Aikido Cork Open Centre
Aikido Cork Open Centre

Phone: 085-764 2423


What is T'ai Chi Ch'uan? - How Does it Work? - What Are the Health Benefits? - Wisdom

Communication through Sight, Sound and Touch
Master the Art of Observing
Find Your Centre

The Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan

"The true science of Martial Arts means practicing them in a way
that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in a way
that they will be useful in all things."
- Miyamoto Musashi

The legendary late Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing
Cheng Man-ch'ing
Yang Style History
T'ai Chi Ch'uan History/Lineage 

Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing (1902-1975) trained in Chinese medicine, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, calligraphy, painting and poetry. Because of his skills in these five areas he was often referred to as the "Master of Five Excellences." Because he had been a college professor, his students call him "Professor Cheng."

What is T'ai Chi Ch'uan?

T'ai Chi Ch'uan is a gentle exercise program that is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Derived from the martial arts, T'ai Chi Ch'uan is composed of slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and deep breathing, which enhance physical health and emotional well-being.

As are many practices from the East, T'ai Chi Ch'uan is based on spiritual and philosophical ideas that advocate a need for balance in the body, mind, and spirit. Central to tai chi is the idea that Qi (Chi), or life energy, flows throughout the body. Qi must be able to move freely for good health. The principle of yin/yang is important, too. Yin and yang are opposite and complementary forces in the universe, in the same way as light and dark are. T'ai Chi Ch'uan is meant to harmonize these pairs of opposites. Finally, T'ai Chi Ch'uan imitates motion found in nature, such as the movements of animals, thereby uniting human beings with the natural world.

How Does T'ai Chi Ch'uan Work?

There are various perspectives on how tai chi works. Eastern philosophy holds that T'ai Chi Ch'uan unblocks the flow of qi. When qi flows properly, the body, mind, and spirit are in balance and health is maintained. Others believe that tai chi works in the same way as other mind-body therapies, and there is ample evidence that paying attention to the connection between the mind and the body can relieve stress, combat disease, and enhance physical well-being.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan has three major components -- movement, meditation, and deep breathing.

  • Movement -- All of the major muscle groups and joints are needed for the slow, gentle movements in T'ai Chi Ch'uan. T'ai Chi Ch'uan improves balance, agility, strength, flexibility, stamina, muscle tone, and coordination. This low-impact, weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and can slow bone loss, thus preventing the development of osteoporosis.
  • Meditation -- Research shows that meditation soothes the mind, enhances concentration, reduces anxiety, and lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Deep breathing -- Exhaling stale air and toxins from the lungs while inhaling a plenitude of fresh air increases lung capacity, stretches the muscles involved in breathing, and releases tension. It also enhances blood circulation to the brain, which boosts mental alertness. At the same time, the practice supplies the entire body with fresh oxygen and nutrients.

Health Benefits of T'ai Chi Ch'uan Practice

Western Medicine recognizes a multitude of benefits of practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan: increased oxygen intake and utilization (more efficient breathing, reduced blood pressure, slower declines in cardiovascular power, increased bone density, increased range of motion of the joints, greater leg and knee strength and flexibility, reduced levels of stress hormones during and after practice, an improved immune function, better posture and help alleviating repetitive stress injuries. Despite its ancient history, T'ai Chi Ch'uan has been studied scientifically only in recent years.  Research suggests that T'ai Chi Ch'uan offers numerous other benefits beyond stress reduction, including: Reducing anxiety and depression, improving balance and coordination by strengthening important joint and muscle groups, releasing mental and physical tensions, improving sleep quality, slowing bone loss in women after menopause, pain relief for people with arthritis (especially knee arthritis/osteoarthritis), lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular fitness, countering/balancing a weak immune system, relieving chronic pain and stress or trauma related injuries, improving physical balance and functions within the body (digestion, blood circulation), increasing energy levels in general.



The Journey - Beyond the Known into the Unknown

"All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you.  
Life itself is truth, and this will never change.

Everything in heaven and earth breathes.  
Breath is the thread that ties creation together."


Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido


Learning the Art:
"You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.  
You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past."
Richard Bach

Refining the Art:
"When the lowest vertebrae are plumb erect, the spirit reaches the top of the head as if suspended from above;
the whole body feels itself light and nimble."

Tai Chi Classics 

Studying the Art:
"The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense
in which he has attained liberation from the self."

Albert Einstein 


Manifesting the Art (form will become formless):
"You need not to leave the room.  Remain sitting at your table and listen.  You need not even to listen, simple wait.  
You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, and still and solitary.  The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked.  
It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

Franz Kafka

Living the Art (art will become artless):
"I am that, you are that, all this is that and that is all there is."


Technical Director Aikido:
Philippe Gouttard Sensei, Shihan (7th Dan)
Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan

Chief Instructor and Dojo-cho:
Detlef Decker Sensei, 5th Dan
Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan

The Cork Open Centre is a holistic learning Centre offering affordable ongoing evening classes, full-day and weekend workshops, and advanced training in Aikido, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Hanmi Buddhism and Reiki.

Budo by Hiroshi Ikeda

Budo by Hiroshi Ikeda

The Cork Open Centre admits students of any race, colour, age, gender, and sexual preference to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities that are available to all members. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in our educational and admissions policies. Minimum age requirement for attending Aikido classes is 16 years and for T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Chi Kung (Qigong) classes is 18 years of age. 



Ai - Love by Hiroshi Ikeda


"The Art of Peace"

Study how water flows in a valley
stream, smoothly and freely
between the rocks. Also learn from
holy books and wise people.
Everything - even mountains,
rivers, plants and trees -
should be your teacher.


Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido

T'ai Chi Ch'uan 
"The Supreme Ultimate"

Knowing others is intelligence,
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength,
Mastering yourself is true power.




At least for today: 

Don't get angry.
Don't be grievous.
Express your thanks.
Be diligent in your business.
Be kind to others. 

For improvement of mind and body.
Usui Reiki Ryoho.

The Founder
Mikao Usui 


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