Tai Chi Chuan
Summary: Tai Chi is an ancient traditional Chinese fighting system that many had adopted as an exercise regimen for its health and longetivity benefits.
T’ai Chi Chuan or referred simply as Tai Chi is an ancient traditional chinese fighting system that many had adopted as an exercise regimen for its health and longetivity benefits. It is quite obvious that this system evolve from a fighting system to an exercise regimen since the chinese characters of the name Tai Chi Chuan can be translated to as “Supreme Ultimate Fist”(some arguments on this though). Even traditional teachers of Tai Chi teach it both as self defense and as an exercise/meditation regimen. This system first evolved from the teachings of the Chen to the Yang families in 1820 China. Now, Tai Chi is being practiced worldwide today, its set of smooth, flowing often graceful exercises is used for relaxation and meditation, and to keep the ‘Qi’ flowing.
The system focuses on harnessing ‘Qi’(Chi, Ki), an inner force that purportedly provides the bodies with spiritual energies, allowing great strength and stamina. It is soul energy, prana energy, orgone energy, or life-force energy that radiates from every living organism. But according to some, Qi originates from all things, and all things has Qi. It is up to humans to cultivate Qi around them and integrate the Qi of their bodies to the environment, manipulating it in order to enchance their health and adjust many things.
The Tai Chi Chuan of Today
Presently, the fad of taking up classes in Tai Chi is mostly on for health benefits. While a handful still study Tai Chi for martial arts purposes, many practicioners are doing Tai Chi as a meditative exercise, a sort of yoga but its mobile alternative. Especially in the West, since most people, after being bombared with images of near perfect bodies have become fitness afficionados themselves.
But in the East, Tai Chi students take it as a martial art, probably since most Asian visiting the West are bound to be ‘band-wagoned’ as some martial artist, and are often ask, forcibly on some occasions, to do some demo.
Tai Chi Chuan has gained a considerable number of followers these past twenty years. While others flock to schools and instructors after watching Jackie Chan and other martial art films, others sign up for its aesthetic appeal, while yet others sign up for its benefits on health, mental and physical. Hospitals, clinics, government centers and even private individuals are now hosting Tai Chi Chuan classes.