T'ai Chi is good for you

T'ai Chi

By the glowing accounts in the popular press, t'ai chi is not only good for you, it is almost magical. How nice that would be, but the truth is, benefits received are directly proportional to the focus and intent with which it is practiced. This means performing the moves with purpose and an understanding of the principles handed down to us in the T'ai Chi Classics, which is to say, comprehending how they work martially.

I am well aware that many t'ai chi players and teachers will disagree with me, but it has been my experience that the health and martial aspects are inseparable. What is good for one is good for the other. This does not diminish the focus on health - it only makes health more accessible.

While we need not aspire to become the next Bruce Lee, understanding the martial principles gives cohesiveness to one's practice that develops strength, endurance, balance, coordination, circulation, flow of lymph (see Lymphatics and T'ai Chi) and source chi, or life force. As these increase, coupled with working to perfect the movements, martial capability automatically increases. It is a self-reinforcing cycle, a positive feedback loop. Along with focus and intent comes command of one's chi, stress relief, serenity, and healing, often of unexpected sorts (see "Winning a Double Bout).

Lessons are individually tailored to the individual, taking into account what the student wants from t'ai chi and how he or she learns, whether holistically or analytically, or through a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic approach. Training in push hands is available and encouraged. All ages and levels are welcome. Give t'ai chi six months and see what it can do for you.

Call Jim at (925) 286-5505 to join.