It is without a doubt that Tai Chi Chuan is becoming ever more popular in Western Society. Demand has seen to it that almost all major cities and towns now have Tai Chi Chuan classes on offer. However, whilst this must only reflect well on the public's awareness of Tai Chi Chuan, many would argue that Tai Chi Chuan's growth has been positively skewed towards it's health benefits. Whether this be student or teacher driven, we can not deny that increasingly, little emphasis is given to other facets of Tai Chi Chuan practice.
One area that is frequently paid little attention is the martial aspect of Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi Chuan's roots historically stem from the martial arts. It was by combining the theories of Chinese medicine and martial arts, that the importance of training both the mind and the body together with the spirit was recognised, and hence a potent system for combat developed. Thus each and every Tai Chi Chuan movement has a logical combative application. Although the strong ties to the martial arts, the trend of many Tai Chi Chuan classes still is to adopt a 'health only' approach at the expense of martial content. If
allowed to speculate, there are many arguments for and against this current teaching trend. Maybe it is to do with consumer demand dictating Tai Chi Chuan's health benefits be at the forefront, or maybe it is due to the low supply of teachers able to demonstrate Tai Chi Chuan as a martial art. These are all valid arguments for receiving less combative instruction within many Tai Chi classes. However what is for sure, the Tai Chi Chuan fighter is definitely becoming a rarity.
What certainly seems to have an is that latter argument, of increasingly more teachers having less combat experience. Achieving skill in Tai Chi Chuan boxing is by all means is not a simple task. Tai Chi Chuan training especially of the martial nature, necessitates some of the same qualities as other sporting pursuits. Like growing a tree from a seedling, the seedling must first be healthy, fit, and posses the potential and determination to grow and fulfil expectations. The same would be expected from the apprentice. Then for the seedling to realise it's potential and become the great tree it can, requires method, as well as accurate and measured,