About Tai Chi
Tai Chi Ch’uan is often spelt, Taiji Quan, or t’ai chi ch’uan. Throughout this blog, to be consistent I have standardized and use the terms Tai Chi Ch’uan or simply Tai Chi.
The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Ch’uan, shown above can be translated as the ‘Supreme Ultimate Force’ or “Supreme Ultimate Fist”, “Boundless Fist”, “Supreme Ultimate Boxing” or “Great Extremes Boxing”.
Tai Chi is a type of martial art, very well known for its defence techniques and health benefits. This Chinese martial art has evolved over hundreds of years into an effective means of alleviating stress and anxiety. It has been considered to be a form of ‘meditation in motion’ that promotes serenity, good health and inner peace.
At the core of Tai Chi are the essential principles. No matter what style and what aspects of Tai Chi you practice, as long as the essential Tai Chi principles are adhered to, the unique effects of Tai Chi and the health benefits will be evidenced.
Tai chi is extremely popular in China, where it is practiced daily en masse, often in large groups in the early mornings in parks and open spaces. Over the past 40 plus years, Tai Chi has become increasingly popular outside of China, as well.
“No matter what style and what aspects of Tai Chi you practice, as long as the essential Tai Chi principles are adhered to, the unique effects of Tai Chi and the health benefits will be evidenced”
Whether Tai Chi is performed by martial artists or by Tai Chi champions it comes down to “what is Tai Chi?” Once you truly understand Tai Chi then you will realize Tai Chi is unique and it can be quite complex, no one can know it all. It can be many things to many people. It is an art that embraces the mind, the body, and the spirit.
True Tai Chi movements are ones that incorporate the essential Tai Chi principles. These principles include good posture, proper breathing, slow, smooth continuous movements, always controlled as though there is a gentle resistance with proper and effective weight transference.
My teaching and training of Tai Chi Ch’uan involves the following elements:
solo hand and weapons routines/forms
posture and breathing exercises
movement, awareness exercises and meditation
self-defence techniques, applications