Which Tai Chi Style?

by | Oct 25, 2012 | Tai Chi | 41 comments

Not all tai chi is equal. Just as there are different models of cars, makes of computers and universities of varying calibers, so too are there different kinds of tai chi. In this post, I focus on what makes tai chi styles unique, from two points of view: what it does for your physical body, and what it does for your energy and mind.

Let me start by saying I’ve done tai chi since I was a teenager. I’m now in my 60’s, so that is roughly 45 years of practicing tai chi. I was the first foreigner to be certified by the Chinese government in 1981 to teach traditional Yang Style Tai Chi and I have studied extensively with Wu and Chen lineage masters. This has all been written before in several of my books (for those new to my blog there is a brief summary of my training history at the bottom of this post).

I’ve done tai chi to be super healthy and I’ve done it after being smashed up in major car accidents. I’ve done tai chi when I was sick to heal my body from near fatal illnesses and in martial arts competitions to gain an advantage over my opponents. In my personal tai chi practice I have gone through many phases and have experienced the benefits and drawbacks of each tai chi style that is out there.

I tell you this for no other reason than to let you know that I have gone about as deep you can go into the tai chi world. My desire now is to help anyone learning tai chi for the first time, and even more importantly to guide those who already do tai chi to take their practice to a higher level, regardless of whether you study with me or another qualified teacher.

Let me start by saying when it comes to the main tai chi styles, I think it is rather foolish to say that there is a “best” style of tai chi. It would be like looking in a mechanic’s tool box and saying that a hammer is better than a screw driver. Or that a flat-head screwdriver is better than a Phillips screwdriver. Each has a specific purpose and application.

At different points of a person’s life, there may be one style that is their primary practice and at another time in their life a different style may fit their needs better. This was the case for me as I learned the various tai chi styles over the years. Often when you know more than one style you modulate what you teach or practice based on both your personal needs and your students needs.

Before going into the various tai chi styles from the physical, energetic and mind components, I want to first share some interesting results from our recent tai chi survey, which almost 1,000 people took part in. Thanks again to all the readers of this blog who participated in the survey.

What Style of Tai Chi Do You Practice?

In our recent survey, we asked what style of tai chi our readers practice. We got some surprising information.

We found that around 35% study or practice MORE THAN ONE tai chi style. This makes sense, considering the growing number of teachers and the many different styles that students can choose from. It also makes a lot of sense because each tai chi style works on the body differently. My own path began with the Yang style, then the Chen style and later the Wu style. Each time I learned a new style, I drew upon my previous learning and, working with qi, incorporated each style into my practice.

Just as a carpenter or craftsman has a full toolbox, many high level teachers eventually learn more than one style of tai chi.  Then they modulate what they teach to who they are teaching. If teaching a younger person interested in martial arts, they might focus on one style, but if they are teaching the elderly, they might choose an easier and shorter style.

I also would make the point that after you practice one style for a while and cross-train in another style, you will learn different aspects of the inner workings of how your body, mind and qi work together. Even while you keep the two styles distinctly different, you can learn aspects that can be folded into or integrate both styles. This was definitely the case when I learned the Wu style, which is a smaller frame which emphasizes all the internal neigong. Once I got the neigong components online, I could integrate those components into all my other forms.

The other interesting thing from our tai chi survey is that there were some who were practicing tai chi but didn’t know what style they were doing or where the style had come from. There are a lot of people teaching these days. In this way I am a traditionalist; I think that knowing the root of what you teach or learn is very important and by doing so you can understand how the form you are learning came into being, why and what its benefits are. Maybe even more important is what you can put inside your tai chi form.

What is Inside Tai Chi Different Styles?

Some styles of tai chi contain all of the information about how the physical body works so that the sophistication of the movements can really go deep into your body. But other styles of tai chi lack this component. Their movements are very loose and are not very sophisticated when looked at from a purely physical perspective. This usually happens because the people who learned did so just by watching someone and mimicking what they did, and were not able to learn the finer aspects of the movement.

Some styles of tai chi contain all of the internal work (the neigong components I spoke of earlier) that can enable the practitioner to heal diseases and other known physical problems. But some styles of tai chi lack that. This means that some people get a bit better, but they don’t get well. When people practice a style that contains all of the original material, they have a tendency to not just “get better,” but to get well. This is an important distinction.

Just as all tai chi styles are not equal, all body types are not equal. If you are young or healthy you can go with a style that you like based on how it looks, or what its philosophy is, and you might really enjoy it. But what if you are not so healthy? What if you are injured? What if you have a major physical problem?

It becomes important to know what the major distinctions are between different styles, and even different types of forms within the same style.  But first it is important to keep in mind that, if you are learning from a  legitimate source that hasn’t been watered down and lost what it originally had, then sixty, seventy, or eighty percent of EVERY tai chi style is going to have the same stuff as any other style. The remaining twenty, thirty, or forty percent is where the distinction is found in each style. Knowing this makes it interesting and useful, because then you can choose a style or two to learn (or to teach) that matches exactly what you are looking for (or what your students are looking for).

The Five Main Styles

If you have been practicing tai chi for a while you probably already know there are five major styles of tai chi. There are the Yang, Wu, Chen, Hao and Sun styles. These styles have different movements and can physically look very different from one another. In the West there are also other styles including forms for specific applications such as arthritis – but most often they are an off-shoot of one of these main five styles or are taking specific movements out of these five main styles.

Within each of these main styles there is another important distinction, and that is between large and small movements. For example, in some styles the arm extends wide and far, whereas in other styles the same movement of the arm will be much smaller. The moves are literally inside a smaller container, a smaller frame. But, if the style is derived from a direct tai chi lineage and not watered down, it will contain everything the bigger movements contain.

Most often the style someone chooses is based on what class they stumble upon or based on the availability of instructors in their area. As more and more teachers come to the West, it is becoming easier to find people teaching different styles in the same location – which allow more choices and opportunities. In this way you can make a more conscious choice on which style to study.

Tai Chi Styles Progression

Classically, the progression of training for healthy individuals in China began with performing large moves in the beginning, which were very gross and obvious. Large frame styles like the Yang style work much more on the level of developing the physical frame: bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The large styles provide a dramatically more physical experience. In China, once you could do the larger style, you would move on to the middle-sized movements, and as you did so you would focus more on internal energy components (openings and closings, breathing techniques, spiraling).

Then, finally, you would advance to the small movements of the form, focusing on what goes on internally, energetically. In the advanced stages you take something that previously required a large movement and learn to make it happen in a container that is small, often using your mind to direct the qi and fluids in the body. To the untrained eye, it might look like less is happening in the smaller styles, but this is not the case.

“Movements should be big at first, but should become smaller later. Then, one’s defense will be impenetrable.”

Tai Chi Classics

This classic progression worked, and continues to work, for many people that are already healthy. But for people who have injuries, there is another way of progressing from external to internal components of any tai chi form.

Tai Chi Styles for Bad Knees and Backs

Although the typical progression was from large to small style when learning tai chi or teaching another, physical condition must come into consideration. Some very common physical issues that occur in the West are bad knees and bad backs. They seem to be part of the Western way of life. They’re everywhere.

Why? Many people engaged in sports too enthusiastically (or radically), maintain bad posture and/or have had falls or other injuries, etc that limit their range of motion or have chronically damaged their body. A large percentage of the population will experience back or knee pain as they age.  In fact, many people will get knee and back injuries when they’re still quite young.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics report, Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans 2006, Special Feature: Pain, back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. In 2006, it was estimated that approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.

For people with bad back or bad knees, tai chi movements done in a large frame with long, low stances may actually aggravate their condition or make it worse. Large styles can put too much strain on the system, specifically the knees, by emphasizing postures that are too big. Even those who are otherwise healthy despite being prone to weak knees might experience harm from practicing too large of a style. A smaller style with higher stances would not put the same pressure on the knees, and would actually be better for such cases.

Tai Chi Styles for Healing

In 1982, I had a car accident where my back was broken; the diagnosis was several cracked vertebrae in the spine. Before then, I had done all of the big and medium styles. The Yang style, which was a classic large frame of tai chi, was able to heal my upper back and neck, but it could not heal my lower back. It put too much pressure on my back when I did the form.

By this time I was already what people call a “master” of tai chi, so the issue was not that I was unable to perform the movements correctly. It was simply the wrong form to be practicing at that time; it was like trying to use a saw to pound in a nail. The Wu style of tai chi was the right tool and I used this daily to heal my lower back. Why did this work? Because, being a smaller frame, it put less pressure on my back.

“Do not overdo or underdo. Yield to a curve, as well as follow an extension.”

Tai Chi Classics

This process of finding the right size movements for the right situation has occurred throughout the history of tai chi. The founder of the Yang style created his form by modifying the movements of Chen style tai chi when he came to Beijing. He removed many of the jumping kicks and powerful stomps from the form.

Why did he do this? Because while younger people might have enjoyed and benefited from the form, and may continue doing so even in modern times, older people were literally breaking their bodies. So he simply modified the form so that an older person could get the same benefit from the art as someone who was young, but could do so without harming themselves. He also modified the form because the original Chen style was designed to be done while wearing heavy armor in the battlefield, but with the invention of the gun this became less of an issue.

The quality of your tai chi form matters, both in how it treats your body physically, but also in what it does to your energy and mind. Once you understand these major physical aspects of tai chi, you can begin to grasp the sophistication with which tai chi movements are done. This is where a lot of the benefit for your health and stress reduction comes from. Now, let’s talk about where tai chi can go from here.

Tai Chi to Develop and Move Qi

After you learn the external moves of tai chi you start going to the next stage of the game, where you have sophisticated movements as a container for internal power or neigong. All of the main styles are containers for these energetics.

You begin moving energy inside of your body, using the container that you have built through the tai chi form. At this stage, the 8 energies of tai chi, four of which are peng (ward off), lu (roll back), ji (press forward) and an (push downward), become a living experience in your practice, and you can combine neigong techniques such as opening and closing with these energies. It ceases to be an intellectual exercise and becomes real.

“Circulate the qi as if breathing through the pearl with nine crooked channels, leaving no nook or corner unreached.”

Tai Chi Classics

But this too is just a stepping stone for the next level. Once you know how to move energy in your body and use your qi to start to completely reform your nervous system, you can begin to investigate the nature of how your mind works so you can think more clearly. When you do this it can smooth out your emotions to an incredible degree. Once you reform your nervous system and see the nature of your mind and emotions, even more possibilities open up. There are endless layers within tai chi practice. Mastery is a life-long process.

Tai Chi – The Next 10 Years

If you are currently practicing tai chi, regardless of your form or style, you are doing what I think will be one of the most popular exercise systems in the West over the next few decades. As the average age of the population gets older, more and more people are going to be turning to this gentle yet powerful exercise for health and healing. If you are an external martial artist or have had injuries in your body through sports or accidents you may also want to consider practicing tai chi to reverse any damage that you may have created.

With the recent release of the Tai Chi Zero movie and more articles being published it seems like in the next few years there is going to be a lot more publicity around tai chi. Keanu Reeves will also be releasing a big tai chi production next year. So my hope is this will continue to raise the level of awareness of tai chi. With this increased general awareness it would be good to see the public is shown all of the possibilities that tai chi offers, and that the styles of tai chi being taught around the world remain pure and true to their roots.

The West needs people who really understand all of what tai chi has to offer. If you are just starting out for your own personal practice then pick a style and teacher that suits your own body and needs. If you are learning tai chi to become an instructor then I encourage you to learn a style that matches the people that you want to teach and what you want to teach for.

The deeper you go into the tai chi the more it will give back to you and those you teach.

For many instructors-to-be, learning both a large and a small style is a good idea to have multiple options when teaching. Almost all of those I know that teach tai chi do so to be of help and service to their community. If you are already a practitioner, then I hope this article will be useful in providing a context for what tai chi can do and where you can take it in your practice.

Good Qi,


*My Tai Chi Lineage – An Abbreviated Version from my book The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi

I began the study and practice of Tai Chi in New York during the mid 1960’s.

In 1981, I became the first American certified by the Peoples’ Republic of China to teach the complete system of Tai Chi throughout the whole of China. Over the years of learning Tai Chi, I studied with many masters in the Yang, Wu, and Chen styles of the art.

In the Wu style, I studied with Liu Hung Chieh, who was actually an indoor student of, and lived in the same house with, the man who founded the Wu style.

From the Yang style, I was taught by Chen Man Ching, and then later by his student, T.T. Liang. I also studied with Yang Shou-Chung, the great grandson of Yang Luchan, the founder of the Yang style and the man after whom it is named. Aside from that, I also studied with Lin Du Ying, who was very close to the originators of the lineage.

In my study of the Chen style of Tai Chi, I learned from Feng Zhiqiang, who himself was a student of Chen Fake, the man who brought the style out of Chen village and into Beijing. When I was in Beijing, Feng Zhiqiang was considered to be one of the best Chen style practitioners, and before his passing Master Feng was the head of Tai Chi throughout all of China.


  1. ken nathan

    hullo bruce; i am an eager follower of yr blogs abt tai chi; since u discussed the best tai chi styles one wants to learn are dependant on one, aim in life, my goal of learning tai chi are to learn and practise longevity methods to finally achieve, or come close to immortality, healing, and energy control; however since im 57 yo and have lower back and knee problems, pls advise what style will be best for me; many thks

  2. Daniel

    Hi Bruce, Just a quick question, Im currently dealing with CFS and making progress in my recovery through meditation, acupuncture and herbs, would also love to add Tai Chi to rebuild my strength and energy, my questions is, is it possible to learn Tai Chi correctly without one on one instruction??


    • Ralph Parris

      I,would suggest the yabg style tai chi ,ive trained with and also with one of his top instructors in fort wayne,IN. G.M.William C.C.Chen,ralph parris

      • jdas

        Hi Ralph.

        You meant ‘yang’ right? And short form, right? Why would you suggest that? Have you done many diff ones and this is the one you would pick? For what reason?



    • Mark


      As a very average Tai Chi practitioner for the last 7 years I think I can say pretty safely that it’s not really possible. You could do some basics perhaps, but that’s about it. Even the most fundamental aspects of Tai Chi like head, neck and knee alignment require feedback and correction. The energies discussed in the article above are not achievable without instruction and practice with a real, live person. There is also a danger of ingraining bad habits and alignments if you try to get very far into Tai Chi on your own.

      Just my humble opinion,

    • Jen

      As a student of Bruce’s students since 1995 and suffering CFS, Fibromyalgia, Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (specifically Neurocardiogenic Syncope, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) I would not advise attempting to practice tai chi without a qualified teacher (Bruce may say differently, the Wu short form video may be ok). I would say if you have to start someplace very simple and cannot find a qualified tai chi teacher, keep an eye out for the next online course offered via energyarts.com for Dragon Tiger Chi Gung taught by Bill Ryan.

      It’s just that there are intricacies within the movements that you could never pick up from a video alone and it is extremely beneficial to learn them from a qualified teacher, particularly if studying it to help manage pain.

      Bill Ryan does as good a job as is humanly possible to do on video on breaking down the Dragon Tiger movements, and he has also noted, even if you don’t get it perfectly right, you can still benefit.

      • Daniel

        Thanks Jen, I would have to say my CFS is a mild form and I have made a fairly good recovery in the last 2 years and Im basically at a point where I can do light exercise again, Ive done a bit of Qigong over the years so I may have to start that again and look at doing Tai Chi when I can find a good teacher..


  3. Brenda

    Interesting article Thanks

  4. Anthony Korahais

    Thanks for the article. Good stuff. But I disagree about long stances necessarily being bad for already-bad knees. I’ve seen the opposite with my students. They come to me with bad knees — often from doing other styles of tai chi — and within a few months, their knees are healed, even though I use long stances. If you’re not incorporating good qigong into your tai chi, then it doesn’t matter whether the stances are long or short. But if you’ve got good qigong, then the long stances can help to rehabilitate and strengthen the legs.

  5. Erik Carlson

    Hi Bruce,
    I enjoyed your article; especially on when to use small and large frame and the shift into inner work.. It is something I’ve impressed on my students.

    I’m sure you won’t remember me, but in the late 90’s I traveled to Master Jou Tsng-Hwa’s tai chi farm each spring until his death. I began my study of Tai Chi with Sifu Huang Keo-Wei in 1993. Huang came to this country at the same time as Dr Yang Dwing-Ming and they attended the same schools and often practiced together as they made there way to the Boston area. While I continue to practice and teach Tai Chi, I’ve studied many different styles of Qigong and have integrated Qi circulation and Qi healing techniques into my holistic practice.

    Keep up the good work and I think you’re right that Tai Chi will continue to gain in popularity as the boomers move into their 60’s.
    Erik Carlson lmt

  6. Marlene

    Really enjoyed reading this article as I am in my 70’s and have trained to be an instructor in Lee Style and also Easy T’ai Chi. At this moment in time I am learning the Sun style and would really like to learn the Yang style but there are no instructors in my area for this style nor have I come across anyone teaching the Wu style which is a great shame I think. Do you have any opinions on the Lee Style?

  7. Nick Schommer

    This is fresh air for me.
    I’m 69, practiceing for 21 yrs. in mpls.mn.
    Thank you for your work.

  8. Reg Ware

    Very interesting information. I practice Taoist Tai Chi, which combines many forms of tai chi, but it’s always good to hear other input.

  9. Alex

    Another interesting, intelligible to all composed article from the well of knowledge.
    Thank You !

  10. Marco

    Good day and blessings Master Bruce Frantzis,

    I really liked your post/article. Amazing info and I am glad that I received it.
    I am not a Tai Chi practitioner. But would like to become one. I have had a love for medition and did some Chi Gong a long time ago when I was a teenager.
    I have been and still am involved in other styles for Martials-Arts. Reason I don’t practice Tai Chi is that the price is time and the price is way too high where I live. One day I hope soon, I would like to find a school for me and my wife together.

    I am very interested in healing.
    I was wondering if you can guide me to even more detail of the various styles and differences to the physical healings.
    Example: You mentioned about long form and short form, very cool but unless I have missed it. what does Chen style fall into. Is there a place or book that you recommend I can find the benefits of each style (physically). Like Wu style is good to develop what physical aspects? and the same with Chen? or other styles.
    Thanks in advance for your answers and help.


    • R.J.

      Have you considered augmenting your Taiji practice with Qi Gong?

  11. Terry

    Hi Bruce
    I’m a 50 yrs old Construction worker with major joint injuries. I’ve completely ruptured the rotator cuff in both shoulders, I have 2 herniated discs,a muscle torn off the bone in my lower back along with bad hips knees and joints messed up by steroid inhalers for asthma. If i was ahorse you’ shoot me!!!!!!!!! Can Tai Chi join snapped tendons and heal me? I’m in a terrible state. At the moment i am doing standing post hoping it will heal me.
    Any advice you can give me Bruce would be much appreciated.
    Thanks mate

  12. Edmundo

    H i Bruce,

    Thank you for this article. I think it will be very useful to me and I am so grateful to you for sharing your knowlegde and practice with us. I regret that there is no Wu Style Tai Chi instructor in my area. By the way, I live in Brazil.

  13. mirek

    Hi Bruce,
    do you have knowledge about zhaobao tai chi, if yes what is your opinion.Thank you.Mirek

    • Andre

      Zhaobao Tai Chi also contains all the good components. I have been studying Zhaobao now for 6+ plus and enjoying it. Its great. Zhaobao has many Circles. Circles within Circles. We connect and not stick. We circle and not push.

  14. Jacob

    Hello Bruce,

    I have a some back injuries and I’m moving to Hungzhou. I have practiced Chen and I want to know if you could recommend any teacher or schools in the area.

  15. Paul

    HI Bruce,

    I have been practicing Chen style for over 20 years in UK, I also have a bad back and find the exercise helps to strengthen and stabalise my back.

  16. Alistair

    Thankyou that was very open and interesting.

  17. Bob Binder

    Hello Bruce,
    I enjoyed reading your article. I was first exposed to your three swings by my tai chi teacher who had attended a class with you in New York 25+ years ago and are a part of my very eclectic training.

  18. jdas

    Hi Bruce.

    I am sure that Chen Man Ch’ing would not agree with you.
    We all have opinions and we all have separate and unique bodies.
    I’m pretty sure you can’t speak for mine.
    We just have to try stuff, right?



  19. Simon Mills

    Hi Bruce,

    A fascinating article and very illuminating. I’ve been studying the yang style for a few months now, but have been a karate student for many years. After reading other articles elsewhere I decided to add tai chi to my training regime to focus on the internal aspects that karate, for the most part, seems to miss. So far,so good! Really enjoy the meditative side of tai chi and I look forward to a very long and fruitful journey!


  20. Carlos

    Thank you very much.

  21. Geoff Lister

    When I started doing tai chi more than 15 years ago, I had chronic low back pain with not infrequent episodes when I would be immobilized by pain for days at a time. Yang style tai chi–taught by someone who offered little neigung training, only lengthened the times between crises. Only after learning Wu style with the help of some of Bruce’s senior students did my back become stable and relatively pain free. Note that due to where I live, I’ve never been able to part of a class or go to a long workshop in this form–instead I learned slowly using DVD’s and occasional classes or private lessons to gradually smooth out my form. Pain was my goad, and being free from spending long periods in bed or agony encouraged me to keep going. Wu style as taught by Bruce and his carefully certified teachers has rejuvenated my back and overall health. Deep gratitude!

  22. Michelle Jones

    Chen Style all the way for us!!! Under the tutelage of Karel & Eva Koskuba of the Chinese Internal Arts Association & Grand Master Chen Xiao Wang 19th Generation Standard Bearer of the Chen family.

  23. Gwen Lewis.

    I know nothing of any of the different forms but, I have read in the local paper’s Alternative Medicine column that some forms that may help control pain through relaxation and meditation may be practiced whilst seated and, as physical balance and standing strength is a major problem for me I wondered if you could tell me of a teacher/user of this in Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
    I attend an N H S physiotherapist to receive advice for a trapped nerve in my vertebrae which gives pain in my left leg, the exercises do help with that but, are very hard to do because of some of my other health problems.
    I would be grateful for any advice you or anyone else knowledgeable in this field could give me.

  24. Sunil Samant

    Dear Bruce,

    I am a subscriber to your newsletter and get useful information from day to day. Your article is well thought off and talks for itself. I have added “Tai Chi Mastery Program” as favourite on my facebook account, provided a link to program and your blog to my friends through email and facebook. I am enjoying readership. I am sure my friends will enjoy too !



  25. Joshua Stein

    Hello Bruce.
    I am a former student of Maggie Newman (something tells me you know her ) and have been practicing her form since 1980. I have been living in a relatively remote corner of Jamaica since 1994 doing massage/bodywork based largely on Ortho-Bionomy, a gentle bodywork with roots in Osteopathy , and to which I was attracted through my T’ai Chi practice. Unfortunately,there are no teachers in this area and very few in Jamaica at all , so I pretty much do the form every day as I remember it, filtered through years of practice. I’m sure by now I need plenty of ‘weeding’, as Maggie used to say, to clean up my T’ai Chi garden. I watch videos and have books, but it’s not the same. Any chance you would like to come down this way for a lovely time of teaching and relaxing, perhaps with a group of students ? This area has some small scale tourism, and I’m sure I could help you find the proper accomodations,etc.for a nice workshop/holiday experience. One Love. Joshua

  26. Frankie

    Hi Bruce, I have been doing Taichi for 2 years. I singed on together with my wife for Taichi for Arthritis, for Osteoporosis etc. and then Sun Style and currently into Taichi Fan. As I do more reading and view more videos I realised that it had been a fortunate transition in my Taichi journey which I would have chosen had I know what know now. Taichi for arthritis was short simple enough that it does not discourage the total beginner and it’s got some Sun style incorporated into it. I kind of like the Sun style after completing it.

    I can’t help but noticed that you have not covered Sun Style in your article. What could be the reason?

    My class comprises mostly seniors 50 and above so it is logical that these styles/forms are taught. Though I am coming 60 I feel fit enough to want to embark on something more strenuous. In fact I was already on the verge of entering into a Chen Style school but having read your article and am beginning to have change of mind. Thanks for the illuminating and enlightening articles and videos,

  27. jack Ouellette

    I found a 15 year student of Yang Tai Chi Sifu Fong Ha and that is where I got my start. Only been there 2 years or so. Also a Wing Chun student of Moy Bing Wah . Like both Arts and continue to train in both.It is said that Wing Chun Siu Lim Tao has an internal Comnponent. On occasion after Tai Chi Ruler And Zhan Zhang practice and little time I will do Siu Lim Tao. Curious about its internal elements.

  28. Mo

    I live in Brooklyn. Ny and work in NYC
    I am 47 with a family and started. At CK Chu school
    The master recently passed on and now the school is run by his students all very good people
    The style is not traditional yang as car as I. Can tell
    One issue I have is it seems to be Aggravating my lower back
    I also visited William cc Chen School which is CMC with much higherStances
    They were expensive so I can only go once per week
    Any thoughts
    Also we have wu taught. By eagle. Claw school under Shum Leung
    And Lenny Aaron but it’s far from where I work

    What is your opinion ?

  29. Ming

    Hello Bruce,

    I have practised Taoist Tai chi on my own for the past 15 years and now with the abundance of You Tubes, I realised that some of the moves may be wrong or the sequence may be a little out. Does this really matter? Do I go for a refresher course to correct the ‘errors’ which I had accepted as part of the learning and the flow?

  30. Saleh Bitar

    I spent so many years of my life training wing Cun Kung Fu, which changed my life to the best. Since then I am completely differrent from if not all of my friends. Then I used to put my nose in every thing which has to do with Martial Arts, Kung Fu or even Chi. The Chi was for me, and still, the most important subject, which I very much depended on. As we know in Tai Chi there many styles, names and Techniques, but I rather preferred the kind of Tai Chi, with vey slow mothions, first because it was very similar to the Chi Gong exercises, and this style is very effective and it is safe for me and others, since I never liked to defend my self by hurting or attacking others. So I learned and the praticed the Chi Gong, already 26 years, and I could not find a big differrence between Chi Gong and Tai Chi, for me Tai Chi was a lttle bit brolonging the Chi Gong exercises and make them slower and mor harmonical and efficent as well, but I was satisfied wth the practicing of Chi Gong, because it gave me the required profit and result.

  31. Jean-Noel Ladouce


    I’m just new to Bruce teachings… I’m working my way through the Energy Gates Qigong Program and slowly but surely feeling good…also read the books Relaxing Into Your Being and The Great Stillness…great study for meditation.

    I’ve been practicing several martial arts since I was 13 yrs old, from TaeKwon Do to Kyokushinkai and finally stayed studying for 5 yrs with a teacher for Kung Fu and Tai Chi Simplified 24 forms but the teacher left the country . Now I’m 49 yrs old and finding no schools in my country for studying Internal Martial Arts.

    Last week I watched a session by the Genbukan Ninpo Bugei and interested to join and my question is as follows: would the new martial arts methods clash with my Qigong practices . Latter is Taoism as source whereas Genbukan is Shintoism. Could Bruce or anyone well acquainted with Energy Arts methods help me in my choice because I feel I really need to practice a martial art.

    Thank You Regatds

  32. Dan Rohde

    Thank you for sharing your free tips videos. You are a learned and personable teacher, which I appreciate. I started taichi after finding Man-Ching’s book in a library in 1972. I’d been doing karate for a few years, but I found the taichi concepts fascinating, and then found an excellent Asian taichi teacher in Iowa City. I later did Aikido for many years but medical problems made continuing that martial art impossible. I now teach taichi and easy yoga at a local Y. I agree with the idea that learning various martial arts helps understand the movements and ideas more thoroughly. Thanks again for sharing your taichi tips.

  33. Jeff geyer

    Good evening, Bruce. I am living in Perth. Western Australia and am starting a beginners course in Taoist Tai Chi, very soon. I was wondering what are your thoughts on this particular style and where it originated from.
    Would appreciate anything you could share with me. I was very impressed reading about your journey. I always enjoy reading the words of someone who is passionate about life and what can be attained within that life. Its like the guy working down in the shed and his wife has to call him repeatably to come and have his meal. “just one more minute, sweetheart “. I have always been of the opinion — a life without passion, is a life less lived. All the best to you, Bruce
    Regards – Jeff

    • Tai Chi Master Bruce Frantzis

      Hi Jeff,
      I avoid commenting on other teachers and styles. It really depends on the skill level of the individual teacher. The three main styles are yang, wu and chen so this is not one of the main styles. Thanks for your comments and good luck. I may be in Australia teaching in early 2016. Thanks Bruce


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