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Wu style Tai Chi Chuan is a complete system of training designed to develop health and well‑being for both mind and body. It is a soft-style martial art, requiring the muscles to be relaxed, while the mind is alert. As opposed to hard-style martial arts which meet incoming forces with hard muscles and brute force, soft style martial arts meet incoming forces with softness, yielding and neutralizing, using circular techniques and straight lines to take control, re-direct, and transform the incoming forces. When training Wu style Tai Chi, our biggest physical enemy is stiffness. The process of learning how to achieve and maintain softness in the face of incoming forces (physical, mental, or emotional) leads to a profound understanding of physical and mental well-being, including stress management, healing, and self-confidence.
Wu style emphasizes using our mind to develop our body, and using our body to develop our mind. Learning to focus our mind on achieving the proper physical alignments and complete yin/yang separation while developing relaxation and coordination leads us to finding our balance - both mentally and physically. You cannot neutralize incoming forces without maintaining physical balance. And achieving physical balance through relaxation and coordination further develops circulation, leading to health and well-being. The basics of the 108 movements of the Wu style empty hand form and pushing hands move blood, nutrients, and energy throughout the body, including to the brain so that we can think more clearly and focus our attention. Our leg muscles are the largest muscles in our body. The yin/yang separation of continually moving our body weight completely from one leg to the other developed by Wu style insures pumping the circulation - not only of blood, but lymph, glandular secretions, and all the various nutrients and life energy required for good health.
Wu style has a unique teaching approach, defining and using three sections and nine parts of the body to reach understanding and accomplishment. The three sections are defined by the neck, waist, and knee. The nine parts include the neck, the front and back of the chest, and the waist; the shoulder, elbow, and wrist; and the hip, knee, and ankle. If any of the required alignments are not intact, it sticks out "like a sore thumb" and there can be no real coordination or balance. For example, the hip and the waist always move together and the chin is always tucked in.
To achieve and maintain the relaxation required for balance, coordination, rooting and neutralizing incoming forces, and for power generation, Wu style teaches a complete range of breathing techniques. We learn how to relax the shoulders and breathe through the nose down to the dan tien, also allowing expansion of the chest and back. Fa jing techniques require looseness, and breathing loosens both body and mind. The forms are often referred to as "movement outside/stillness inside", while breathing is "stillness outside/movement inside."
Wu style Tai Chi can also be adapted for physical limitations a person may have. While full range of motion includes the forms, pushing hands and martial applications, a person who can only stand up can still learn the horse stance; and there are techniques for someone who can only sit in a chair or must stay lying down. In short, Wu-style Tai Chi Chuan is a well-rounded training method for anyone interested in health, meditation, and/or martial arts.
About Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan
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