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The Art Of Tai Chi

Updated on January 7, 2013

Tai Chi - An Ancient Chinese Martial Art

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that was practiced for many centuries in China. This unique martial art is also practiced because of its many health benefits.

Tai Chi is mostly known for its slow and gentle movements. The reason for this is because the art emphasizes the correct form and feeling with each and every movement.

By involving the entire body with little to no impact, Tai Chi promotes strength, flexibility, and stamina. With the entire body being taught to move as a whole, Tai Chi cultivates the link among the mind and the body, helping to enhance one's coordination and balance. It can also help with the joints as well, especially if an individual is very stiff in the joints.

It is common to see people practicing Tai Chi at parks. This is especially true in my country and most of these people are old folks and I always thought their slow movements funny. That was before I learn about the benefits of this wonderful ancient martial art.

Image credit: Man Practises Tai Chi in Autumn Park - 30"W x 23"H - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys

Why Internal Energy or Chi is Important?

Don't let the words 'martial art' fool you. Practicing Tai Chi involves very little striking, offensive, or even defense techniques. See it as a way to improve your general health like yoga. The slow and gentle movements involve all of the major muscles and joints in the body, helping to circulate internal energy, or chi. The Chinese believe that internal energy, or chi is what prevents or stops diseases.

When practicing the art, the body will remain very soft and relaxed, just like it was suspended from the top of the head with the joints being similar to that of a puppet. The mind of the student is focused on each movement, focusing on the flow of energy. By being relaxed and focused, you allow the energy to flow through your entire body.

Tai Chi Video

By Using Your Chi Everything You Do Seems As If It Is Weightless

Even though you are soft and relaxed, you are still constantly moving. The energy that flows through your body never stops, it keeps you moving. When you move in reality, it takes little to no energy to make a movement. By using your chi, everything you do seems as if it is weightless.

In combat, a Tai Chi student or practitioner uses his opponent's energy against him. The Tai Chi practitioner is very relaxed, believing that the energy of the opponent can be used against him. There is little to no strength involved. When the opponent becomes weak and tires himself out - the Tai Chi practitioner attacks. This way, the opponent has very little energy left for defense or even attacking.

Tai Chi for Beginners

BodyWisdom Media: Tai Chi for Beginners

This DVD contains 8 easy-to-follow lessons that teach the Tai Chi postures with clear, step-by-step instructions. Highly recommended by users.

Yang Tai Chi for Beginners (YMAA Taijiquan) Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming (2012)

This video has running time of 293 minutes. A very good video for those who are interested to learn Tai Chi.

Step-By-Step Tai Chi [Paperback]

Detailed and easy to follow step by step instructions with color illustrations.

T'ai Chi For Dummies [Paperback]

This book is great for those who want to read about Tai Chi. The explanation is simple and easy to understand. A good resource for those who intent to attend Tai Chi lesson.

Tai Chi is one of the oldest styles of martial arts, and one of the hardest to find these days. Just like other martial arts, such as Tiger Claw and Ninjutsu, it can be very hard to find a dojo that teaches the art. If you can find a dojo that teaches the art of Tai Chi, you really shouldn't pass it up. It can teach you a lot about internal energy and your spiritual well being - learning more about yourself than you ever thought possible in the process.

Tai Chi Gear

that you might want

Tai Chi Uniform (Clothing) - White, Red and Black

Available in red, black and white.

Light Weight Kung Fu/Tai Chi Pants



Rubber Sole Kung Fu Tai Chi Shoes

Classic Tai Chi shoes.

Have You Tried Tai Chi?

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    • profile image

      Embeegee 

      5 years ago

      I love tai chi, thank you for explaining it so well. I have learned from your lens.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 

      5 years ago

      Yes, I do it, but very amateur! It keeps me subtle and balanced and I love it for its overall remarkable benefits both psychologically and physically! HIGHLY recommended!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 

      5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Never tried it but it looks interesting. :)

    • JimMcD profile image

      JimMcD 

      5 years ago

      I do Yang style Tai Chi....very happy with it

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      6 years ago

      I had a chance to watch some people doing it in a park in Singapore. Sounds interesting.

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 

      6 years ago

      I watch sometimes people in our park practicing Tai Chi, looks interesting!

    • Oikouros profile image

      Oikouros 

      6 years ago

      I'm very interested in learning tai chi... just need to find a way that fits me...

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      6 years ago from UK

      My wife is learning Tai Chi as an aid to relaxation and gentle exercise. I was surprised to see this aspect was not given greater importance. There are many Tai Chi Classes in the area because it seems to be gaining in popularity. You allude to these benefits but it is being taught strictly as a form of exercise by many practitioners.

    • profile image

      glowchick 

      6 years ago

      Great lens! Very informative :)

    • profile image

      grannysage 

      6 years ago

      I've always wanted to learn this because it is so beautiful but neither have the patience nor the real determination to master it. So I sit here and admire those who have perfected this martial art.

    • tea lady 2 profile image

      Pat 

      6 years ago from Midwest, USA

      I love T'ai Chi!

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 

      6 years ago from McLaughlin

      Very good explanation of Tai Chi!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Very nice and very well demystified!

    • profile image

      PolyGlide 

      6 years ago

      Great share! Tai Chi is the Way!

      PolyGlide Synthetic

      Ice

    • profile image

      Arc4life 

      6 years ago

      Great Lens. Tai Chi is great for health....

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      good lens...Learned a lot about Tai Chi

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 

      6 years ago

      Very nice Lens. Learned a lot about Tai Chi. Thanks.

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 

      6 years ago from England

      I once went on a team building day at work. Tai Chi was one of the classes we took. My friend and I got the giggles, which turned to hysterical laughter when she lost her balance, toppled over and knocked down a partitioning wall!!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 

      6 years ago

      Lots of friends do Tai Chi and I've started to think I should try it. I expect it would be a great stress reliever.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I placed a link to this lens at my lens about Feng Shui, hoping to direct others here.

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 

      6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Tai Chi is becoming a very popular form of excercise in Western cultures as has the practice of Yoga and its many branches. Tai Chi looks like an excellent "stress-buster" for anyone willing to learn this ancient form of martial arts.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 

      6 years ago

      There's a group that does Tai Chi on Saturdays on the cliffs overlooking the ocean by my house, and I've always been intrigued... it's so beautiful to watch!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Tai Chi is one of the best sports for me as it helps improving the condition of the body from muscle pains. Super liked!

      Thanks so much for blessing my "Top 10 Pinoy New Year's Resolutions" lens. As a token of appreciation, I have featured this lens on my "Kathryn Bernardo" lens.

    • cryptid lm profile image

      cryptid lm 

      6 years ago

      My first interaction with Tai Chi came some years back when I trained with my brother through a military course. Granted, the Tai Chi we performed was not quite what it once was in Asian countries; with some more focus on primarily defensive mechanisms (for self preservation and protection). Still, I think the general theme of fluidity, agility, and being light on your feet came through while taking the course. While modern soldiers do not typically need these things (considering soldiers do not often get very close to their enemies thanks to long range guns and missiles), it does come in handy as both a mental thing and on occasion can be useful if for some reason you need to be stealthy and in close proximity to your enemy.

      The movement through space was particularly interesting in this course, and reminded me much of Native Americans and how they can move through forests without making much noise. The importance of stealth in Tai Chi is very high, and like I already said, almost spiritual in how you move almost like a puppet being pulled by a puppeteer (almost like God is moving you from one location to the next). It is really a beautiful art as opposed to a method for quiet warfare. You did a great job of covering Tai Chi in an easy way for people to understand, no doubt!

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      6 years ago

      I do appreciate the inner strength and calm of the martial arts. Blessed.

    • profile image

      kpcwriting 

      6 years ago

      I have heard that Tai Chi is very beneficial for many ailments including arthritis, fibromyalgia and even Parkinson's. Great lens.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      6 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I am back in school as a life time learner,once a week I take a Tai Chi class ,I love the slow movement it help with the treatment of my RA.Great lens thanks for the info on Tai Chi I like learning more about it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Its a pleasure to stop by to review your information on Tai Chi, it certainly is gaining in popularity and is something we could all benefit from with its low energy and impact requirements making it possible for all of us.

    • lychic profile image

      lychic 

      6 years ago

      My grandma used to do that in the park everyday! Unfortunately, she passed away before I could learn anything from her! Sad! =(

    • theoxingyi lm profile image

      theoxingyi lm 

      7 years ago

      Why is this categorized under Tae Kwon Do? Also I disagree that there are not offensive or defensive moves... though there are people who practice it that way.

    • cbessa profile image

      cbessa 

      7 years ago

      I am thinking in begin to train some martial art. Thinking about Kung Fu or Tai chi. But as i am a little overweight, sedentary and 34 years old, probably tai chi will be a better choice to avoid muscle stress or any unnecessary injury.

      Thanks for the info.

    • Sunfish LM profile image

      Sunfish LM 

      7 years ago

      I used to practice TaiChi regularly and loved it. It's a wonderful martial art available to anyone anywhere.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      i am fond of martial arts.i read about it in a story book.so i searched it in net.i really loved it and wished to be one of them

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      i am fond of martial arts.i read about it in a story book.so i searched it in net.i really loved it and wished to be one of them

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 

      7 years ago

      I have always wanted to try Tai Chi... after reading your lens, I will.. :)

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 

      7 years ago

      Always thought this would be something fun to try, but, I can't stand still long enough to start!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I think that I may just look into doing this! Seems like a nice form of meditation, relaxing.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      My husband does Tai Chi quite a bit (I'm more a yoga person) He's has the first book you have listed Step By Step Tai Chi and he really liked it and used it while initially learning.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 

      7 years ago

      Tai Chi has always interested in me since I have been meditating for over twenty years this seems like something that goes with that. Great lens!

    • MoonandMagic profile image

      MoonandMagic 

      7 years ago

      I tried tai chi before but it was in a stuffy sports hall with lots of people and I didn't feel relaxed at all. I will have to try it at home or in the garden. Thanks :)

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I always wanted to learn more about Tai Chi. I think it would be fun to try.

    • venitalynn profile image

      venitalynn 

      7 years ago

      Tai Chi is such a lovely art. I'm not convinced I could do it... I have no balance!

    • LadyJasmine LM profile image

      LadyJasmine LM 

      7 years ago

      This is a cool lens, thanks for sharing what you know about Tai Chi! :-)

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I've been doing Tai Chi for going on four years. I'm an addict now-- but it sure can be frustrating!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I've done Qi Gong, but I'm open to something new!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      @anonymous: That is neat, I never knew that Jac. Never tried Tai Chi, but I sure am interested.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      I began Tai Chi after several surgeries, including 6 on my knees. It was the first exercise I was able to do and it gave me not only increased strength, but increased peace. The forms are so graceful that it feels like a kind of dance. :)

    • profile image

      JewelRiver 

      8 years ago

      I love Tai Chi although I only practice it for relaxation but it is such a great resource and your right about learning a lot about yourself through tai chi. I gave this 5 stars.

    • profile image

      taichifanatic 

      8 years ago

      Tai Chi has always fascinated me for the balance that it brings a person. Doing tai chi makes you feel like you are centered. It calms both the body and the spirit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      [in reply to hlkljgk]

      I totally agree with you. I believe that Tai Chi is a soft side of martial arts and other form like wing chun is the hard side.. so when you learn both, you will get a balance.

      Lamy

      Martial Art Training

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 

      9 years ago from Western Mass

      tai chi is such an amazing practice for any age

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      9 years ago

      Beautifully presented lens! Congratulations on making Giant, too! 5*

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      9 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      I learned some new things, Tai Chi isn't something I know much about. Interesting.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      Great information, but I have to admit, when I hear the name tai chi, I want to say "god bless you" :)

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 

      9 years ago

      Thanks.I always wanted to know more about Tai Chi. Love the presentation of this lens.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      9 years ago

      Boy, a ton of good information. You did a great job. Very gorgeous lens. You do great work.

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