Do You Really Know Tai Chi?

When most people hear the word tai chi, they imagine slow and loose movements with a sense of peace and relaxation. You might still remember being amazed by the tai chi performances that took place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where performers impressed audiences around the globe with their fluidity and mastery of the martial art. Though tai chi has been practiced for centuries, it is just recently that the world has come to recognize and appreciate the health benefits that it offers.

Many do not realize that tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that focuses on internal energy, and fuses soft and gentle movements with natural breathing. Each movement is an application of self-defense performed in slow motion. Hence, the meaning of the original Chinese term (taijiquan 太极拳) being “supreme ultimate fist.” The basic principle of tai chi is “four ounces defeats a thousand pounds,” which means that using a small force with proper timing and aim can defeat a much stronger force. The martial artist’s balanced loose movement then displaces the attacker’s energy, resulting in a sharp contrast between the strong power and gentle technique. Fortunately, because tai chi is an internal martial art that does not rely on strength or size, it attracts a wide range of people.

By doing tai chi, you can experience deep relaxation through moving meditation. Tai chi’s unique combination between mind and body allows you to find peace of mind, increase your fitness level without overexertion, and ultimately raise your level of confidence.

 Some of the benefits of practicing Tai Chi include:

- Chronic pain relief
- Increase in energy, stamina, and agility
- Stress relief
- Lower blood pressure
- Improvement in flexibility and balance
- Prevention and recovery from diseases associated with aging
- Improved sense of balance between mind and body

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