means of keeping fit, preventing and curing diseases it has been
practiced for hundreds of years.
Its prime purpose is to promote health in a slow relaxed manner,
without jarring and hurting one's body. The movements are slow, with great
emphasis on posture and balance. The six major characteristics which are
the goal of taichi practice
are: circular, calm, relaxed, continuous, intent, and energy.
The exercise requires a high degree of concentration, with the mind free of
distractions. Breathing is natural,
and its performance is in rhythmic harmony with body
Originally developed as a martial art, the movements of Tai Chi were
quickly recognized as being
beneficial to the body.
The major emphasis of Tai Chi today
is on its health benefits, although it may still be used as a system of
self-defense after years of training and
Tai Chi makes an ideal complement to sports or other
the health benefits of practicing Tai Chi?
Stimulates the mind,
improving concentration, focus and coordination,
Increases levels of
fitness and muscle tone,
Lowers blood pressure
Keep the joints
Improves the function of
the internal organs,
Enhances the function of
the central nervous system,
Promotes a general sense
Am I too
old/young to learn Tai Chi?
generally no age limit with Tai Chi - both young and old can practice the
equipment do I need to practice Tai Chi?
As no sports
equipment, uniform or special grounds are required, Tai Chi can be done at any
time and in any place. All you need is a small amount of open space, some loose,
comfortable clothing and some flat-soled shoes that won't slip off during your
practice. If possible, make sure that the sole of your shoe is flexible - some
running shoes are too stiff for Tai Chi practice. I personally recommend
the soft canvas wushu shoes which can be ordered online @
Mysterious History of Tai Chi
"Tai Chi" is an accepted English equivalent of the Chinese word "Taijiquan" (Tàijíquán),
where "Tai" means "grand" or "supreme", "ji" means "ultimate" and "quan"
means "fist" or "boxing" .
still vague, it is accepted that the philosophy of Tai Chi (Taoism) originated
in 600BC .
Historians, although unsure, say
that the movements of taichi as we know now, was created in the late Ming
Dynasty around 1368-1644 by a monk named Chang Shang fong.
Today there are five main styles of Tai Chi: Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun and
Woo. Each style is named for the family which traditionally created the
style. Although each of the five styles has characteristics of its own, the
essence of all are the same. The most popular style in China today is Yang
Is Tai Chi
Tai Chi is
generally not easy for the beginning student. While it is not physically hard or
strenuous, remembering the movements and coordinating the mind with the body
can be challenging. Like most art, to do it well
takes a lot of physical practice and intellectual study to understand the
movements and gain the maximum health benefit from the exercise.
If you have little time to devote to your practice, but
you are looking for relaxation and a pleasant, meditative feeling, Chi
Gong (Rooting Pine Energy Work) is recommended- it is easy to learn and can
provide relaxation benefits
to the student immediately.