Taijiquan is a chinese martial art which gently exercises the body, the energy flow, and the mind, and can be used for health, longevity, mental freshness, and spiritual development. Taijiquan aims at well-being, including the attainment of grace and balance, the promotion of physical and emotional health, and the development of energy flow.
Taiji Quan, which means supreme ultimate boxing, was developed in the 17th century by Zhang San Feng, a Taoist monk who believed that martial arts practitioners need not exert physical energy when performing techniques. Instead, he believed that relaxation of the mind and body when facing confrontation would allow a practitioner to neutralize any attack.
Many people believe that Taiji Quan is not a martial art at all, but just an exercise for relaxation or health. Actually, Taiji Quan is a particular style of Chinese Wushu, and is often referred to as an internal or soft style of martial arts. In reality, while it does emphasize internal development, Taijiquan, like all styles of Chinese martial arts, contains both internal and external, hard and soft components.
How is Taijiquan practised?
Tai Chi many types of practice, main are Qigong, form, push hands and application.
Each type of practice develops the ability to coordinate the body, internal energy, and sensitivity to oneself, the space around, and other people, to a higher degree.
Qi Gong is the foundation of Taiji, wherein the student learns to move their body and feel their internal energy Qi, through simple, relatively static movements, and the use of the will Yi to guide the energy as it flows through its natural channels known as meridians.
The main exercise used in Taiji is called the Form. This is a flowing sequence of movements, lasting from 3 to 20 minutes. The Form very effectively develops physical skill and health, and constitutes a very enjoyable kind of moving meditation. Each movement can be practised at increasing levels of depth as the student develops. There are many variations of the Form within the different Taiji lineages and their schools, but they are all derived from the same original Form, and the principles of movement are always the same.
Push Hands (Tui Shou) is a kind of partner exercise, where 2 people develop sensitivity and co-ordination together. This is a very enjoyable, playful and free-flowing kind of exercise.
In application the student explores the deeper subtleties of the Form's movements, in a dynamic fashion with a training partner. Application tests and perfects the student's understanding of the movements, developing high levels of mind-body co-ordination, awareness, sensitivity, and confidence.