Tai Chi, short for Taijiquan, is an internal Chinese martial art practice, which uses relatively slow movements to practice breathing, mindfulness, internal strength and self-defense techniques. Like meditation, it uses focus techniques to foster mental calm and clarity. Unlike meditation, however, it also aids the muscles and provides physical stress relief. Since it also focuses on improving structure, teaches combat stances and involves more movement, it’s especially nice option for people who find it hard to focus in typical meditation.
There are many stories of the origin of Tai Chi. One tells of a day in Wudang Mountains, Hubei, China, sometime in the 12th century when a Taoist monk Zhang San-Feng was disturbed by the sounds of a snake and a crane fighting in his courtyard. Each time the crane’s beak stabbed, the flexible snake twisted out of reach. And the crane’s wings, like shields, protected its long neck from the snake’s striking head. According to the story, from observing this battle, Zhang San-Feng developed the art of Tai Chi Chuan, based on the concept of yielding in the face of aggression. Zhang San-Feng traveled around China living the life of an ascetic. He spent several years at Hua Mountain before settling in the Wudang Mountains, which is where my Tai Chi journey began.
Marek is committed to improve and enhance his overall skills and teach by an example to the best of his ability.
In 2007 he went to China to improve his Kung Fu and in addition learned Tai Chi and Qi Gong in the Wudang Mountains of China. There he studied with one of the well-known Taoist monks in Wudangshan, master Yuan Xiu Gang and also with Wudang Tai Chi master Tseng Yun Xiang in Boulder Colorado.
Marek is continuing to study Tai Chi using Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's video tutorials on Yang style Tai Chi, master Zhou Xuan-Yun's video tutorials on Wudang style, as well as attends workshops with master Mike Anderson, master Xia ChongYi and master Adam Mizner.
Martial arts have become a part of Marek’s daily practice and he continues to find its principles in every part of his lifelong journey. He is currently an instructor of Wudang Tai Chi in Littleton Colorado.
Tai Chi literally translates as "Supreme Ultimate Fist".
The philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan is that, if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certainly to be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to Tai Chi, is a natural consequence of meeting brute force with brute force. Instead, students are taught not to directly fight or resist an incoming force, but to meet it in softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact until the incoming force of attack exhausts itself or can be safely redirected, meeting yang with yin. When done correctly, this yin/yang or yang/yin balance in combat, or in a broader philosophical sense, is a primary goal of Tai Chi Chuan training. Lao Tzŭ provided the archetype for this in the Tao Te Ching when he wrote, "The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and strong."
Read more about the 5 steps and 8 energies of Tai Ji Quan.
Chi is said to be the force that sets the world and everything in it into motion. It is also said that it's the force that sustains all things once they are created. Every physical expression is the result of intent. Intent, determined by our mind, directs the Chi, and the Chi moves the body. For every external movement, something internal has preceded it. Chi is also translated as a life energy force contained within matter.
If Chi is an energy contained in any matter, then it must be somehow perceivable. You may wonder how can one perceive, feel or perhaps even see this energy? There are a few guiding steps we will practice in class. As with all learning - the art of practice leads to development of a habit. Habits, repeated often enough, become routine. Routine together with teaching transforms over time into mastery and the way of life. Given tools and enough practice time, every curious practitioner can master the ability to perceive and utilize Chi.