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Tai Chi Self Defense

Written by Sierra Rein
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As a martial art, Tai Chi self defense may seem to be a misnomer. Most people know Tai Chi as a meditational art, traditionally for elderly people to gain focus and flexibility. This would not be false in describing it, as these benefits are part of the martial art in general.

The defensive aspect of Tai Chi self defense techniques arrives in the idea of "chi," or internal energy. This energy, through carefully controlled movements can be physically shaped into patterns (or forms). There are many fixed patterns (at least three hundred) which include empty hand forms, stick forms, sword forms, and two-person fighting forms.

The Origins Of Tai Chi Self Defense

Ancient writings of Tai Chi can be dated back to around 400 BC, although the more contemporary forms of T'ai Chi Ch'uan originated in China several hundred years ago. There are two main theories about the beginnings of the art, one being that it was created by a hermit called Chang San-Feng, and the other claims that the head of the Ch'en T'ai Chi family, Ch'en Wang-t'ing, was its founder. However it's beginnings, the techniques of Tai Chi Chuan were secreted and only communicated between teacher and student for centuries, creating similar but separate family styles that have only recently been revealed.

Thus, if you are interested in becoming a student of the art of Tai Chi self defense, understand that you are joining a practice steeped in history and tradition. It requires a lot of patience, skill, and personal strength, but can be learned at almost any age with careful and competent Tai Chi instruction. The benefits reaped include more than just defensive techniques, and can help you achieve a more relaxed, energized, and peaceful mind and body.

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