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Synopsis: Master C.K. Chu s Why Tai Chi? uses a question and answer format to explain the details of a topic seldom addressed in tai chi books: why become a tai chi practitioner. And few books provide the necessary discussion of what it takes, on a day-to-day level, to practice the art or to discern what the art is for. Tai chi is the most popular exercise in the world and yet remains the most misunderstood. Over his four decades of teaching tai chi at his school in Times Square (NYC), CK Chu Tai Chi, Master Chu has answered hundreds of questions about the art, like: Why is the movement so slow?, and Why must my body be aligned this way and not that? The answers to many of these questions have been brought together in this book as a follow-up to his 1981 book, Tai Chi Chuan Principles & Practice. In answer to the title s question, Chu writes, Tai chi encompasses Taoism s desire to develop human nature fully through a training regimen that maximizes the body s health and longevity. The rest of the book begins to unpack that sentence. While acknowledging that doing tai chi incorrectly will still yield benefits, the book argues that correct practice yields so much more benefit for the time invested. To help the student maximize tai chi practice, the book explains, for example, why tai chi is good for health, why it is a better self-defense system than others, what are the principles that govern tai chi practice, how do you do the form correctly, the reason for training slow and fast, using tai chi on an opponent, and how to fight. Crucial to a good tai chi practice is development of the disciplines of meditation, chi kung, nei kung, and push-hands. Each of these disciplines are discussed in detail, especially the way they improve health, improve self-defense, and improve your tai chi form. Tai chi chuan is a sophisticated martial art and when it is practiced as such improved health and longevity result. Unfortunately, many people have the wrong idea about kung fu, thinking it is a means of committing violence against others, of using force against force, and they want no part of it. By training to fight, you develop your full physical and mental potential -- you optimize your balance, coordination, strength, and gain a calmness of mind. In short, tai chi training results in a better you. Good health is a benefit of this training. Such health as is gained from tai chi is useful in sports, professional life, daily living, and sex. In addition, tai chi teaches a philosophy of life that can be applied elsewhere. Tai chi trains you to respond to a thousand pounds of force with four ounces of strength. With tai chi training you can yield to life s obstacles and then respond in the way that is best for you. In Why Tai Chi? Chu explains that this is accomplished by adhering to the tai chi principles in your training. This will make your training more efficient. While it is possible to gain benefit by not adhering correctly to the principles or by practicing with a poor alignment, for the time invested you will not achieve high-level results and you might hurt yourself. For example, many people position the knee incorrectly and then compensate by doing additional exercises to help the knee. But if they had been following the principles correctly, they would not have needed to do extra work. This book details the correct path of practice, for selecting a teacher, and for getting the most out of your workout time. Why Tai Chi? argues that the more people who gain the positive energy possible with tai chi, the more society will become a healthy and positive for everyone to enjoy together. The book is the culmination of teaching 1000s of people with all kinds of body and emotional problems.
About the Author: Grandmaster C K Chu was born in Hong Kong in 1937 and has been training in Tai Chi Chuan for more than 50 years. He is the founder and director of CK Chu Tai Chi (located just off Times Square in New York City), and of the non-profit Tai Chi Chuan Center of NY. Over the last four decades, Master Chu has trained many champion fighters who competed in hard and soft style tournaments. In 2006, one of these champions was voted Fighter of the Year, by the United States Kuo Shu Federation. Ck Chu holds an MA in physics which he has taught at the university level. His scientific background plus his thorough knowledge of Chinese language, enables him to correctly interpret the ancient tai chi classics, and then apply, and explain them to thousands of students of tai chi and Taoism throughout the decades. Master Chu is also the author of Tai Chi Chuan Principles and Practice, The Book of Nei Kung, Chu Meditation, and Eternal Spring Chi Kung, as well as the producer of several complementary dvd's.
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