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T’ai Chi Ch’uan (pronounced TIE gee chwahn), also transliterated as Taiji or Tai Chi, is a centuries old Chinese internal martial art practiced for health, relaxation and self-defense.
It is characterized by rounded continuous movements directed by a calm yet concentrated mind. The movements embody alternating action (yang) and relaxation (yin), causing a continuous cycle of energy (chi) flowing out to the extremities and back to the center (tan t’ien) of the body. Daily practice of T’ai Chi Ch’uan
- improves muscle tone
- increases body awareness and joint flexibility
- balances energy and metabolism
- improves posture and breathing
- relaxes the body
- calms the mind
- and brings healing energy to the internal organs.
Unlike exercise in the western world, which concentrates on the outer movements and develops the physical body, T’ai Chi Ch’uan develops both the mind and the body. Conditioning exercises build strength in the legs, spine, waist, and internal organs; the meditative aspects develop a firm foundation (root), deep respiration, a calm and focused mind, and proper alignment in the body.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan both builds and rebuilds the spirit and the body. Practitioners often tell of increased mental capacity, lucid thinking, a sense of peacefulness, sounder kidneys, better digestion, lowered blood pressure, and better injury resistance.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan not only promotes health but also applies to everyday life. For example, the posture “roll back” teaches relaxation, the ability to step aside from a quarrel or an attack–or to roll back–instead of meeting the attacker or stressor with force.
In its advanced form, T’ai Chi Ch’uan can be studied for its meditative, medical, and self-defense aspects. Each posture has many functions for martial arts applications. The goal and highest use of T’ai Chi Ch’uan is the cultivation of perfect health.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan can:
T’ai Chi Ch’uan Pictures
Karate, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Modern Arnis, Qigong, Bagua Zhang
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