Rolly Brown's Tai Chi page

A General Intro To Tai Chi

The slow movements of Tai Chi are graceful, powerful, relaxed, balanced, and meditative. Developed in China over a thousand years ago, this form of exercise unites the mind and the body, combining aspects of meditation, exercise, visualization, and martial art. Once learned, a Tai Chi form may take ten minutes to perform. Done once or twice daily, it provides extraordinary health benefits, improving balance, flexibility, and strength, while calming the spirit and reducing stress.

About The Tai Chi Form

The art of Tai Chi (actually called T'ai Chi Ch'uan, "Yin Yang Boxing") consists of perfecting several skills. The most fundamental of these is the Tai Chi form, a classical series of movements which the student memorizes, much like a music student might memorize a classical piece of music. Once the movements are memorized, the real work of refining the movement can begin. The study focuses on the subtleties of relaxation, breathing, and body alignment. Movement is caused by internal pressure changes rather than muscular tension. The mind must be flexible, so the body will be supple.
With long term study, good Tai Chi takes into account not only the laws of physics, but the mysteries of the heart and mind. Fear and anxiety cause tension, which is felt in the body. If we can undo the tension, we can begin to undo the fear and anxiety. At an advanced stage, the fear associated with ego can be abandoned.

About Tai Chi Tui Shou, or "Push Hands" exercises

The Push Hands exercises also help us deal with fear in the use of Tai Chi as a martial art. After achieving a state of deep relaxation in the Tai Chi form, students may try to bring that calm feeling into the practice of push-hands, the two person Tai Chi exercise for the development of martial sensitivity. Initially, this two person exercise can be extremely gentle, allowing the practitioners to operate in the most relaxed and efficient manner. Sometimes using the classical movements, sometimes in a freestyle manner, partners take turns searching out points of tension on each other. When a point is found, the student must learn how to relax the tense area in order to avoid losing balance. Over time, by learning correct and effective ways of relaxing and moving, one is able to absorb sudden and forceful pushes from one's partner with a minimum of tension and fear. The relaxed body aligns itself automatically to retain balance.

About Tai Chi San Shou, or "Free Hand Sparring"

The majority of Tai Chi students in America are interested in Tai Chi primarily as an exercise and meditation form. For those who wish to completely explore the martial aspect, push-hands is followed by practical combat training. This training is free-flowing and continuous. Students learn to control their power without "pulling" their punches, and they become comfortable absorbing substantial blows from their classmates. 16 oz. gloves and mouthpieces are used to avoid injury. This optional practice is limited to advanced students, and is carefully supervised so each student can work at a level where he or she feels safe and comfortable.
If you have questions regarding Tai Chi, email Rolly Brown

About Master William C.C. Chen

Rolly's primary teacher, Master William C.C. Chen, epitomizes the combination of tradition and innovation which ensures the continued development and purity of Tai Chi as a martial and health art. A senior disciple of Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing, Master Chen is himself one of the most respected and influential masters to come to the West. In over 45 years of practice and teaching,he has developed a clear, practical, and martially viable approach to learning Tai Chi, and it is this approach that we strive to pass on at Bucks County Tai Chi. You may link to Master Chen's Web Site for further information on his workshops, classes, book, and videos, or on instructors in your area.

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Rolly's Martial Tai Chi "Mission Statement"

"I became interested in T'ai Chi Ch'uan not because of the magical powers that are sometimes believed to spring from its practice, but because I believed it could be a method that used sensitivity, relaxation, and mindfulness to overcome force.

As I trained over the years, and profitted from exposure to several wonderful teachers and many generous colleagues, I became more and more aware of the difficulty of the task I'd chosen. Certainly it involves hard work and thoughtful study. More important, though, the attainment of this goal demands that you find a way to resolve fear and egotism.

This, to me, is T'ai Chi Ch'uan's spiritual foundation and greatest treasure; what my teacher (like his teacher) has called "investment in loss." I believe that, when training follows this tenet, along with Tai Chi's traditional precepts, the greatest spiritual and martial benefits of the art can be realized."