Tai Chi at the same time: An exceptional martial art and an impressive meditation tool

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

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.
Tai Chi practice on the roof of the tower

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 is a simple meditation technique that can be practiced almost anywhere. There is ample evidence that Chinese body and mind exercise is of great value in treating or preventing many health problems. These exercises can be started even if the practitioner is not in great physical shape.
Tai Chi Meditation Technique

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 in 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.


What is worn in Tai Chi Chuan classes?

In Tai Chi Chuan practices, there is no definite and uniform dress. While modern Tai Chi Chuan practitioners prefer comfortable T-shirts and trousers made of natural and breathable fabric, that is, allowing free movement. Despite this, Tai Chi Chuan has become the style-defining method in kung fu uniforms. Usually consists of loose Chinese-style trousers and a traditional long shirt, where the shirt should have a Chinese-style collar and buttons. The long-sleeved versions are called North China-style uniforms, and the short-sleeved versions are called South China-style versions.


What weapons and fitness equipment are used in Tai Chi Chuan?

Many styles of Tai Chi Chuan also include gymnastics or yoga. All styles of Tai Chi Chuan include the skill of using traditional Chinese weapons, that is, the sword. Some styles are also taught: bayonets and other weapons... Recently, training methods have been developed using simulators such as Balls, Sticks, Elastics, and more...



Are there skill levels in Tai Chi like karate?

Tai chi does not have a unified qualification level assessment system, except 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?

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.
Seated Tai Chi meditation by the sea

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.


Summary and Conclusions Regarding the Tai Chi Method

It is a Chinese martial art that was created only for self-defense but is actually used for medical purposes all over the world. The method became known in the middle of the 20th century after being introduced through the China Sports Association. Tai chi is designed to improve the physical performance and health of the working class in China. The method distinguishes between soft movements (for self-defense) with hard movements (for attack). According to the philosophy of the method, an attack will never happen, i.e. intended only for self-defense, the method has four vectors of effective self-defense, such as punches and kicks, manipulation, and wrestling. Tai chi does not have ratings in the Japanese martial arts style, although there are exceptional examples where ratings are given, and this is very rare. The method dictates the traditional Chinese dress code for all Chinese martial arts, although this is not a mandatory uniform, the training uniform is usually loose, comfortable, and simple. Since simplicity is of great importance in Chinese culture. It turned out that meditation exercises have a positive effect on the adult population, namely on the stability of movements and the integrity of the seated pattern. After several medical studies, it turned out that the method is effective and recommended for people with certain diseases, but there is still no evidence that the method helps in curing serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others...

 

The author is Gil Peleg.






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