The White Horse Mission
Why chose Tai Chi?
There used to be a time not that long ago when Far Eastern culture was mainly in the form of food and films. Karate and judo were amongst the first to be accepted and with the rise of Bruce Lee came the popularity of Chinese martial arts. For a long time, Bruce Lee was what Chinese martial arts was about and to many in the West, the perception still exists. Demonstrations from Shaolin monks were also very popular. However, martial arts in the Eastern sense is not a recent phenomenon. Back in the late Nineteenth Century, a British engineer by the name of Edward Barton-Wright spent three years in Japan and came back to Britain with a hybrid martial art he created for the British gentleman. He called it Baritsu and the art is still being practiced.
Taiji has for a long time been perceived as an exercise for old people and something you see Chinese people do in the parks. Whilst Tai Chi has been taught in Britain for many years. It has for a long time been considered as just a health exercise. It was not until the early 90’s, when it was slowly seen as a martial art. When my Master Dan Docherty and others started teaching Tai Chi as a martial art. Films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have helped raise the profile of Tai Chi and Wudang Culture.
Is Tai Chi a health exercise or it is a martial art. The answer is that it is both. In the way that an apple is both tasty and nutritious. Because when you have movement, you have exercise. When you exercise, you are cultivating health. The practice of martial arts requires movement, but this movement is slow and gentle. Although you can also go faster if you like. Whilst it is a martial art, there is a misconception that it is about fighting. In Chinese culture, it is about defence and avoiding the need to fight. So contrary to popular belief, Chinese martial arts is a message for peace. Tai Chi is suitable for all ages and you may practice in groups or on your own. Some practice Tai Chi for health, the chance to socialise or as a form of release. In the modern world we live in, many people suffer from stress, joint pains and heart conditions. Tai Chi can help you manage these conditions and more. There is no need to dress up, just come in with loose comfortable clothes. Why not make that first step today?
Why chose White Horse Tai Chi?
There are many good schools in Britain that teach Tai Chi. White Horse Tai Chi is different because the aim is to include the Eastern aspects of the art. There are a lot of taught and written about Tai Chi, were it has become a system without a proper identity. Any set of slow movements can sold as Tai Chi or Qigong. The term Daoist/Taoist, or authentic are used to sell to the uninformed, something that might not be what it says it is. On this basis, the matter of lineage is important. A lot of harmful material exists on social media which further distorts and perverts what Tai Chi actually is. So it is a bit like opening a bottle of wine and feeling assured that you know what you’re drinking and where it comes from. Maybe, like your wine, Tai Chi can be a daily ritual.