Aikido has historical connections with Chinese martial arts with records stating that the founder, Morihei Ueshiba, travelled to China to observe these arts and incorporated ideas into his Aiki Bujutsu, the forerunner of Aikido.
TIAE are pleased to recommend the following Tai Chi teachers:
Richard Small (North Devon)
Sensei Sargeant (Cambridge)
Richard offers these words as an insight into Tai Chi:
The Oxford English dictionary states;
Tai Chi Ch’uan; The ultimate source and limit of reality from which springs yin and yang and all of creation.
Based on a martial art with awesome power, it is now mainly used as a vehicle towards better health, a more efficient immune system and way of harmony. For Aikidoka. Martially, tai chi practise always closes the gap between attacker and receiver. What is this, if not ‘irimi’, O-Sensei’s valued advice?
Tai Chi – hopefully, this web page will bring insights into this wonderful and enlightening art through the medium of story and simple advice.
The Chinese often passed down their knowledge in story form, sometimes poetical, often in code. This may have been for many reasons ... secrecy - only those who were taught would understand the meaning ... it was also a way of assisting memory. It engenders feelings as opposed to technical thought. (As in the posture, ‘white crane spreads wings’.)
There are many analogies and stories, which it is hoped will shine a light on some of the secrets hiding in the darkness of our own making. My words may seem empty .... though the discovery behind them for me, has been awesome. The more we find out, the more we realise there is still much to discover.
Many times, the finest adjustment will manifest itself in the biggest change.
There is an awareness of change being the constant. The principles are unchanging, and it is we that must change. Tomorrow may bring yet another change.
The truth for each of us is as we see it at the time,but the essential benefits of our art will remain a constant truth.
‘The truth of our art is how we perceive it on the day,this day, this moment.’
Even when you think you have arrived and that you know everything ... remind yourself that you do not, and keep looking, for nothing is ever as it seems.
Become calm, become quieter and all that was always known to you will be revealed in a new light, but when it is, you will never explain it, for such words do not exist in the thinking world. The Gods do not allow it.
“Principles remain a constant, it is our understanding that changes.”
'Whatever part of Tai Chi you lay your hand on, know that you have as much chance as anyone else to find the rest of it'
Tai Chi is full of paradox, yin and yang seem to make it so, but there is more to the understanding and of that, mere words cannot suffice.
Try to learn from the experience of your own practice. Try not to return to your teacher with a fault that they have already corrected. Try to constantly change what you do, for progress creates a never-ending pathway into a trackless desert. Develop and encourage your own free thinking and remember, tai chi is there to improve your quality of life, not create more problems.
In physical practise, never accept a mental problem.
Consistent and correct practice will create the mind-body pathways that allow an almost spiritual natural power to be produced …. There is only one path to this place.
‘Don't let your yesterday spoil today.’
A video link for those interested in the martial moves BUT listen carefully to the explanations ... find the aiki principles within: