Tai-Chi (also spelled taiji or t’ai-chi), short hand for T’ai chi ch’uan or Taijiquan, is a Chinese internal martial art. Literally translated as “supreme ultimate fist”, Tai-chi represents the fusion of Yin and Yang into a single ultimate, greater than the sum of the parts, as depicted in the famous Tai-Chi symbol. The martial art of The practice of T’ai chi chu’uan grew in popularity in China in the late 19th and earth 20th century, as great social and political upheaval in the county led to a revival of interest in traditional martial arts — as a way to strengthen the populace and protect the nation. However, following the rise of communism to power in China in 1949, a national decision was made to emphasize the health aspects of all martial arts (including Taiji) and de-emphasize the martial aspects of these arts. Unfortunately, the effect has been that Tai-chi practice in China, as well as in the many counties around the world to which the art has been actively exported, has had its martial aspect diluted. Today, most Tai-chi studios often practice solely the health maintenance aspects of Tai-chi. It is more rare to find studios that practice both Tai-Chi’s martial applications, as well as the art’s meditative benefits in relieving stress and improving health. Full Potential Martial Arts belongs to the latter class of Tai-Chi studios.
Full Potential Martial Arts teaches the Yang style of Tai-Chi. This style was founded in the early 19th century by Yang Lu-ch’a, who studied the Chen family style of Tai-Chi from Ch’en Chang-hsing. We incorporate five components in our Tai-chi practice:
- Study of Tai-chi forms
- Study of Tai-chi self-defense applications
- Tai-chi push-hands and other partner drills (tuishou)
- Qigong (Chi-gung) practice for aligning breath, movement and awareness
- Neigong breathing exercises
In studying Tai-chi, students develop a deep understanding for the “internal” martial arts. They can use this understanding to “up their game” in their primary art, be it boxing, karate, jiu-jitsu or any other art. Come visit the Full Potential Martial Arts school in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA 92130 and see for yourself.