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Tai Chi Chuan

Written by Sierra Rein
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"Be still as a mountain, move like a great river": such a unique statement encapsulates the wonderful theory behind Tai Chi Chuan, one of several martial arts descended from China. Most people recognize the art when they see a group of people a park lawn or in front of the beach, performing gentle graceful movements in the crisp morning air. While it may look soothingly easy, Tai Chi is many things, from a meditative art to self defense technique, and from a form of exercise to a way towards spiritual enlightenment.

The existence of Tai Chi was relatively well known, but for years the techniques and philosophies of the art was traditionally passed in secret from teacher to student. It was not until Yan Lu-san, a student of the Ch'en family, broke the silence and began to spread the art through China. Since then, it has broken into many styles, Tai Chi Chuan being one of the most popular.

What Are The Benefits of Tai Chi Chuan, And What Does It Mean?

The term "chi" refers to the internal energy which flows through the body. Like a river, it can be channeled and allowed to flow freely throughout the limbs, torso, and head, giving the student increased flexibility, strength, poise, balance, and health. The chi then realigns itself in the body and fine-tunes the body over a period of time.

Through Tai Chi instruction, you too can learn the many forms, breathing techniques, postures, and spiritual mind set it takes to master the martial art. A class in Tai Chi Chuan should not be taken with the idea that you will break boards, kick opponents, and generally be able to become aggressive with someone. Tai Chi self defense is a way of channeling internal energy (including your opponents). It takes time, patience, and a peaceful mental state, and is not about offensive moves.


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