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The Five Components of Tai Chi

The practical side of the art of Tai Chi consits of five basic component parts which are very much interrelated. These are:-

a) Hand Form(太極拳)
The Hand Form is the most basic, as well as the best known, of the five component parts of Tai Chi Chuan, but knowledge of this alone is insufficient for self-defence purposes.
There are two stages in learning the Hand Form. At first we learn the movements in a simplified, step by step, way known as the ‘Square Form’. This can be compared to teaching a child to write, in that he will be taught first to form block letters. Only when we have mastered this simple method of doing the form can we move on to learn the more intricate ‘Round Form’, which consists of the same techniques as the Square Form, but which is performed in a free and flowing manner. The Round Form is to the Square Form as cursive script is to block letters.
The movements of the Hand Form come in a set sequence, and all have a self-defence application. Slow and gentle practice of…