Ride the tiger – Wu Style T’ai Chi Ch’üan

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Tai Chi for all

The aim of the school is to promote tai chi to all people and to encourage its practice.  Whoever you are, whatever your background or ability, here is a group for you to try out or improve your tai chi.

We promote a friendly atmosphere to practice the various facets of tai chi chuan.

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Who practices tai chi?

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Tai chi and chi kung

Tai Chi is the commonly used transliteration of the Chinese characters (using the Wade Giles system of Romanization) it may also be written as taiji using the Chinese government Pinyin system and is generally translated as “Ultimate Fist”.

Taiji actually only translates as ultimate, taiji quan as it is known in China would translate as “ultimate fist”. However it is perhaps not so simple a translation as taiji is actually a Chinese philosophical term meaning “the great ultimate” (see wikipedia).

Certainly this fighting art is more inextricably linked with Chinese philosophy and Taoism than may be first apparent. “All movements conform to the theory of the mutual promotion of yin and yang.” ¹  Taiji is a number of things to its various practitioners; it is a meditation system, a gentle exercise, a fighting / self defence system.

Taiji has been proved to have many health benefits such as improving heart conditions and reducing the incidence of falling in the elderly. However for most of its practitioners it is believed to promote all round good health.

Chi kung or qigong translates as “breath work” and put simply is a set of exercises including control of breathing in time with bodily movements. Evidence of qigong exercises can be traced back to ancient China.

¹Wu style taichichuan – forms concepts and application of the original style. Wu Ying-hua & Ma Yueh-liang.

Wu Style Tai Chi

Tai Chi is said to date back to around the 13th century when Zhang Sanfeng is credited with the concepts of the soft internal martial arts. The modern styles of tai chi practised today can only truly trace back their roots to the 17th century when Chen Wangting created Chen style tai chi. In the 18th century Yang Luchan created what is widely believed to be the most popular style practised today; Yang, derived from the original Chen style, and in the 19th century the Wu style was in turn derived from Yang.

Wu Chuanyu, who studied under Yang Luchan, was said to possess an exceptional ability to neutralise an opponents power and this is a key element of the style of tai chi that he promoted and taught.

Wu Chian-chuan his son set up the Chian-chuan taichichuan association in Shanghai in 1935.

In Europe his great grandson Ma Jiangbao and his great great granddaughter Dr. Jin Ye carry on the Wu style lineage and tradition of Wu style tai chi.

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