About Tai Chi

The motion of the Way is to return;
The use of the Way is to accept;
All things come from the Way,
And the Way comes from No thing.

Lao-Tze   40. Motion and Use

What is Tai Chi Chuan?

Tai Chi Chuan is literally the All-Pervading Ultimate Fist. It is the martial art founded by Chang San-Feng, a Taoist priest revered for this achievement. It strives to mimic the form of movement of the All-Pervading Energy {Paramachaitanya} and embody the Way {Tao} as taught by the sage Lao-Tze.

What is Tai-Chi?

Tai-Chi is the All-Pervading Ultimate; the Tao; the Brahman.

Who was the founder?

The founder of Tai Chi Chuan; Chang San-Feng (Chang of the 3 attributes*), by one account, was taught the Way of Tai-Chi in his dreams, by God.
{* from the Sanskrit Trigunatmika; Ida, Pingala, Sushumna}

When did the founder live?

He is reputed to have lived from the late Sung period through the Yuan and into the Ming dynasty, between the 13th to the 15th centuries AD. He is said to have lived between 180-250 years.

How is Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan different from other martial arts?

It contains the potential for ‘chi’ to awaken spontaneously in the student and thereafter to flow spontaneously.

What is “Chi”?

In general, Chi is the energy that pervades the Cosmos. More specifically; ‘Yang Chi’ is energy on the electro-magnetic spectrum which is felt as heat on the nerves. Whereas “Shen” is The All-Pervading Energy of the Divine, which enlightens as a cool breeze.

Historical Perspective of Tai Chi Chuan

  • Tai Chi Chuan as founded and practised by immortal Chang San-Feng had consciousness and spiritual evolution as its primary purpose.
  • When it left the lofty domain of the Taoist priests, it descended into the secular realm of martial arts and combat.
  • When Yang Cheng-Fu Sifu popularised Tai Chi Chuan amongst the masses early in the 20th century, it took another turn to become a vehicle for attaining great health.

The Way of Tai Chi Chuan, when practised without ambition under the guidance of an authorized teacher, eventually brings in its wake together all these 3 strands.

glebe street fair 2012

Is Tai Chi Chuan better for health than ordinary exercise?

Martial Arts originated in India from the same cradle that produced Hatha and Raja Yoga. Tai Chi Chuan is the Martial Art of the Ultimate. It is one of the Yogas; intended in those days to cleanse the grosser bodies so that spiritual progress may occur. The way to do so is to fill the body with Prana or Chi, the metaphysical energy of the universe.

Nowadays Tai Chi Chuan is practised for a number of reasons. The slower continuous motion of Tai Chi Chuan offers a number of physical and mental benefits. Tai Chi Chuan is a way of bringing balance to both your mind and body, further the classes offer a chance for the student to reconnect with nature. Research has been done on both the physical and mental benefits that can be gained by doing Tai Chi Chuan. Some of these benefits include improved balance and strength, physical rehabilitation, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved sleep. This balance and connection with self and nature is the reason why Tai Chi Chuan is better for health than ordinary exercise.


“Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall and falling, they’re given wings”

What students say:
“Where is the ‘I’, and where is the ‘other’? ” Sharon
“It was Push Hands, and finally I understand.” Danya
Q :”I find I am getting lost during the form?” Master Ric: “The All-pervading Energy stupefies the intellect.” Amy
“..we are earth, we are air etc..” Sharon
“I’m moving on a higher, stronger platform in my stances.” Danya
“(An) analogy of the Tao to the wind occurred to me after coffee yesterday.” Ben
“The dance of Lord Shiva; if it stops what happens?” Janaki

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