Tai Chi Boxing
(Taiji San Shou or free style fighting)
Master William Chen has always emphasized the practical aspects of Tai Chi Chuan, thus push hands, practical applications and boxing have been an integral part of his teaching.
Tai Chi, to be effective, requires that one must immerse oneself deeply into this work. Form practice alone will avail to nothing if you have never crossed hands with a live antagonist. San Shou provides practical training behind the skills acquired through Zhan Zhuan, form practice and Tui Shou. It allows trainees to actually exchange blows.
Training in boxing is gradual; practice is conducted with boxing gloves and students usually wear mouthpieces. At a beginning level, students actually strike each other with no attempt to dodge or deflect the blows. The strikes have little power and are intended to build confidence in the students, who are encouraged to remain loose and relaxed while taking the blows.
Slowly the training progresses to heavier striking and to free fighting. Students learn striking combinations, develop good footwork, learn fighting strategy, and most importantly, build self-confidence and self-assurance, which are indispensable attributes needed in real fighting.
Note: Boxing is offered to students who are interested in developing Tai Chi as a martial art; it is not a requirement for students who are mainly interested in improving their health.