Authentic Tai Chi
Here at Spirit Wind Taijiquan Academy in Lincoln, when we say authentic or combat Tai Chi, we are referring to Tai Chi Chuan. Chuan means fist. All Tai Chi started out as Combat Tai Chi Chuan. We tend to say combat or authentic Tai Chi Chuan rather than just Tai Chi because, although the direct translation is fist, in the case of Combat Tai Chi fist refers to the idea of combative use much more than any specific reference to an actual fist.
Over the past fifty years or so, some Tai Chi instructors dropped the martial Tai Chi fighting principals from their art and started calling their art just Tai Chi without the Chuan. The idea was to allow practitioners to learn and work on the health and healing benefits while leaving out the martial aspects of combat Tai Chi.
The problem is that the combat Tai Chi movements/forms have specific internal and external applications that are also the correct postures used to promote health and healing through the practice of Tai Chi. Without these applications the art is truly empty and is not able to impart the amazing, internally healthy benefits, because the mechanical and energetic principles are not understood, and so, are not being worked in the movements.
Authentic or combat Tai Chi involves all aspects of self defense with Tai Chi as well as all of the wonderful healing aspects. If the student wishes to reap all the health benefits of Tai Chi they must actually practice AUTHENTIC forms. Severely shortened forms that do not challenge, will not help you improve. You may have a fun, social experience but that will be all.
In our curriculum you will find all the health and healing benefits mixed right in with the self defense, making it very easy to realize that combat Tai Chi and Tai Chi must be one in the same.
So, the point I am making here is that although some people would have you believe authentic Tai Chi and Tai Chi for health are separate, it is imperative that they are studied together as a combined unit in order for the student to really understand the material and gather the rewards.