Kung Fu is really very useful and it is even able to help overcome some health problems, it meets the needs of people of all ages. You can start practising as a child, but this discipline is ideal also for people over sixty who want to keep fit. A style of Kung Fu exists not only for young people but also for the elderly. This style is “Taiji Chyuan”. This art is widely practiced in China and Hong Kong, but in these last years it has also spread to other continents. It is an excellent form of gymnastics which through a sequence of smooth and harmonious movements, permits you to develop your balance and muscular strength, thus reducing the risk of bone fracture, which is a problem for elderly people.
But the aim is essentially that of helping to feel the interior energy and make it flow through your whole body. Taiji Chyuan looks like a slow dance in which the person’s arms and legs move together and it is this technique which helps to relax the body. Taiji Chyuan can be used as a Martial Art only after having learnt the movements in the correct way. As soon as spirit and body become one and the techniques are memorized, you will be able to do them quickly.
Although fighting is an important part of this discipline, meditation, concentration and relaxation come first. Later, the movements are used for defence and as in most of the Oriental disciplines, the principle on which they are based is ability. You don’t defend yourself using your muscles but you use the strength and the energy of your opponent.
Legend and Story
There are many different legends regarding the founder of Taiji Chyuan. Some say that this style was founded by Master Sheu Shiuan Pyng during the Tarng dynasty (618-60 A.D.). It is also said that the founder was Master Jan San Fung, a taoist, during the Song dynasty (960-1297 A.D.) and it is said that he settled on Mount Wuu Dang, in the Hwu Bei region, where he built his school and his temple, creating the Wuu Dang style of kung fu. Another legend says that the founder of Taiji Chyuan was Master Chan Wang Tyng during the Manciù dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.) and yet another legend says that the style was created by Master Wang Jong Yueh also during the Manciù dynasty.
What links these legends is that nowadays you can witness the different styles of Taiji Chyuan all over the world. The most famous are the Chan, Yang, Wu, Wuu and Suen styles. At present the best known style is probably the Yang style, which Master Fung teaches in his schools.