Curriculum - Tai Chi, Santa Fe NM
Our classes are taught in a traditional way. This is a proven natural progression of learning tai chi that nurtures health and is conducive for effective self-defense. The goal is to move naturally and efficiently. Growth in this process only comes with gongfu (kungfu): time and work.
YANG-STYLE LONG ROUTINE
This is the fundamental tai chi practice that develops the essentials of the art, such as relaxation, balance, and coordination. One movement follows another in a slow, smooth manner, effecting not only muscles, but also the nervous system. The sequential flow also deepens the breathing while aligning the body and loosening the joints. The 108 movements can be learned quickly enough, but take a life-time to master. If the long routine is not learned properly, then other tai chi practices—such as push-hands and the straight-sword routine—will only multiple and magnify problems common for beginning students. The long routine is clearly the most important aspect of tai chi practice.
After a student reaches proficiency in the long routine (being able to move slowly and steadily with balance and relaxation), other practices may be learned.
Push-hands (tuishou): a paired practice of techniques and sensing that can be done in a stationary position, or with moving steps.
Weaponry: short stick, cane, straight sword, broadsword, knife, chabang (sai), and staff.
YANG-STYLE TWO-PERSON ROUTINE
Dispersing hands (sanshou): A two-person routine where both partners attack and defend throughout. Depending on the partner's size, height, and skill level, sanshou broadens the tai chi practice with various speeds, heights, and distances. This requires a very high-level of tai chi skill to do with precision and flexibility.
Self-defense: Practicing the techniques found in the long routine, push-hands, and dispersing hands, students learn how to defend themselves utilizing the same tai chi principles of relaxation, but faster!
CHEN STYLE TAI CHI
Chen Style: This is the original form of tai chi upon which Yang Style is based. There are two routines. The first routine served as the blueprint for the traditional Yang Style Long Routine. It focuses on relaxation and whole-body movement. The second routine, Cannon Fist, blends yin and yang with spiraling energies that make Chen Style famed as a combative art. Very advanced students may study Chen Style in order to deepen their understanding of the overall history, theory and practice of tai chi.
Kuntao-Silat: This is a hybrid system that came from Willem Reeder's, a gifted grandmaster born to royal blood from both Holland and China, but who grew up in Indonesia. Kuntao is a southern Chinese style primarily based on animal styles from the Shaolin Temple. The silat styles are Indonesian, noted for their beautiful flow, yet devastating techniques.
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