Hefty goons accost a slight figure in a dark alley. As they menacingly close in on him, he is suddenly transformed into a mass of limbs moving with lightning speed. With swift, precise movements the lone ranger fells his opponents easily.
A familiar scenario for martial arts film buffs. There was a time, not so long ago, when Bruce Lee was God and the place to be on sunny winter afternoons was the neighborhood karate class. The dream of every adolescent braveheart was to metamorphose into a lean fighting machine, with the secrets of the Oriental ‘martial arts’ at his disposal.
Stereotyped for long as means of physical combat, the strong spiritual tradition underlying eastern health systems has been sadly ignored. Most, such as judo, tae-kwon-do and T’ai Chi Chuan integrate well-being of the mind and body with the evolution of the spirit. Among these, T’ai Chi has gained much fame in the West as an exotic stress buster. Once a jealously guarded preserve of the Chinese elite, today T’ai Chi has millions of followers around the world. Its 108 basic forms involving every part of the body are more like graceful dance movements than exercise. Regular practice of T’ai Chi renews vitality and ensures longevity, the Chinese believe.
Named after its founder, Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872), Yang style T’ai Chi has been handed down the generations in the Yang family for the past 170 years. From the original 108 basic T’ai Chi forms, 85 have been incorporated in the Yang style. Over 700 movements make up the 85 forms. These were standardized and photographically recorded in the 1920s by a scion of the Yang family, Yang Cheng Fu.
Tai chi is the in form of exercise now….
I’ll keep updating about this art form…
so keep reading on…