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The Power of Tai Chi

Part of the traditional Chinese martial arts, Tai Chi is a Chinese phrase that means “ Supreme Ultimate Fist” and unbeknownst to many, it’s considered the deadliest of all martial arts.  Discovered in 1820, this system focuses on muscles being relaxed while using the opponents force against them. This is very different than some of the other “harder” styles of Kung Fu, or martial arts in general. This self-defense system, although meditative, also prepares the body for martial application or for better health. In order to be truly strong, you must cultivate energy. The actual Tai Chi forms can help the body root and strengthen, and train the energy upwards through the bone and bone marrow, to muscles, and to the skin. It’s a system that is designed for every body and it’s just a matter of which style you choose and what’s right for you.


Just like the relationship of Yin and Yang, Tai Chi brings harmony and can be represented with two fishes (one with a black eye, one with a white eye) chasing each other in a circle – and each contains a piece of one another’s opposing energy. It represents the relationship between the Yin (negative, feminine, dark) and Yang (positive, masculine, bright). This interplay and constant change between the energies is Tai Chi — and is thus the foundation that holds the universe together.


This Taoist tradition teaches one to react appropriately to their environment. By practicing the art consistently, Tai Chi practitioners are able to handle stressful situations better and find themselves balanced both physically and mentally. Sifu Dennis Dereje instructs students to open their bodies with movement (Kung Fu) and then the student can learn the poses. These poses work on steady, healthy breathing, supple / correct posture, and smooth movements. The body’s joints should feel as though they’re moving through water.


Addis Kung Fu Academy teaches the Ling Yun Pai (family system) Chen Pan Ling ‘99 Forms’ of Tai Chi. The more advanced students practice Push Hands, a two-man practice where you and the other practitioner interact and slowly begin to redirect each other’s energy. These pushing hands poses teach sensitivity and work best when you’re focused on your opponent’s center. This helps you improve your individual practice as it offers a more rigorous workout.  Sparring and use of weapons, including staff (chiang), the broadsword or sabre (tao or dao) and straight sword (chien or jien) would be practiced at the most advanced levels. Some students also practice some of the more abstract weapons like the kwan-dao and fan.


Sifu Dennis Dereje offers weekly classes for Tai Chi in the North Miami Beach area. Classes are held on Mondays from 8 – 9pm after Kung Fu Cardio, and also offered on Thursdays, after Traditional Kung Fu class from 8:30 – 10:00pm, with Tai Chi  form training from 9:30-10pm.

June 18, 2014 | Addis Kung Fu Academy | 0
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