Benefits of Tai Chi Chuan
Effective system of self-defence
 

your skill.
 
Forms with partners
There are lots of set forms that are for practice in conjunction with a partner. All of these are extremely important in helping you to understand the play of energy between people and are a good lead into the martial aspect of Tai Chi. As with other aspects these forms are increasingly difficult and demanding in terms of co-ordination, application of principle and body conditioning.
 
Again, if you want to do more than just be physical (external), you must have a basic understanding of internal principles before beginning your training with a partner, but it is certainly possible to get value from basic single push hands after learning the movements of a short form. Within a relatively short time period, you can progress to learning double push hands and in my opinion sensitivity training (freestyle push hands) is a good continual backdrop to the more structured play available.

3. Martial Skills / Self-defence
Even if you have a traditional martial art or self-defence 
background you will probablyfind the Tai Chi approach to combat very strange. To a certain extent it is best approached ‘crabwise’. Plenty of form work, chi kung, meditation, reflection and partner work must be undertaken alongside attempts at applying the concepts and principles in

a self-defence scenario. If you start ‘sparring’ and trying to ‘use it’ from day one you cannot possibly be doing Tai Chi – you will be using physical, external force. This is the stark difference between external and internal martial arts. Tai Chi, in the end, is not technique based. It is concept and principle based and those concepts are to do with usage of internal energy. To remain relaxed and centred in combat is the work of many years. A good wine takes time to mature.
 
4. Spiritual – meditation
Tai Chi can aid your spiritual endeavours by giving a very true and fundamental knowledge of yourself. As you relax and calm the body and mind you can begin to see how your thoughts, actions and relationships (to others, to yourself, to the world around you) are working. From this viewpoint you can then see how you need to change in order to self-develop and get more from your spiritual beliefs.
 
How to speed up progress – tips on training
Fundamental to progress in Tai Chi is acceptance of change. Tai Chi is a multi-dimensional art and has the peculiar property of always working on your weakest point: whether in the region of mind, body or spirit. As such it is continually challenging who or what you are. In short Tai Chi is a powerful tool for self-development.
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