Tai Chi- Extract Health Benefits From The Martial Arts
The internal Chinese martial art, Tai chi or Tai Chi Chuan is practiced for defence training and extracting health benefits. It is a self-paced martial art of mild physical exercise. The theory of “supreme ultimate” (Taiji/Tai) is common in both Confucian and Taoist philosophies. It signifies the fusion of Yin and Yang energies into a solo Ultimate, the Taijitu symbol denotes the same.
Tai Chi in Beijing, China.
The philosophy of Tai Chi is if an individual utilizes solidity to oppose violent force, then both parties will be injured to some degree. The injury is the innate consequence of brutal forces colliding. The Tai Chi philosophy is in agreement with several other philosophical principles of the Chinese practices like those of Confucianism and Taoism.
The Tai Chi training encompasses five elements – sanshou, nei gung, tui shou, solo hand routines and Weapons. It is alleged that concentrating the mind purely on the actions of these five elements restores the condition of mental lucidity and calmness. In addition to stress management and massive health advantages, Tai Chi programs are taught in medical schools, hospitals, clinics, senior homes, and within the community.
The study of Tai Chi Chuan program includes the following three facets:
Martial art: The ability to utilize Tai Chi as a self-defence form during a combat, weighs the understanding of a student studying the martial arts program. It is the learning of suitable responses in reaction to external stimulus or forces. It is the study of being compliant to an incoming attack and behaving positively to refute the opposing force. Tai Chi is a highly challenging martial art and requires rigorous training.
Meditation: The cultivation of concentration and tranquillity through the meditative phase of Tai Chi Chuan is essential in maintaining optimal health. It is important to remember that Tai Chi is a gentle style martial art in its application.
Morning Tai Chi in Suzhou, China.
Health: An unhealthy individual may find it challenging to meditate a calm mind, and to liberate the physical impact of stress on the mind and body, practising Tai Chi is crucial. For those eager to learn the martial art, good physical fitness is a step forward to effective self-defence.
Often referred as Tai Chi Chuan, the gentle martial art gained recognition only in mid 1800s. The first ever reference of Tai Chi was mentioned in the journals by the royal court scholar Ong Tong. Upon witnessing and experiencing a manifestation by Yang Lu Chan, the father of the Yang family style of martial art, he wrote: “Hands holding Taiji shakes the whole world, a chest containing ultimate skill defeats a gathering of heroes.”
The five traditional schools of Tai Chi styles were named after the originators of these styles, and include:
• Chen-style from Chen Wangting (1580–1660)
• Yang-style from Yang Lu-ch’an (1799–1872)
• Wu/Hao style from Wu Yu-hsiang (1812–1880)
• Wu-style from Wu Ch’uan-yu (1834–1902) and his son Wu Chien-ch’uan (1870–1942)
• Sun-style from Sun Lu-t’ang (1861–1932)
Today, numerous new and hybrid styles, including branches of the main styles have evolved. Nonetheless, these contemporary styles find their origins in any of these established groups. Furthermore, these five traditional styles are recognised globally as the mainstream styles. Other important styles involve Fu style and Zhaobao Tai Chi
Training and Method:
The basic training encompasses two fundamental features: ch’üan/ quán (solo form) and tui shou (varied styles of pushing hands).
Ch’üan solo form involves a sluggish series of movements that accentuates an erect spinal cord, abdominal breathing and a normal array of activity.
Tui shou utilizes varied styles of pushing hand movements and is employed for Tai Chi training involving a partner and in a more realistic approach.
Tai Chi’s primary feature depends on the sensitivity of the opponent’s movements and the centre of gravity ordering appropriate responses. A student of Tai Chi is taught to capture and effectively respond to the opponent’s centre of gravity, upon immediate contact.
Benefits of Tai Chi:
Today, Tai Chi is actively taught to patients recuperating in hospitals or clinics. Young and old alike are taught the advantageous martial art within the community. Wondering why it is gaining popularity? The simple health benefits imparted by Tai Chi are:
• Reducing depression and anxiety
• Lowering blood pressure
• Improving muscle strength, body balance and flexibility
• Improving the quality of sleep
• Enhancing endurance, energy and agility
• Alleviating chronic pain
• Perpetuating the feelings of well-being
• Improving cardiovascular health in senior citizens
• Reducing falls in aged adults