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TIHOMIR TODOROV ON THE ASPECTS OF TAI CHI CHUAN, ONE INTEVIEW OF BORIS KRYSTEV

Stara Zagora, 5th of October (The day of Stara Zagora )
 
THE FLEXIBILITY OF A CHILD, THE STRENGTH OF A LUMBERJACK AND THE CALM OF WISEMAN.  

Tihomir Todorov is a student of Grand Master Yang Jun, fifth generation of Yang family, keeper of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi Chuan (The fist of the great limit) is one of the many styles in Chinese martial arts Kung – Fu/ Wushu. Tai Chi Chuan wins more and more fans, not only for its effectiveness as a self defensive system, but mostly because of its good healing effects. Tai Chi Chuan is a manifestation of universal Taoist principles. In this context, Tai Chi Chuan is one of the practical ways to achieve harmony within itself, and in the outside world – there is no aggression and pressure. One of the main postulates is that the power of aggression has to be neutralized and turned against the aggressor.  As a system Tai Chi Chuan contains learning of forms (sequence of exactly fixed, performed in order movements), exercises with partner, meditative exercises and martial applications – fist hits, elbows, palms, knees, locks on joints, throwing and kicks).  The performing of the form has to be done slowly. In this way the practitioners develop better precision and speed. 

 

Mr. Todorov, could you tell us about your personal trainings? I am practicing Chinese martial arts for 24 years now and in the last decade I am specializing in Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. I started to study from my Bulgarian teachers Adrean Karavastev and Dr. Dorian Alexandrov. Later they advised me to study this art from Yang family from China. After long years of searching, I finally got a connection with the family and since then I am studying this art from Grand Master Yang Jun, who I am seeing every year in different parts of the world. Practically, I am practicing this art almost every day, at least for an hour and 30 min.

According to you why people study Tai Chi Chuan? There are different reasons why people start to study Tai Chi Chuan. Some practice it for a self defense, others for good health and rest. Whatever their reasons might be, they are good for themselves. Tai Chi Chuan has been explored many times and ways, as the proven benefits are: strengthens the immune system, prevents diseases, supports the balance in the body (homeostasis), regulates breathing, stimulates digestion, improves the circulation and respiratory activity, acts relaxing on the nerve system, improves the physique and the mechanism of the body, improves the muscles’ tonus, strengthens the tendons and joints, improves sense and perception of movements, slows the aging, improves the reactions and makes them faster, cures tuberculosis and other lung diseases, develops the muscles, joints, bones and tendons, recovers the muscles’ flexibility.

Tai Chi Chuan is the connection between the body, mental and spirit.  Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan can be practiced from age of 4 to very old age. It discharges distress, has a positive impact on some forms of cancer and sclerosis. As a tool of self defense, there are 3 main Tai Chi Chuan qualities, which provoke this impact: stance, movement and breathing. Tai Chi Chuan is not aggressive. Tai Chi Chuan doesn’t resist, it neutralizes. Tai Chi Chuan it’s not built on force but strategy, intelligence and sensitivity. Its teaches people to self control.

Mr. Todorov, which is the most important thing for a person to learn Tai Chi Chuan? From my personal experience I figure out that the most important things are to have good teacher and to follow the rules and principles of the old masters. My main aim is to share my experience in proper practice of Tai Chi Chuan with the people in Bulgaria, who want to study this art.

What ultimately is Tai Chi Chuan? In the practice of Tai Chi Chuan there is one contradiction. The exterior is seems to be soft, but the interior is strong. These are two opposites. Tai Chi Chuan is condition, who the practitioners must reach to, through applying the principles.

What is the reason a modenn person to practice techniques with sword and saber in Tai Chi Chuan? The meaning can be split in two aspects. From a health point of view, practicing Tai Chi Chuan with sword and saber improves the health condition, by practicing the techniques we are massaging the internal organs. The other aspect is helpful for the people with interest in ancient weapons, ethics and culture of using them.

Couple of years ago you established “Yang family Tai Chi Chuan Bulgaria”. What are the plans of your organization? The aims were to create possibilities for developing Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan in Bulgaria. There have been series of seminars with main instructors from Switzerland, Italy, China, Great Britain and USA. In June 2011, Grand Master Yang Jun will visit Bulgaria for second time and will conduct seminars in a couple of cities. This way our organization is on Tai Chi Chuan worldwide scene. We have excellent training program in two streams – training of people in Stara Zagora, and part time training in seminar form for people from other places in Bulgaria.

Today hundreds of milions of people practice Tai Chi Chuan, not only in China but also in many countries. It is equally suitable for different kinds of people – thin and fat, young and old, men and women. There is an ancient saying that regular practice of Tai Chi Chuan gives the flexibility of a child, the strength of a lumberjack and the calm of Wiseman.

 
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