My first experience with Tai Chi was nearly 25 years ago, as part of my acupuncture and Oriental Medicine training. I loved it. I lived it and trained in it very diligently. My health, energy, concentration and many other factors dramatically improved. My life was better because of regular practice.
And then I made a big mistake. BIG mistake.
When I made the move from San Diego to South Florida, I broke the habit. Poor decision, as it would take about 10 years to get back on the horse, so to speak. Now that I have returned – The Prodigal Tai Chi Son – everything is better. My overall energy has increased. My outlook is brighter than ever. I feel happy, upbeat and optimistic. And yes. . . .drum roll please. . . my Systema is getting better and better.
It is the last on on the list that gets most attention in this context. After the initial eye brow raising and requisite “huh,” the question that typically follows is “How?”
The short answer is also the most accurate one — try it and find out yourself. It sound borderline crass (though not intended to be) but the truth it, Internal Arts are very personal, at least this has been my experience. Ten people experience them. Ten different experiences arise from this.
For me, Tai Chi has improved my breathing, balance and focus. Mostly, it has allowed energy blockages to be removed, particularly ones that were outside my awareness. There is a deep flowing of energy in my body. When I strike or get struck for example, I feel the new energy from the strike, immediately moving about, versus sticking. I do not have to modify my body as much to move the newly entered energy, and my breathing is always in sync. Please note that words are poor substitutions for experience, even if the ideal words are chosen.
I would highly recommend adding this art to any art you currently practice.
If you are in the Central Florida area, we have the great fortune of having an outstanding teacher, Sifu Jeff Sindy – someone who not only knows the movements and the forms, but the reasons and true purpose behind them. If the latter is not included, this art becomes common, ordinary. When the reasons are taught, the mysteries are presented as gifts. Of course, it is up to the student to unwrap and unwravel the gifts. Once done, Tai Chi gets better. Systema gets better.
Actually, life gets better.