The Calm of Tai Chi

Tai Chi Chuan or Grand Ultimate Fist is an ancient Chinese Boxing method that is tremendous for developing the warrior mind. One of the things that has always been crucial for a warrior is the ability to stay focused and centered during combat if he wants to perform to the best of his abilities. When a soldier or ring fighter is broken mentally the fight might as well already be over. Using the slow movements of tai chi neccessitates the student to focus his mind deeply on the task at hand. Many people new to tai chi notice what we like to call “monkey brain.” Monkey brain is when you are moving slowly through the form and your mind is jumping all over the place instead of staying focused. As the student invests more time in tai chi he will notice this mindset occurring less frequently. Then we put the student under the stress of sparring in various forms to get feedback. The calmer the student can stay under pressure the better he will perform. This is one of the great benefits of internal arts practice. The development of the warrior mind set is not one dimensional and should not be looked at as such. It is necessary to train aggression and the willingness to engage but it is also necessary to train the “cold” delivery during engagements.