T’ai Chi Ch’uan (also known as Taijiquan, Taiji, or
Tai Chi) translates as Supreme Ultimate Boxing or Supreme
Ultimate Fist. This Chinese martial art reflects Taoist philosophy
and is often used as a set of gentle exercises for health and
fitness, as well as a method of relaxation and personal
cultivation. It is often thought of as a moving meditation. Tai Chi
(pronounced “tie ghee”) offers many health benefits for people of
all ages. Regular practice of Tai Chi can improve posture,
improve balance and coordination, improve strength and
flexibility, improve circulation and cardio-vascular fitness,
improve concentration, reduce stress, enhance the connection
between mind and body, and raise the spirit, fostering a positive
attitude and a general sense of well-being. It is also a lot of fun!
Internal arts focus on the use of the mind or yi and the
development and movement of internal energy, known as
qi or ch’i (pronounced chee). By cultivating our internal
energy, we can produce great health benefits and also
develop great internal power. Rather than use muscular
strength and physical force, internal arts utilize proper body
structure, coordinated whole-body movements, and mental
focus to generate internal power, which can be used in self-
defense applications. Thus, the Tai Chi Classics state that
the mind (yi) leads the energy (qi), which produces the
expressions of power (li). Other forms of internal martial arts
include Xingyi, Baguazhang, and Yichuan.
Tai chi is a form of qigong (ch’i kung), which translates as energy work. It is this energy
work that produces most of the health benefits derived from Tai Chi. Unlike most other types
of qigong, however, Tai Chi also has martial applications that can be used for self-defense.
At Inner Balance Tai Chi our primary focus is on health
benefits and self-cultivation developed through the
practice of this internal Chinese art. We work to develop an
ever-deepening understanding of basic Tai Chi principles
and to integrate these principles into our movements and
the various aspects of our lives. We do this through our
practice of standing meditation, individual form practice,
and the two-person partner practice of push-hands.
Our Chinese name is Zhi Zhong Tai Chi .
Zhi Zhong can be translated as “concentrate on inner
balance.” It reflects the importance of mindfully
staying centered – physically, mentally, and
spiritually – both in our Tai Chi practice and in life.
|"Taiji is not ‘The Way’ but a means to help people realize their own way.”