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What Is Tai Chi?

Tuesday, 05 Oct 2010 10:05 AM

Tai Chi is one of the oldest and the most popular forms of martial arts. It has been practised in mainland China for cultural reasons for many years. Recently, this combat style has become popular across the country.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art form that focuses on nature, peace, and longevity. These three factors are thought to produce harmony with the Universe.
Tai Chi is considered to be the ultimate form of self-defense. It is a slow-motion, meditative exercise that boosts spontaneity and is usually used during combat. Tai Chi has gained enormous popularity worldwide for its health benefits such as body flexibility, receptiveness, physical fitness, and meditative techniques that help relieve stress. It gives mental calmness and peace to the practitioner. This sophisticated art of fighting and interplay of energies basically represents the fusion of Yin and Yang (good/evil) that are considered to always have opposite and equal qualities combined into a single ultimate, represented by the Taijitu symbol.
The different style forms of Tai Chi that exist today can be traced back to the Chen-style Tai Chi, which were passed down as a family secret over generations. All of this is believed to have been formulated by Zhang Sanfeng, a Taoist monk, in the 12th century.
Learning the basic skills of Tai Chi requires proper training. The training involves a lot of elements like response drills, self-defence techniques, weapons, solo-hand routines, and various other Tai Chi forms. The sword Tai Chi is an extremely complex and dynamic art form that requires careful attention and focus of hands and movements of the body. The practitioners of traditional Tai Chi Chuan switch between three weapons. The Tao (broadsword) and the Chien (straight sword) are for personal combat and the Chang (spear) is suited for the battlefield.

Beginners who wish to fight fatigue and stress can exercise and implement Taoist Tai Chi in their daily lives. It helps reduce emotional pain, hypertension, chronic headaches, and insomnia. Tai Chi benefits people suffering from mild arthritis, improves breathing, and improves blood circulation. It is an excellent mind exercise.

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