What Tai Chi Has Done for Me
I am only three months into Tai Chi. And it’s been a rocky road for me to get even this far.
That’s because when I fell climbing stairs about a year ago, I severely damaged my spine. Tons of physical therapy followed—eventually, I could sit up in a chair for 3 minutes and walk with a cane for a few wobbly steps. I figured that was it baby, that was a far as I was likely to go. I’d spend the rest of my life that way, trapped in a wheelchair or in a hospital bed plopped in the middle of my living room.
Finally a physical therapist and a chiropractor suggested I try Tai Chi. I had nothing to lose. So, what the heck, why not. And that was that.
On the Internet I saw a listing for Los Angeles Chen Tai Chi Center. The person I talked to was Quichen Guo. Luck was with me. I started meeting with Master Guo every week.
No, I didn’t jump into the fancy movements and forms and exercises that everyone associates with Tai Chi. There was no way in the world I could do that…and I still can’t. But by understanding that Tai Chi directs and channels energy through the body, I’ve found that even at my kindergarten level, Tai Chi has given me great benefits in my long road toward rehabilitation and good health.
The most impotent concept that hit me was that it’s all in your head. In other words, the body is under the mind’s control. Understanding and practicing this concept—yes, it takes some thinking about but gosh, is it worth it—brought me some real benefit. What are those benefits?
Ö I can walk better. A whole lot better, 70% of the time without a cane. And it’s
Ö My body is getting straighter. My posture is more upright and my head
doesn’t droop as much as when I started Tai Chi.
Ö My balance has improved. Greatly. Falls and stumbling have vanished as a
result of a stabilized yin and yang body balance.
Ö There are visible improvements in my physical condition, muscle strength,
coordination, and flexibility. These boosts in my body condition have vastly
improved my mobility, even like getting up from a sitting position and
getting in and out of a car.
Ö Somehow or other I don’t have as much mental stress as I did before starting
Tai Chi. I think it’s because as my body has improved through Tai Chi, so has
my confidence level that my mind directs, my body
Sure, I have a long way to go to achieve the rehabilitation level I want, but
I found a way to do it. And I will.
Taichi principle is really helpful for my life and all other martial art training
Master Guo is a rare find. He is a high level Master who makes the movements and principles of Taiji understandable and gives you a progressive step by step way to develop real skill. I have been training in different martial arts for 15 years and can honestly say that Master Guo stands out as a special teacher. I have found over the last three or four years that Master Guos teachings have helped me in every other martial art that I do. For several years I have been training Brazilian Jiujitsu with the Gracies as well as Kali and filipino martial arts with Dan Inosanto. Master Guo’s Taiji teaching has given me greater fluidity and economy of movement, and this has helped me enormously in all my martial arts training. Instead of using strength and muscling things like I did in the past, I now try to rely on the principles of Taiji and use the power of my frame and alignment. Training with Master Guos principles in mind has dramatically reduced training related injuries . I truly believe that what he teaches can be applied not only to other martial arts but to all other physical activities and areas of life
Body and Spirit
Douglas Jr jantzen actor
“It is no exaggeration to say that my study of Chen Style Taijiquan with Sifu Guo has improved every aspect of my life. In the interest of brevity, I will limit myself to two examples. It has improved my weight training-helping me to maintain perfect form and isolate the appropriate muscles in every exercise, while virtually eliminating soreness and training injuries. It has improved my acting perhaps more than all of the specific training I have done therefor-by connecting me to my spirit, which allows me to create one more real for the characters I portray; and giving me an invaluable audition and performance tool in my newfound ability to relax my mind and body completely in one breath. While the health and spiritual benefits are immense, let there be no doubt that Chen Taiji is a martial art; and Sifu Guo is adept at teaching as such for all who want to learn, while not pressuring those students who aren’t interested in the martial applications. All of this from a man who is a true personal joy to be around.”