Thursday, October 8, 2009
All New Students...Welcome to the Internal Dynamics of Tai Chi
Ms. E. Marie Koepsell wrote the following article which appeared in Tai Chi Magazine some time ago but I think it speaks volumes about what new students can look forward to in their study. We are also grateful to Rick Matz at Cook Ding's Kitchen for publishing this on a previous occasion. Rick mentions his current training with the Classical Tai Chi DVD's in one of his most recent Blog's...he talks about his training in basic walking using such "Internal Dynamics" (Internal Discipline).
Master Stephen Hwa has taken on the difficult but rewarding work that his teacher Young Wabu learned from Wu Chien Chuan. He teaches Classical Tai Chi to hundreds of students worldwide via sets of his great DVD series www.classicaltaichi.com. Teaching primarily at Faust's USA Karate in Rochester, NY, he now has certified teachers of Classical Tai Chi in Buffalo, NY, Rochester, California and Massachusetts. He is Master Stephen Hwa to his many students since he is truly deserving of the title.
The remainder of the article can be found at Martial Arts 101
"The following article is based on the lectures and my studies and discussions with him" (E. Marie Koepsell speaking about Stephen Hwa, Ph.D. when he was teaching Tai Chi at the University of Buffalo).
"The internal physical discipline of T'ai Chi Ch'uan" according to Dr. Hwa, "involves the intensive training of the body and mind to develop discipline in movements so that the movements originate from the abdomen (dantien) and back, in addition. the energy flow of these movements are developed in a relaxed body, giving an appearance of effortlessness".
As a reference point for correct movement. Dr. Hwa used the example of the movement of children, who use much more of their torso for initiating action. He said when children are using their arms or legs, the motion originates from the torso, the strongest part of the body. He said the arms and legs should he treated as appendages that must be taught to move in coordination with and under the direction of the torso.
"As we start aging,” according to Dr. Hwa "less and less of our movements come from the waist and back. We hold our middle stiffly, and more of our movements originate from the shoulders and the hip joints. This puts pressure on joints and we lose strength and mobility. Ultimately, we may stop using these area, of our bodies altogether, Atrophy sets in, creating the major problems of aging.”