Updated: Jun 16
In this article, we will look at interesting questions: What is Tai Chi Chuan? What is Tai Chi Chuan Self Defense and Fitness? What weapons and fitness equipment are used in Tai Chi Chuan? What is worn in Tai Chi Chuan classes? Are there qualification levels in Tai Chi similar to karate? What is Tai Chi while sitting? What is Tai Chi Movement Meditation? Does tai chi affect health? So let's start.
What is Tai Chi Chuan?
It is a Chinese martial art used for self-defense, health maintenance, and meditation. The term Tai Chi is taken from the field of Chinese cosmology and means "big fist" or Tai Chi Chuan "endless big fist". Tai Chi Chuan differs from other martial arts in that it has low muscle tone and special attention to body health. In the 20th century, Tai Chi became a common practice among hundreds of millions of people around the world. As a result, the overwhelming majority of teachers teach it for health and sports purposes, that is, they ignore the initial warlike aspects of the method. Accordingly, the exercises are performed as a slow, fluid movement.
In 1956, the Republic of China established the "China Sports Association" which developed a movement and exercise pattern based on Tai Chi Chuan with the aim of gymnastics and preventive medicine for the working class. Today, millions of people around the world practice Tai Chi Chuan every morning. Tai Chi Chuan is the most popular martial art in the world, but the vast majority of practitioners do not know how to use it in combat and practice this method only for health purposes.
Self-defense and fitness using Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan specializes in medium to close range combats and uses four areas of effective self-defense such as punching and kicking, manipulation, and wrestling. Several principles are relatively parallel between the various styles of Tai Chi Chuan, for example, the Posture Principle. Kicking is usually aimed below the waist. Emphasis is placed on maintaining one's own balance and imbalance with the opponent. Strategic principle: the starting point is protection, i.e. most techniques are "counterattacks" and the initial initiative is usually given to the enemy.
The principle of softness and complexity: There is a sharp separation between soft movement and hard movement. However, soft contact with the enemy during his attack is replaced by a harsh and immediate reaction. Most of the practice of this method is slow and flowing, the body is relaxed and harmonious, and the energy comes powerfully from within. The contact between the pair is continuous and smooth, designed to train sensitivity to predict the enemy's movement and to automatically respond with the use of combat force.
Are there skill levels in Tai Chi like karate?
Tai chi does not have a unified qualification level assessment system, except for the system of examinations conducted by (Wushu Duan Wei), the Chinese association (Wushu) in Beijing. Still, most schools in China do not use belt ratings. True, some schools give their students rank belts, similar to the dan qualification rating system that originated in Japanese martial arts.
What is Tai Chi while sitting?
Although traditional Tai Chi was developed for self-defense purposes only, over the years it has evolved into a subtle form of seated exercise that is used today to reduce stress, pressure, and other aspects of health. Sitting tai chi helps you find peace of life through gentle and fluid movements. The sitting exercise in Tai Chi has been widely studied by doctors and researchers. These exercises are based on the short "Yin-Yang" sitting patterns. Over the years this method has been recognized and accepted by the general public, and the goal of the practice is to preserve the integrity of the seating pattern. That is, the basis of the practice is as follows: synchronization of the upper body with steps and airways, with the help of this method, transitions to different sitting positions are performed. With these exercises, you can achieve significant improvements in balance, blood pressure, flexibility, muscle strength, oxygen consumption, and a decrease in body fat percentage.
What is movement meditation in Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is often referred to as "movement meditation" and is a simple meditation technique that can be practiced almost anywhere. There is ample evidence that body and mind exercise is of great value in the treatment or prevention of many health problems. These exercises can be started even if you are not in the best physical condition. With these slow exercises, you move without stopping in a series of movements called animal movements, such as the "White Crane Spreads Its Wings" or the "two-hoping box" martial arts movement. As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, listening to the sensations of your body. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed and not stretched, and the joints are not fully stretched or bent. Tai Chi can be easily adapted to anyone and can be suitable for people who are confined to wheelchairs or who are on their way to recover from surgery.
Does Tai Chi Affect Health?
Tai chi is best known for its ability to treat a variety of diseases and is supported by, among others, the Australian National Parkinson's and Diabetes Foundation. However, there is still no definitive medical evidence for its effectiveness. But in a 2011 systematic review, older adults were encouraged to put the method into practice because of its contribution to improving physical and psychological performance. Also, a 2015 systematic review showed that Tai Chi can be performed by people with chronic medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, and arthritis without side effects. In addition, since 2017, evidence has been found that falls significantly decreased among the older population of Tai Chi practitioners. However, no conclusive evidence was found of a benefit for any of the other conditions studied, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.
What does the training equipment of the Self-Defense trainer include?
Following the history of the method, great importance is attached to the formation of functional muscles. On the one hand, it is necessary to work on speed and agility in movement, and on the other hand, to develop muscles to increase strength and power. To succeed in this task: Need to work with small weights, many reps in each set; Also combine with strength training, it is advisable to consult with a trainer so as not to damage the muscle ligaments; It is recommended to work with a wrist expander and rubber for dynamic loading; With heavy training rope; a lot of reps on a heavy and light boxing bag; With a punching bag, etc ... It is imperative to practice throwing, choking, blocking, kicking and punching. Punches and knees on the trainer's abdomen may only be performed with suitable and safe belly protectors! In the tactical training of Krav-Maga, rubbery equipment is used like knives, padded sticks, etc... One needs to use equipment that has passed strict safety tests. When signing up for a club, check if their gym floor is well protected and if there is a suitable protective pad against falls, throws, etc. Below is a list of the recommended trainer equipment when teaching Self-Defense:
How important is personal protective equipment when practicing Self-Defense?
Good schools understand the importance of protective equipment when teaching martial arts in general and in combat in particular. Demonstrations and battles are not allowed without appropriate protective equipment! These are usually inexpensive shields compared to the physical damage they prevent. Also, there is no insurance without protective equipment! When striking a punching bag, be it a jab, cross, hook, or uppercut, boxing gloves should be used. It is recommended for full contact to use a body protector that maintains the integrity of the ribs. Also, shields for the head, teeth, groin, and legs are recommended.
It is very important to practice Self-Defense using rubber training knives and even more important during training to wear appropriate protective equipment: such as glasses designed to protect the eyes; a body protector; a Head guard against receiving an unwanted blow. The following is a list of recommended equipment for knife defense studies:
With what equipment is it recommended to practice Self-Defense at home?
To learn Self-Defense, one needs to practice the same thing, many times over. This is not a theoretical area compared to other martial arts where one can learn from a trainer by watching directly through a computer. So practice and interaction are of the utmost importance. Although, it is worth it and even recommended to work at home on punches and kicks, strength training, etc. For this purpose, it is possible to purchase minimal personal equipment that does not take up much space at home. Prepares physically for classes in the section. It also improves the following parameters: Strength, flexibility, cardiopulmonary endurance, and more.
Using a yoga mat, abdominal muscles can be improved; Training weights are to improve muscle strength; Using an adjustable strength bench can strengthen chest muscles by lifting weights; A free-standing punching bag is a perfect solution for punching and kicking improvement at home ... Below is a list of recommended equipment for home exercise:
Home training is recommended to be performed under the supervision of a certified trainer. It is recommended to avoid exercising alone at home!
How important is cardiopulmonary endurance in Self-Defense workouts?
First of all, this is health, and secondly, in a battle that does not end in a short time, the one who has cardiopulmonary endurance wins. To improve cardiopulmonary endurance, it is recommended to take brisk walks, combined with running, to increase and decrease the pace. These runs can be done outdoors, on the coast, on a Treadmill, or on a Home spinning bike. Recommended: Wear suitable shoes while running, and document and monitor your calorie burn and heart rate with your Smartwatch. Also, with the help of this it is very easy to see improvements in cardiopulmonary endurance, In fact, all your actions are recorded using a computer, and there is a training history. The following is a list of recommended personal equipment for home workouts, for developing cardiopulmonary endurance, and for monitoring and controlling progress: