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Internal Martial Arts

The Warrior Within - A Tai Chi Documentary with Lee Burkins

03 April 2015

This is a short documentary with Energy Arts Senior Instructor Lee Burkins:


Bagua Zhang Fire Palm

20 August 2014

Here is a short intro video about the Bagua Fire Palm. 

Tai Chi for Martial Arts

26 November 2012
Tai Chi Fajin Image

Before we close the Tai Chi Mastery Program I want to share with you some of my perspectives on using tai chi as a martial art. I know many of you mainly practice tai chi for health, but many others want to know how to use tai chi as an effective martial art and for self-defense.

I have seen a lot of comments about why we don't see tai chi being used in MMA (mixed martial arts) and because it is not seen in that arena, it therefore must not be very effective. My own view is that tai chi can be as deadly as many other martial arts, in fact I would say it is better than most, but to be effective you have to go through the classical training progression, which few in the West undertake.

One could ask, "In the age of guns and mechanised weapons what is the usefulness of learning a martial art like tai chi?" I think it is important to recognize that the art of tai chi gives you the abillity to be a master of different energies both in yourself and those around you. As you move toward mastery in tai chi you are at the same time moving toward mastering energy.

How many times have people tried to suck your energy dry? How many times in life has negative energy been directed at you either directly or indirectly? Were you conscious of this at the time and were you able able to make a choice about the best action or did you take a negative energy hit? Tai chi gives you practical methods to work with day-to-day situations learning to flow and move with energy so you can choose how to best use your energy. Few martial arts do this. Tai chi also works on the principles of water, that of flowing with the line of least resistance.

In my book, The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi: Combat Secrets of Tai Chi, Bagua and Hsing-i, I talk about four different stages of learning tai chi as a martial art. To go through all four stages requires ten to twenty years of learning and is only for the most dedicated (some would say extreme).

I studied full-time in Communist China in the Chinese language for eleven years (this was before I had a family). To put this in perspective you can become a Western medical doctor in just over eight years. I say this to emphasize that traditionally learning tai chi was taken as a full-time profession not as a part-time hobby. Doing so enables a person to acheive extraordinary mastery of the tai chi form, energies of tai chi and of course superior fighting abilities.

At the end of the post I have shared a short video where I introduce tai chi as a martial art and show a few basic applications. This is taken from the Tai Chi for Beginners program. You can click here to skip straight to the video.

If you want to learn the four stages of learning tai chi as a martial art please keep reading:Read more...

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This tai chi training was a tranformational experience, breaking through one's sense of expectations, releasing stagnant areas in the body, mind and spirit.

L. Spiro