13 January 2010

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Know Benefits and History of Tai Chi – An ancient Chinese Martial and Meditation Art

Know Benefits and History of Tai Chi – An ancient Chinese Martial and Meditation Art-

Reality Views by sm -

300 years back in china, Tai chi took place birth in the village Chenjiagou located on the Yellow River in the peaceful countryside of Northern China.

There are two main theories to who was the founder of Tai Chi:

One claims it was first developed by a solitary person, Chang San-Feng, who lived 600 years ago on the Wu-Tang Mountain in China.

The other maintained that Chen Wang-Ting was the founder and creator of the Chen Tai Chi Family.

Chen Wangting (1600-1680), a ninth-generation descendant of the Chen family, put together his vast knowledge of martial arts, traditional Chinese medical theory and classical Tao Te Ching philosophy to create T'ai Chi.

Wudang Mountain is where Chang San Feng lived in the 13th century, a mystical mountain recently made famous by the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

In his time Chang San Feng was mostly famous as a spiritual sage

The Emperor of China sent 30,000 men to build a temple on Wudang Mountain, just to curry favor with him. Refusing to appear at the Imperial court, Chang San Feng instead disappeared at age 95 into the wild Wudang Mountains.

He then, according to written records, re-appeared regularly for hundreds of years afterward to teach people the secrets of the Tao.

This reappearing act is how he got a reputation for being a "Tao immortal".
Chen style T'ai Chi is the original T'ai Chi from which all the other T'ai Chi styles were developed (Yang, Wu, Sun, etc).

Tai Chi also has, particularly amongst eastern practitioners, a long connection with the I Ching a Chinese system of divination.

There are associations between the 8 basic I Ching trigrams plus the five elements of Chinese alchemy (metal, wood, fire, water and earth) with the thirteen basic postures of Tai Chi created by Chang San-feng.

There are also other associations with the full 64 trigrams of the I Ching and other movements in the Tai Chi form.

When someone learns this art for the health and healing it is called as T'ai Chi;
And when someone learns this art for self defense T’ai Chi becomes T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
What does Tai Chi Chuan mean?

The words can be translated as Tai - supreme, Chi - ultimate, Chuan - boxing.
Tai chi can be practiced by anyone regardless of age or gender.

What does Tai Chi symbol represent?
The Tai Chi symbol consists of two fishes, one white and one black, which are called 'Yin Yang fishes' in Tai Chi.

The white represents Yang and the black represents Yin, in which one fish's head links to the tail of another, and both fishes try to overtake each other, which forms a lively picture.
The Yin Yang Unity: the symbol is a circular unified body, in which both fishes are mutually dependent. One will not exist without another.

The tai chi symbol represents the interaction of Yin and Yang. The Chinese character for Yin is the dark side of the hill and for Yang the sunny side of the hill.

The Tai Chi symbol shows each of them with a seed of the other within it, to illustrate how, for example, day turns into night and night turns into day.

Regular practice of Tai chi increases the energy levels of person as well as helps to stay strong and healthy.

To do tai chi, you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.
Currently there are five main recognized styles of Tai Chi in China:
Chen, Yang, Sun, Li, and Wu.

Chen is the original from which developed the Yang style and from that Wu. Further derivations from these styles are the Hao and Zhaobao etc.

A tiny force can move mountains: T'ai Chi is based on that principle

Tai Chi can be done anywhere and everywhere:

* Before, after work, at lunchtime at work or at home

* Can be done in confine areas

* Suitable for anyone at all ages

* Do regularly to maximize benefits

Principles of Tai chi
1. Take it easy – one should not force, forcing is opposite to Tai chi principles

2. Tai chi is spiritual teaching

3. Tai chi is form of meditation

4. Tai chi is system of healing naturally

5. Tai chi is system of self defence

6. Be Simple – Be natural, Relax (loosen) the waist. - Changes in full and empty all come from the waist

7. Balance movements – Tai chi is about balancing moves

8. Move the all body – Tai chi is like dance, every movement involves whole body, when one part moves each part moves , when still every body part is still

9. Be focused Be rooted – Always feel that firmly planted in the ground

10. Slowing down – To get all the benefits of Tai chi one has to slow down ,the ultimate principle of Tai chi

11. Think in curves – All movement in Tai chi are curved and circular

12. Sink Lower - Energy should flow from earth into body, helps to get below the opponents energy centre

13. Stay Balanced – Good balance physical as well as mental is essential in Tai chi also

14. Go with the flow – the movements should be always slow and soft like one is on wheels

15. The aim of Tai-Chi as a martial art is to stop violence

Following are the 22 Benefits of Tai chi practice –
1. Strengthens the immune system

2. Stabilizes blood pressure

3. help to digest food

4. Increases stamina

5. makes the person strong in mind as well as body

6. increases sexual endurance

7. improves blood circulation

8. Relieves stress

9. Delays aging

10. increased bone density

11. increased strength and range of motion of joints

12. greater leg strength

13. Reducing falls in older adults

14. Improving cardiovascular fitness in older adult

15. Tai Chi relieves pain and disability among people with arthritis

16. reduces coronary heart disease

17. Enhanced sleep

18. Greater awareness, calmness, and overall sense of well being

19. Diabetes

20. Parkinson’s disease

21. Asthma

22. Post Traumatic Stress

Side Effects or who should not practice Tai chi?
• If someone overdo practice, he may have sore muscles or sprains

• One should not practice Tai chi immediately after meal

• One should avoid practice of Tai chi when there is tiredness

• If you have an active infection. one should avoid tai chi practice

• If you are pregnant, or if you have a hernia, joint problems, back pain, fractures, or severe osteoporosis, your health care provider may advise you to modify or avoid certain postures in tai chi

• Keep in mind that learning tai chi from a video or book does not ensure that you are doing the movements correctly and safely

Source –
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Tai Chi 24 Form


Neha January 13, 2010  

now that is some info...and it is for sure going to be useful to many..thanks for sharing :)

Samvedna January 13, 2010  

Your blog is my wikipedia:)

Dhiman January 13, 2010  

Important and useful information about Tai Chi ....

lostworld January 13, 2010  

Wow oh wow! :-) That made an interesting read.. Especially Tai-chi known in different ways when you use it for different purposes!!

BK Chowla, January 13, 2010  

Your posts are a treasure of information

sm,  January 14, 2010  


RNSANE January 14, 2010  

I have always loved watching people - from young to elderly, do tai chi, early mornings, in the parks in San Francisco.

sm,  January 14, 2010  


sm,  January 14, 2010  


sm,  January 14, 2010  


Aswani January 15, 2010  

This is very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing :)

sm,  January 15, 2010  


sm,  January 15, 2010  


Insignia January 16, 2010  

Wow!! Informative as usual. Kudos to you for segregating it and pulling it up to share.

sm,  January 17, 2010