It appears that there is a distinction being made regarding a perceived difference between Tai Chi for health and Tai Chi martial arts for self-defense.
So what’s the difference?
In fact, there is no difference between the Tai Chi that is healthy and the Tai Chi that is used for self-defense. Of course there are a lot of “so called” Tai Chi martial arts teachers in America today who would like people to think that these things are different.
Why? The simple answer is that so many of the folks who are teaching Tai Chi only for health got their Tai Chi certification in a weekend workshop and the only way that they can try to compete in the marketplace is to try to say that those who have more knowledge and information are somehow teaching something different.
So what exactly is Tai Chi for health and what is Tai Chi for self-defense?
For one, the moves themselves are the same, but more often than not those who practice Tai Chi just for health do not understand the moves they are practicing.
Secondly, the specific types of jing expression practiced are also the same and most who claim to practice just for health do not even know what jing is, how it is practiced and how it is healthy for you, let alone understanding it in a martial sense. The sad thing here is that the jing expressions are truly what makes Tai Chi martial arts such an incredible health practice.
The answer to the how to learn the specific structural and internal aspects of the Tai Chi martial arts is that the teacher must learn from someone who understands them. Teachers who really understand this also know the self-defense aspects of the Tai Chi because without the structural and internal aspects of Tai Chi, it does not work for self-defense either.
When learning the self-defense aspects from a qualified teacher the postures and internal aspects are tested and refined so that the proper application of power is present. This does not have to be practiced in a hard, fast and fierce manner, so those who do not want to practice fighting do not have to be put into uncomfortable situations.
But, the structural training alone will make a huge difference in the quality of the Tai Chi practice and the health benefits that it will change the art in its entirety compared to the expression taught by someone who is “teaching” Tai Chi without this knowledge.
In conclusion, Tai Chi for health is the same as the Tai Chi for self defense because the movement alignment, structure, breathing and jings are the same for health as they are for self-defense even though these skills will often be applied specific to the task at hand which requires an educated understanding.
The Peaceful Dragon is one of the few modern schools that can teach pure Tai Chi martial arts. Whether for health or self-defense, or both, you’ll quickly discover how much calmer and more at peace you feel. Call or stop by today and we’ll tell you how!