Chans Martial Arts

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The fundamental principles can be addressed as some of the basic traditional philosophies of Tai Chi expressed through the understanding of dynamics, anatomy and the mind.

The Traditional Chinese Philosophies regarding 'equilibrium', 'yin-yang', the 'five elements' and Sun Tzu's "Know yourself and know your enemy, win a hundred victories in a hundred battles," are fundamental to our system.


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Equilibrium is the basis for stability, balance and the complementary dynamics that need it as a base reference.

Yin and Yang can be defined as the relationship of positive and negative, and the possible changes.

The Five Element Theory can be used to describe the relationship of the internal organs and related energy meridians in the human body or the strategic formations in combat. Knowledge of this is often used in pressure point techniques for immobilising or shutting down the opponents bodily functions.

Sun Tzu's statement has great implications in non telegraphic movement, feinting and disguising all techniques.


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Equilibrium is the basis for stability and the complementary dynamics that follow. Understanding equilibrium will help to define a firm base reference for establishing balance and the motion generated from it. It can be said to be the pivot point or axis of rotation in a physical sense. It is also very similar in the more esoteric ideological sense, which is very important in strategic planning for battle. Locating and maintaining the axis will also help in keeping the spine straight which will improve posture, balance and efficiency in movement.



Yin and Yang has a few significant meanings for martial arts. It can mean using the soft to overcome the hard and vice versa, such as using the palm (soft) to strike the skull (hard) or using the knuckles (hard) to strike the solar plexus (soft). This is especially true in coordinated pressure points strikes where striking appropriate yin and yang points can create grave consequences for the opponent.

It can also mean pulling and pushing to form a "couple of force" which is more effective than a single force. It can mean weight distribution and the subsequent shifting of weight to generate useable momentum or even leverage if the opposing limbs are taken into consideration. Yin and Yang is continuously used to create the potential difference needed for energy flow.


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It also means not resisting: Yang must be complemented by Yin and not Yang. This can be extended to say optimum force or movement should be used. There should be no more or no less.

The twin fish Tai Chi symbol in the logo signifies the Yin - Yang relationship. The little dots or eyes of the fishes symbolises that Yin or Yang must not be absolute. On a strategic level it means that in an attack there must be consideration given to defence or when defending there must be awareness for the chance of counter attacking.



Five Element Theory uses the forces flowing in a circle of metal, wood, water, fire and earth to describe the laws of nature. The elements have a special relationship with each other in a self repeating cycle of creation and destruction.

Wood produces fire, fire produces earth (ashes), earth produces metal (ores), metal produces water, water produces wood in a creative cycle. Metal cuts wood, wood penetrates the earth, earth dams water, water puts out fire, and fire melts metal in a destructive cycle.

The Five Elements Theory is used to describe or explain the relationship of the internal organs and related energy meridians in the human body. We can use the respective cycles to hurt in pressure point attacks or to heal the body in accupuncture treaments.


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Sun Tzu's "Knowing yourself and knowing your enemy will result in a hundred victories in a hundred battles" means thorough preparation and understanding of one's own strengths and weaknesses as well as intelligence and counter intelligence. It has great implications in non-telegraphic movement, feinting, disguising foot work and intent.

Surprise is a great factor in battle. The strongest attack can be stoutly defended or better still, avoided if information of its arrival is known. Similarly the strongest defence can be penetrated if detailed information of its strength is likewise known. There must be training to avoid giving away signals of intended attacks or defensive preparations to increase the chances of success. The sending of false signals is often advocated to deceive or confuse the opponent.



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Physics is used in our treatment of speed, time, position, stability, momentum and other aspects of linear and rotational mechanics in relation to combat applications.

Anatomical analysis is used to work out the strengths and weaknesses of the body and the best ways to improve its performance. Examples of this are in our methods of stretching for flexibility and use of pressure points for knock outs and submission holds.

Finally the conditioning of the mind is critical to a martial artist's effectiveness in training or fighting. The fighter must have total confidence in the training and be able to remain calm to apply techniques under intensely stressful conditions.