Supreme ultimate fist, tai chi is the supreme ultimate and chuan in this context is fist.
Many when they think of tai chi they conjure up images of people in silk pyjamas moving very slowly in a park. That is an aspect of tai chi and very popular as a exercise, but it couldn’t be farther from the origins of Chinese boxing another term used for Tai Chi Chuan.
Tai Chi Chuan curriculum can broken down into five disciplines
Forms, partner work, weapons forms, nei gong and applications
The forms are what most people associate with tai chi. This involves a sequence of moves performed slowly which can last five to thirty minutes depending on the amount of moves and speed. Within the form are the techniques. The techniques come from the applications of the fighting aspect of Tai Chi Chuan . Forms are useful, they give us a memory aid for remembering techniques and applications. When practiced slow can be a form of meditation and good exercise.
Partner work is getting more toward the chuan/fist aspect of tai chi and many of the principles can be practiced. Partner work and practicing applications can be a good a precursor to sparring and Sandra. Partner work can be exercises and drills practiced in couples such as push hands, reeling silk and executing techniques in a controlled way.
Three main weapons are spear, sabre and sword. Each have their own forms and applications.
Nei gong is internal exercises, in our style these are taught only by an experienced teacher who has been certified by Dan Docherty to teach these exercises or by himself. They can be quite challenging to do correctly and if practiced incorrectly can cause problems.
Applications are the techniques and principles being realised. These are the fighting and self defence part of the art. Practicing these techniques will enhance your form and give you a better understanding of tai chi.
Tai chi chuan has a complete curriculum that covers health and self defence.