?

Success at any cost is not advocated by our school.
The aim of taijiquan is to avoid injury, not sustain it.
Taijiquan aims to incapacitate the opponent without sustaining any injury to yourself.


Page created 13 May 1994
Last updated 25 April 2017