Tai Chi (Taiji)
Tai Chi is a non-aggresive martial art that teaches you to understand yourself. Tai Chi focuses on grace, harmony, and self control (inner peace.) Taiji is continuous and everflowing, unrestrained and expressive. Tai Chi teaches you how to strengthen your own body through your own energy called Qi. Tai Chi strengthen and conditions the body while also building flexibility and coordination.
The initial stage in Tai Chi is for health by circulating qi in the body through slow, continuous, & fluid movements. This is done in conjunction with proper breathing, which helps build stamina. It is very important to know when to exhale & inhale. The slow flowing movement is to help one understand one’s body and muscle coordination. When Tai Chi is done properly it is relaxing, mind calming, and invigorating. It is important that you follow an experienced instructor to guide you through Tai Chi.
There are many health benefits with Tai Chi. Tai Chi helps reduce stress. Tai Chi increases joint mobility, flexibility, strengthen tendons, and organs of the body. Tai Chi improves circulation, coordination, and balance.
Three stages of Tai Chi
1. The initial stage in Tai Chi is for health by circulating Qi in the body.
2. The second stage is conditioning the body to gain strength, stamina, flexibility, balance and coordination.
3. Once the body is conditioned, the martial arts or self defense application is the later stage.
As a practitioner, you have the choice on how far you want to go with Taiji.
Mastering Tai Chi is about mastering yourself. Using virtues to guide you to a deeper understanding of Tai Chi. Understanding your internal and external conflict to find balance.
A True Master will help you comprehend this concept.
Which Style of Tai Chi is BEST for you?
Yang Tai Chi
Yang Tai Chi evolved from Chen Tai Chi, which is named after its creator Yang LuChan. Yang LuChan was a secret disciple of Chen ChangXing who taught Chen Tai Chi in Chen Village in the 1800s. Yang Tai Chi is more simple and focuses more on the Yin (softer) side. There are no abrupt (Yang or hardness) aspect to it. It is more for health so it is ideal for seniors.
Chen Taiji starts as an internal martial art then evolves to external. It is a complete martial art system that focuses on the Yin (soft) and Yang (hard) aspect. Internal martial arts focus on strengthening the body internally (organ, bone, tendons) first before developing the definition of the body. Chen Taiji is designed for close quarter combat with multiple opponents.
Each form has it specific purpose to train and help develop skills using the principles of Tai Chi. Each movement in Chen Tai Chi has a martial application. Each form has Chin Na within it. Chin Na are joint locks to control an opponent through submission.
Once you train and master Chen Taiji, all the other styles of Tai Chi are easier to learn. An EXPERIENCED Chen Master can show you how other styles such as Yang, Wu or other styles deviated and their main foundation of those styles.
Benefits of Tai Chi
Science & Benefits of Tai Chi & Qi Gong (National Center for Complementary & Integrative Medicine)
Benefits of Tai Chi (University of Maryland Medical Center)
Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress (Mayo Clinic)
Tai Chi Proven to Increase Wellness for Rehabing and Aging Patients (sbwire.com)
The Benefits of Tai Chi for People With COPD (oxygenconcentratorstore.com)
Tai Chi for relieving Stress and Improving Sleep (NBC News)