T'ai-Chi for the Masses--and Others...

May 19 07:23 2005 Edward Orem Print This Article

Kuang Ping was the T'ai-chi set favored by Yang Lu-Chan, the man who brought forward the "Yang" style in the mid-1800's, now so popular throughout the world. Kuang Ping is what the man trained with himself. The popular "Yang" set was/is something for the masses--not for the aficinado, the athlete, the martial artist.

I learned Kuang Ping from Kuo Lien Ying,Guest Posting third generation student of Yang Lu Chan. I was already an accomplished runner and martial artist when I started training (1970), so it was difficult to please me in the arena of athletics--but 75 yr-old Kuo was definitely impressive! Eventually I studied five T'ai-chi sets, but his was/is definitely the most dynamic and challenging.

I teach two sets currently: a short Yang style (for beginners and the unfit) and Kuang Ping. They are both available on tape.

T’AI-CHI CH’UAN: A Few Words

This soft or "internal" art is, in all aspects, a psycho-physical exercise, a boxing system, and a meditation method. Most of the tens of millions of practitioners are into it for health and meditation, so they move very slowly during the training. But what most people don’t realize is that since the art is founded on using the principles of change, you can—and should—move the body and mind according to the need of the moment.

This wondrous exercise can be used by anyone, male and female, old and young. A five year-old child and a person of 90 years or more are both able to practice T’ai-chi Ch’uan. The complete form can be learned within three months; pretty good acquaintance can be obtained with a year’s practice; and a student training perseveringly for about five years can have significant integration of mind and body, intuition and knowledge. There are delicate details of T’ai-chi, keys to its marvels which are understood only with faithful practice. Traditionally, a person is required to train seven years before qualifying as a teacher.

Of the more than 100 million people who practice T’ai-chi regularly, most train outdoors, even in severe weather conditions of northern China. The reason is simple and can be understood only when you accept the elements and embrace the opportunity to integrate with nature. Year-round, outdoor training is good for the spirit, heart, mind and body.

Instructor Certification:

T’ai-chi Ch’uan

First – Third years: White Sash
Introduction to internal arts studies
Yi Bai Ching Kung
Zhan Zhuang
Basic Health Maintenance
Tui-Na
Tao Yin
T’ai-chi Chi-Kung
Stance and kicking drills
Tui Shou
Postures training for Yang or Guang Ping T’ai-Chi Ch’uan

Fourth Year: Blue Sash
18 Therapies Chi-Kung
T’ai-chi Chi-Kung
Breathing patterns in T’ai-chi Ch’uan
T’ai-chi Kun/Dragon’s Head Staff #1

Fifth Year: Green Sash
T’ai-chi KunDragon’s Head Staff #2
T’ai-chi Chi-Kung
Continued physical and respiration studies in T’ai-chi Ch’uan

Sixth Year: Gold Sash
Five Animal Frolics
T’ai-chi Chien/Rapier #1
T’ai-chi Chi-Kung
Cont’d studies in T’ai-chi Ch’uan

Seventh Year: Black Sash
T’ai-chi Tao/Saber #1
T’ai-chi Chi-Kung
Original thesis researching T’ai-Chi Ch’uan

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About Article Author

Edward Orem
Edward Orem

Edward Orem has 40 years experience in integral mind-body training systems, and holds the following titles: Certified Instructor, Guang Ping Yang T'ai-Chi Assn; 6th Degree Black Sash in Chinese Boxing; 8th Degree Black Belt in Zen Kempo-jitsu, as well as a PhD in Holistic Health. Dr. Orem is the author of several manuals, and has produced 50 training videos. In 1990 Sifu Orem founded Chuan Fa Kempo International, http://kempochuanfa.com.

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