Tai Chi Chuan is one of the ancient forms of Chinese martial arts, one of the most popular activities around the world. It can be practiced by people of all ages. By practicing the successive positions of Tai Chi Chuan, we can gain mental peace and physical health.
The word Tai Chi derives from one of the oldest books of Chinese literature “I-Ching” or “Book of Changes.”
The concept of this philosophy originated in 3000 BC. According to “I-Ching”, it is said that Tai Chi gave rise to two basic concepts:
Yin and Yang.
Yin-Kobieca represents softness, weakness, earth, moon, night, sadness, negative and the entire dark side of matter.
Yan represents hardness, strength, masculinity, sky, sun, day, happiness, positive and light side of matter.
Chinese philosophy is divided into three basic branches: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The philosophy of Taoism is attributed to the concepts of Tai Chi, which are based on the Genesis of the Universe, which initiates the two forces of Yin and Yang.
The three philosophies fundamentally influence Chinese thought.
“Tai” – FORM
“Chi” – VITAL ENERGY
“Chuan” – COMBAT
The founder of Tai Chi Chuan observed some aspects of long-lived animals, the phenomenon of creation and penetration of Yin and Yang, the theory that softness overcomes hardness and vice versa. In this way, the transcendental art of Tai Chi Chuan was created.
The Tai Chi theory has been used extensively in Chinese philosophy, medicine, martial arts and military strategies.
The benefits of practicing Tai Chi Chuan
People living in cities due to work pressure and lack of exercise may suffer from overweight, stress and other diseases.
Tai Chi Chuan is one of the best exercises for all ages.
It looks like a classic dance with fun moves, but the regular practice of Tai Chi Chuan will make our mind calmer, our breath deep and relaxed, we will get better blood circulation and our digestive system will improve.
Practicing tai chi also helps people suffering from asthma, rheumatism, insomnia or neurotic crisis. The improvement of our mental well-being has a positive effect on the functioning of all organs.
In the case of asthma, practicing deep, regular breathing to the diaphragm, which connects with the movement, calms down the attack, as well as panic. It shows that we are able to control some shortcomings of our body ourselves. I myself know, thanks to regular practice, that the natural way of maintaining continuous relaxation is the most effective.
During inspiration, the diaphragm expands not only outwards, but also downwards, towards the abdomen, so that the lungs have more space.
Rhythmic movements of the diaphragm can provide gentle massage of the heart and intestines. This method of breathing can also strengthen the digestive system and other internal organs of the body.
The smooth and slow movements of Tai Chi Chuan can provide relaxation for tendons, bones, joints and muscles.
This practice makes it possible to rotate the joints, which helps to some extent prevent rheumatism, arthritis, osteoporosis or any other bone infection.
Tai Chi Chuan is one of the best exercises for people suffering from high blood pressure or coronary diseases, because other sports and exercises require a lot of effort and tension to do them.
During training the body weight is constantly shifted from left to right, which stimulates both sides of the cerebral hemisphere, but also the left and right meridian energy channel (in accordance with the plans for acupuncture).
This establishes the physical and mental balance of the whole organism.
TAI CHI CHUAN COMPONENTS
A. Tai Chi Forms
B. Pushing Hands
C. Self-Defence and Wrestling
D. Internal Strength
E. Tai Chi Weapons
Forms of Tai Chi
The most common part of Tai Chi Chuan is the Handform that takes about 15 minutes to complete. The flowing and slow movement which can have a powerful effect on physical and mental health.
There are two stages in learning the Handform
At first, we learn the movements in simplified, step by step way known as the “Square Form”. This can be compared to teaching a child to write, in that he will be taught first to form block letters. Only when we have mastered this simple method of doing the form can we move on to learn the “Round Form” which consists of same technique as Square Form, but which is performed in a free and flowing manner. The Round Form is to the Square Form as cursive script is to block letters.
Pushing Hands is to train us the using of sensitivity and skilful techniques to disrupt our opponents balance. Pushing Hands plays a major role in self-defence. It can loosen and relax our joints, such training will also increase our sensitivity and improve our reaction.
Self-Defence and Wrestling
There is a well known Tai Chi poem “A strength of four ounces overcomes a strength of thousand pounds”. Tai Chi self-defence embraces spiritual and philosophical concepts of combat, a supreme art, rather than just a physical self-defence.
Tai Chi self-defence mentions stillness defeats motion and softness overcomes hardness. The techniques of Tai Chi self-defence taken from the movements of Tai Chi Handform. Practice with a partner is necessary to develop our ability in using these techniques to defend and to counter-attack our opponent. We must make these techniques second nature to us, so that in a real situation, we will react instinctively and decisively.
In ancient time, Internal Strength traditionally as effective training to strong our physique to defend against enemy.
Learning the Internal Strength, we can also attain to a transcendental stage of tranquillity.
A first rate Tai Chi man should gone this sublime stage or he has no idea at all.
Internal Strength is a self-cultivation of both spiritual and physical training, it was developed base the ideas of Tai Chi theory and the founder studied and learned the living aspects of some long living animals. It comprises a series of twelve Yin styles and complementary series of Yang styles. Following the rhythm of nature, embracing both Yin and Yang with motion and stillness of life in unity, it is the advanced level to be learned in Tai Chi Chuan.
Tai Chi Weapons
The three weapons used in Tai Chi Chuan are the Sword, Sabre and Spear. The elegant and continuous movements of the Tai Chi weapons contain the quality of Yin and Yang, softness and hardness, when they are in harmony this is Tai Chi.
The movement of the sword flows like a dragon soaring through in the sky, and the movements of the Sabre as dynamic as a tiger while the spear like willows swaying in the wind.