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The Benefits of Tai Chi Cuan

Updated on June 21, 2011
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan

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 :

  1. Chen style
  2. Yang Style
  3. Sun style
  4. Wu Hao style of Wu Yu hsiang
  5. 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 styles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chen styleYang styleYang styleSun styleWu hao styleWu style
Chen style
Chen style
Yang style
Yang style
Yang style
Yang style
Sun style
Sun style
Wu hao style
Wu hao style
Wu style
Wu style
Click 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.

Wutang Institute
Wutang Institute
Wutang Gate
Wutang Gate
Wutang Mountain, located in shiyan, western Hubei, China
Wutang Mountain, located in shiyan, western Hubei, China

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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    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 

      9 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      I was doing tai chi since age 12. Tai chi is great for balance.

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Indonesia

      @EnergyAdvisor, thank you! and welcome to hubpages, I hope you'll have a great time here :)

    • EnergyAdvisor profile image


      10 years ago from The nearest planet to Venus

      Great Hub about the things I like in life:) thanks for sharing this. I'm a Tensegrity and Qigong practitioner and I know the benefits one gets. (voted up)

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Indonesia

      livefree, I see, thank you for your insight share of Tai Chi!

    • livefree profile image


      10 years ago

      Tai Chi (The Grand Ultimate Fist) is one of the most mis-understood martial arts on the planet. What I love about Tai Chi is that your understanding grows as you study longer.

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      Yes, Kho Ping Ho was a wonderful person. And his novels he's so creative :)

    • Bbudoyono profile image


      11 years ago

      Yes, I know him personally. He was a good man. I learned a lot from him. So sad that he passed away.

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      nice to see you sir, actually I have not practiced it yet, I just saw my mom and try one or two moves but I'm not so diligent:) I just see the benefits through my mom.

      Sir, do you know Kho Ping ho personally? He was my late grandfather's friend too. The world is small really. I agree, all the power and energy in the world are nothing compare to our Creator. Thank you for visiting and Have a nice day!

    • Bbudoyono profile image


      11 years ago

      I learned Yang style. Everytime I practice it I feel fresh like after bathing. This is because I absorbed oxygen and Chi. Besides I learned I Ki Keng from Kho Ping Ho, the writer. I also learned Javanese one, similar to I Kin Keng. They are very good for our health. Do you practice Thai Chi? But don't forget that the power of Thai Chi and similar ones are inferior to the power of the creator.

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi Dolores, Good to see you.

      yes that's true Tai Chi is good for our Health.

      Have a Nice Week End :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      11 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I so want to learn Tai Chi. I recently learned about the benefits of Tai Chi on older folks, how it significantly reduces the risk of falls. Also, I met an older woman who said that she had knee trouble but after a year of Tai Chi, her knees were great. Plus, it is a beautiful exercise!

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      money Glitch, thank you. well Tai Chi is worth to try, it's simple and easy to learn and have many benefits for our health. My mom used to practice Tai Chi years ago. have a nice day !

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      11 years ago from Texas

      Thanks so much for providing such an interesting hub on the history of Tai Chi. I am fascinated with this form of exercise and would love to find the time to do an in depth study to learn more history and the movements. The attire worn and the movements reminds me of peace and grace in motion. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      Hypnodude, thank you..good to see you :)

      hello,hello, thank you for commenting.

    • febriedethan profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      Agus, nice to see you here, you're welcome:)

      Dame Scribe, yes, I love watching them move in group, together in a harmony, thank you for visiting !

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      11 years ago from London, UK

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading this hub. Thank you.

    • hypnodude profile image


      11 years ago from Italy

      Another very good hub. I'll have to follow you now. :)

      Very well written and informative.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Gin G 

      11 years ago from Canada

      I love seeing these groups and have observed some on television too! great article! :)

    • agusfanani profile image


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      It's an interesting hub, thanks for sharing Feb


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