& Tai Chi
Tai chi in chinese

can get you fit as well as help you relax

The oldest form of Tai Chi is called Chen Style and has a balance of Yin and Yang, slow and fast movement. Many people have only ever seen the slow movements of Tai Chi so are surprised to find out there´s much more to it as one progresses and you can take it to a “fighting fit” level if you have the will ,patience and perseverance.

There are 2 main routines one learns.The first contains 70% slow and soft movement and 30% fast and hard movement and is what all new learners start with.

This routine´s slower pace and minimal stress on muscles, bones and joints makes it very accessible to all ages and fitness levels and is an excellent body conditioning for the elderly as well as ideal for recovering from illness and injury.

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tai chi's cardio workout

The second routine of Tai Chi is known as the canon fist and consists of 70% fast and hard movement and 30% slow and soft movement. Routine 2 also known as Lao Jia er lu (Old Frame Second Routine) produces a high level of cardiovascular benefit and quick weight reduction.

The jumps, leaps, explosive movements and dynamic tempo changes are a great workout and challenging for the fittest among students.

It is essential first to improve the relaxation, co-ordination, elasticity and alignment of the body before doing the second routine as Tai Chi has a clear progressive training curriculum which cannot be rushed or forced but must be naturally worked through.

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Precision, control and power

Chen Tai Chi has a syllabus of weapon training also with light and heavy weapons. The first weapon one learns is the double edged straight sword whose form contains many expansive movements which helps the body’s co-ordination,flexibility,wrist strength and hand -eye co-ordination. The Chinese say the sword form is like a “swimming dragon ” and it is aesthetically pleasing to watch and practice and lifts the spirit of the practitioner.

The second weapon traditionally taught is the single edged sabre .This form is very short and explosive and the training is akin to plyometrics to increase the body’s ability to explosively release muscles. There are many leaps and fa-jing (energy releases) and this form will make you sweat!

The next weapon taught is usually the Guan Dao (Halberd) which can weigh from 2 kilos to 10 kilos and is the first of the long weapons and the beginning of the heavy training.

This form strengthens the arms, wrists and waist and is excellent core strength training. It is traditional training also to improve qinna. (Joint locking)

Once the body is trained to a very good foundation and has achieved excellent relaxation and co-ordination one can then train shaking the 2-3 meter heavy pole. 100 days of this training with no gaps greatly increase one’s ability to release the whole body´s power to one point.

To view more forms including spear, double sword and double sabre just click on our video page here.

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tai chi

increases physical strength

The Laboratory for Mind Body signalling and energy research in California, America wanted to see if the increase in bio energy measured as heat, light and electrical parameters produced by Tai Chi practice could also be measured in terms of physical strength. In one pilot study, the maximum weight subjects could lift at a single time (referred to in weight training as one rep max) in a standardized test with a bow flex machine was calculated.

For each subject the measurement was made on one day and repeated on a different day after practicing 15 minutes of Tai Chi silk reeling movements.

All subjects were able to lift an average of 10% more weight when the measurements were made following the Tai Chi practice.

This level of increased strength is roughly equivalent to the gain from a few weeks of weight training in the absence of any Tai Chi practice. Thus it appears that the bio energy increase produced by Tai Chi practice can also be measured as an increase in physical strength.


Find out more about our classes or exactly where your nearest Chen Tai Chi class is located.

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    Galway Rowing Club,
    10 Waterside,
    Co. Galway.

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