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What you do is what you get in Tai Chi Ch'uan

by Ho Hang Chen

I have heard so much about the health benefits a person could derive from practising Taichi Quan ever since I was young. However I have no idea what is in Taichi Quan till I start reading the theory of TCM. They share the yin-yang principles and the “qi” concept. It sounds so fascinating. As I was also looking for an exercise that can double up as therapy for my injured foot, I signed up for Taichi Quan class.

It took me less than a year to learn the movement of 37 forms, however still far from perfecting them. Beside, there are much more to learn and discover in this ancient art. I called it art because it not only benefits us physically, also the mental well being and its philosophical aspect---we can apply the principle into other areas of life too.

I find myself a more relax person and able to focus better at tasks soon after learning Taichi Quan. The muscle tension that used to haunt me after a busy day has literally disappeared. I suppose by focusing the mind solely on the gentle movements helps to bring me into a state of mental calm and clarity. 

My stamina has improved and able to swim double the distance effortless and jog longer distance pain free. 
I attribute the changes to the more awareness of my body. By constantly aware of my posture, its motion and my breathing. …I would not subject my joints and muscles to unnatural, awkward alignment or unnecessary tension. Those key points that Master Chong emphasized are very useful, for example, keep the spine in one column while turning, drop the shoulders and relax the elbows. By applying them in my running, I find myself run with breeze. It releases tension and pressure and removes stress from the joints and muscles. The turning movements help me to learn how to shifting of weight from one knee to the other without hurting them. Those gentle movements loosen and stretch the soft tissues and improve joint flexibility. The abdominal breathing helps to improve our respiration so I would not pant so easily while exercise.
No pain, no gain? It should be no persevere, no gain in Master Chong’s class as he takes great pain to make sure we learn the proper techniques and posture to prevent injury, so we may be tired at the end of training but not in pain. 



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