Tai Chi, “A friend for life”

Change your life for the better!

Tai Chi is the offspring of Tai Chi Chuan. “What is the difference?” you ask. Tai Chi Chuan is a practical and physical application of the Martial Art, executed by people with no physical impediment. Practitioners found that although they had trained for many years perfecting their art, once they became older, or suffered an injury, they could no longer physically cope with the rigorous training. The fast and repetitive movements required them to be in a high state of physical health. So, eager to continue their training, Tai Chi was born; the difference was that the movements were slower, and more emphasis was placed on protecting the muscles and joints from further wear and tear. This allowed them to continue training in co-ordination, breathing, balance, and posture. They made the movements into what we call the “Form”; there are many different combinations, the 10, 16, 24, and so on, but the most important thing was that the individual could still continue their training. Even though they were older, or they were unfortunately not as physically able as before, they could still enjoy the benefits of Tai Chi training and lead healthier lives.

“What are the benefits?” you may ask. Well, it is a widely held belief that people can increase their life span by doing Tai Chi: it can alleviate stress, lower blood pressure, maximise and make everyday movements more energy efficient; it prolongs the lifespan of the internal organs, the muscles, and the joints. The training is not only beneficial to your health; it is fun and enjoyable when done on your own, or with a group of fellow practitioners.

Speaking from personal experience, I am only 33 years of age; I have trained in the Martial Arts since I was 12 years old. I became disabled and bed bound in 1999, New Year’s Eve to be precise. I was in hospital for 2 ½ years. I felt so depressed; I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then I had a dream one night, a revelation you might say, that I did not have to give up training. I did not have to get out of my bed physically; I could still see, hear, smell and touch, and most of all I still had the most powerful tool in my arsenal, a fully functional mind.
I stopped feeling sorry for myself, and thought how lucky I was to still be alive. I used my Tai Chi and other Martial arts training to conquer my depression. I was less stressed out, and my depression disappeared. I started my recovery from the inside out: I meditated. My mind had no restrictions on it. The mind was vast and knowledge flooded in like through a broken dam. I could see myself in my mind doing the training and I have never looked back since!

If you would like something that will not only change your life for the better, but will never let you down or leave you, try Tai Chi. I could not have asked for a better or more supportive friend in the search for a happier life. I urge you to at least try it and see. I have inspired others; maybe I can inspire you!

Andy Channer

One Response to Tai Chi, “A friend for life”

  1. Ruth Harrison says:

    Hi Andy

    Your story is inspirational.
    I’m interested in attending another Tai Chi class locally as I’m benefiting from one on a Monday in Appledore where I live.

    I had a series of mini strokes from high blood pressure and have occasional memory blanks when trying to learn moves in Tai Chi. That said I am improving !!. I’m very determined and have a sense of humour , both of which help.

    It all depends on charges as I’m committed to the class above and to a dance class as well.

    If you could contact me that would be great 07980984832



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