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A History of Tai Chi Chuan

     Tai Chi Chuan's origins are clouded in mystery and legend.  It is said that a Taoist Priest created the system after observing a fight between a crane and a snake.  From here the martial art passed through many famous families, acquiring the Yang, Chen, and Wu family names, among others.  However uncertain its beginnings, Tai Chi Chuan remains an effective means of self-defense and because of its approach to training can be practiced by people of all ages and fitness levels.

     The same principles that make karatedo and aikido effective martial systems are present within Tai Chi Chuan.  The difference is in Tai Chi Chuan's approach to training--softness.  Forms are practiced in slow motion to perfect the movement and fully coordinate the body in order to generate the greatest amount of force possible.  When used in actual self-defense, Tai Chi Chuan is applied at full speed with full force.  Tai Chi Push-hands is the primary means for practicing the application of the forms.  Push-hands practice helps develop coordination of the body and sensitivity to movement.

     Because of its soft approach to training and its many health benefits, Tai Chi Chuan is used around the world by many simply as a daily exercise rather than a means of self-defense.  This has resulted in many versions of Tai Chi Chuan modified for the sake of aesthetics and devoid of martial applications, therefore lacking in some sense their original nature.  All Tai Chi Chuan classes taught at Suenaka Zenzan Dojo are grounded in self-defense, the true goal of the art.

Tai Chi Chuan Schedule:
Sifu Tom Champion
Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan
Mondays 7-8:30pm
Tom.Champion@aecom.com

Laoshi Jimmy Dong
Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan,
Qi Gong and 18 Forms
Chen Zhenglei Lineage
Saturdays 3-4:30pm
qjdong@charter.net