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Tai Chi Paradox of Complexity and Simplicity

posted 14 May 2014, 01:41 by Sean Barkes   [ updated 14 May 2014, 01:59 ]
Each movement of Tai Chi Chuan is incredibly complex and intricate. Unfortunately, nowadays Tai Chi Chuan is taught as a simple sequence of movements, no different to waltzing or some other form of slow dance. The profound health benefits come from the complexity and intricacy of Tai Chi Chuan's internal dynamics.

When performed fluently, however, Tai Chi Chuan has an appearance of simplicity. Its complexity is hidden from plain view. From this perspective, it is no different from any other physical activity. Think about the first time you tried to emulate a tennis player's service. Think about the incredibly complex interactions between muscle, bone, joint and chemical systems involved in each movement. In Tai Chi Chuan practice, we try to perform all the movements with absolute awareness of all these interactions. This is one of the reasons why many of the practices are performed slowly. It gives us the opportunity to fully participate in each moment.

However, anything can be adapted appropriately to the stage of learning of each student. The student can explore the movement more deeply in their own time, when they are ready to grasp higher levels. So, Tai Chi Chuan can be very simple to practise.

Tai Chi Chuan is very powerful medicine if it is practised correctly and with sufficient frequency.