- Exercise & Fitness
The Benefits of Tai Chi Cuan
History of Tai Chi
Tai Chi comes from the word tai means great or glorious and chi means pure spirit or literal translation : Supreme Ultimate Fist. Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art that often practiced for health reason. It typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons like : Its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity.
Some Tai Chi training forms are well known as the slow motion routines that practice together by groups of people every morning in the park around the world, particularly in China. In my town, there are also many groups of Tai Chi's training, they practice every morning in the park or in the gym.
A legendary hero, Chang San Fong or Zhang San Feng is credited as having the originated concept of tai chi, soft, internal martial arts. Chang San Fong was a semi-mythical Chinese Taoist priest who is believed by some to have achieved immortality. He lived to date from the late Song Dynasty, Yuan or Goan Dynasty, to Ming Dynasty. Before he became Taoist priest, his name is said to be Zhang Junbao. A man from wealth family background. After declining official position and dispatching his property to his clan, he traveled around China to live the life of an ascetic. Zhang spent several years at Hua Mountain before he settling in Wu Tang Mountain and established a party, Wu Tang Pay.
One day Zhang observed a bird attacking a snake on Wu Tang Mountain and was greatly inspired by the snake's defensive tactics. It remained still and alert in face of the bird's onslaughts until making a lunge and biting its attacker to death. This battle inspired him to create 72 movement of Tai Chi Chuan set.
Zhang Sanfeng is also said to have been versed in Shaolin Gung Fu, an expert in the White Crane and Snake styles of Chinese martial arts, as well as in the use of the Chinese straight sword or jian. According to relatively late (19th century) documents preserved within the Yang and Wu family's archives, the name of Zhang Sanfeng's master was Xu Xuanping, said to be a Tang dynasty hermit poet and Taoist Tao Yin expert.
Now his name frequently appears in Chinese novels and Wuxia film. One story about Zhang San Feng that I love most is from Prof Loui Cha or Jin Young's novel : Ie Thien Tu Lung Ci or the New Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre (I love Wuxia novels).
Tai Chi Styles
There are five major styles of Taijiquan, each named after the Chinese family that teaches it :
- Chen style
- Yang Style
- Sun style
- Wu Hao style of Wu Yu hsiang
- Wu style of Wu Ch'uan-yu and Wu Chien Ch'uan.
There are now dozens of new styles, hybrid styles, and offshoots of the main styles, but the five family schools are the groups recognized by the international community as being the orthodox styles. Other important styles are Zhaobao Tai Chi, a close cousin of Chen style, which has been newly recognized by Western practitioners as a distinct style, and the Fu style, created by Fu Chen Sung, which evolved from Chen, Sun and Yang styles, and also incorporates movements from Pa Kua Chang.
Tai Chi is good to maintain our health too and it so simple that even a little kid could practice it.
Tai chi stylesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tai Chi benefits for children
Tai chi is good for children health and development. Tai Chi may develop concentration, discipline, focus and improve attention levels.
Tai Chi is not only does it have physical benefits, it also has a positive effect on a child’s mental abilities.
By following a session of Tai Chi, children have gone on to show considerable improvements in their exam performance and at a basic classroom level improved their behaviour and concentration
Tai Chi also breaks down barriers and encourages pupils who may dislike PE, are culturally exempt from mainstream sports, who feel physically unable to take part in more immediately demanding sports or who shy away from team games. This broad accessibility means that every child undertaking a course can derive great benefits in self-esteem, self-belief and self- confidence. All round, Tai Chi and its related exercises can be very empowering to children as well as providing all the other recognized benefits.
Many physician believes that this ancient art can improve the general health of our children in many areas; weight loss, co-ordination, flexibility, emotional balance and ability to focus.
Tai Chi may correct the children posture and balance. Many of our children are spending most of their time sitting down in classroom or lounge rooms or computer rooms. The seated position dominates the postural problem in young children. So Tai Chin can help address this and prevent long term health problems.
Tai Chi can improve a child's focus. A child’s ability to focus and remember is a powerful learning tool. As the movements in tai chi have to be memorized it plays a pivotal role in improving memory and focus.
Tai chi helps the children to have a quiet moment, like praying. We're all know that our children are always get connected to something, like TV, ipods, Videos, musics, mobile devices etc. It great to have a moment to relax and quiet.
Tai Chi has a calming effect and help reduce tantrum in children.
Tai chi is a great alternative to competitive sport. Many children shy away from organized sport because it requires good co-ordination, strength, speed and a competitive spirit. Children who are daunted by these challenges can be drawn to the gentle movements of tai chi which deliver similar benefits in exercise and health without the challenge of competition.
Tai Chi benefits for elder people
Researchers have found that intensive tai chi practice shows some favorable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. Tai chi's gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
A later study led by the same researchers conducting the review found that tai chi (compared to regular stretching) showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee. In addition, a pilot study, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
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