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What is Tai Chi
Summary: Everything you need to know about Tai Chi
What is Tai Chi? It is a Chinese combat art system that developed way back ancient china. The name Tai Chi Chuan meant 'Supreme Ultimate Fist', so obviously this was developed primarily as a martial art. But instead of employing explosive kicks and hard punches, Tai Chi instead uses slow tempo maneuvers and subtle movements to overcome an opponent.
Tai Chi was claimed to be founded by a wise monk Chang San Feng. One night he had a dream about a battle between a crane and a snake. He believed it to be a divine dream so he proceeded to study it and made the 13 postures. This became the foundation of Tai Chi.
After a few years, a number of distinguished Tai Chi masters developed their own styles of Tai Chi. From this, different Tai Chi styles were born, namely the Chen style, Yang style, and the Wu style. Other Tai Chi styles have also emerged but these three were the most prevailing, and the Yang style was the most practiced.
What is Tai Chi today? Nowadays, Tai Chi Chuan as a combat art has lost its popularity. Like Kung Fu or other forms of ancient Chinese martial arts, these ancient arts require so much discipline that casual students find it so hard to maintain. On top of that, Chinese masters are known to be very selective of their students that eventually, Tai Chi as a martial art slowly died with the decade.
What is Tai Chi now? Tai Chi has slowly regained status and popularity not as a combat art but as a health regimen. People had started signing up on Tai Chi dojos and skilled Tai Chi masters suddenly became in demand. Even the government has sponsored centers teaching Tai Chi to the public. Groups of people doing Tai Chi in parks and vacant lots are now a common sight.
So, what is Tai Chi, really? As was discussed, Tai Chi is first and foremost martial art. No one can deny that fact. Underneath those flowing and seemingly soft moves lies the power of its form. A Tai Chi form may consist of 24, 40, to 108 moves, executing the forms require a degree of concentration and physical effort. These facts are what made Tai Chi a great exercise regimen because doing the forms properly is somewhat comparable doing a high quality exercise and aerobics.
Tai Chi is indeed a valuable art that has gained innumerable uses. Though the combat aspect of Tai Chi has somewhat died away, Tai Chi has redeemed itself by other applications of the art.