Tai Chi

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Tai chi is the chinese Martial Art that is being practiced for the purpose of self defense. It is also known to be beneficial to oneís health.

The concept of Tai Chi or supreme ultimate represents the fusion or mother of Yin and Yang into a single ultimate, represented by the taijitu symbol

Popularity

Tai Chi has gained popularity not only in some clinics and hospitals but also in various community and senior centers. It has found usefulness in treating quite a number of ailments like Parkinson and diabetes, and is thereby supported by a number of medical associations. Tai Chi, also known as tai chi chuan, is typified by its relatively slow movement. Some of the forms of Tai Chi, such as Yang, Wu, and Chen involve fast movement. It is accompanied by deep breathing. Its slow and meditative body movements are originally designed for self-defense and promoting inner peace and calm. It suits people who like to work out alone at home as well as those who prefer exercising in a social setting.

Benefits

Tai Chiís slow, rhythmic, and meditative body movements are essentially designed to enhance relaxation. It is known to be effective in helping with pain relief, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and also helps in boosting up upper and lower body flexibility as well as strength. It has also found usefulness in case of arthritis patients. It cures Parkinsonís disease and improves over well being.
Tai Chi, often referred to as meditation in motion or even better described as medication in motion can be practiced indoors or out, as a group activity or all by yourself.

Tai Chi for beginners


Tai chi is pretty safe and inexpensive as no fancy equipment is required, so it's easy to get started:
  • Language confusion: It may at times so happen that learners might get intimidated by names like Yang, Wu,Cheng etc. which have been given to various branches of tai chi, in honor of people who devised the sets of movements referred to as forms. Some forms of Tai Chi focus on its aspect of martial arts rather than its potential for healing and stress reduction whereas other forms might lay emphasis on breathing and meditation. Some forms might involve longer series of movements while others might deal with shorter sequences.
  • Doctorís Advice: In case you are undergoing treatment or under some form of medication, it is highly recommendable to visit a doctor before practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a relatively safe practice and thereby it might be encouraged for ailment.
  • Attending Tai Chi classes: taking Tai Chi classes always helps, if you plan to learn it. Seeing a teacher in action, getting feedback, and experiencing the camaraderie of a group are all pluses rather than learning it by yourself by means of Youtube videos based on Tai Chi or still photos or illustrations in Tai Chi books.
  • Interacting with your instructor: looking for experienced teachers who will accommodate individual health concerns or levels of coordination and fitness is highly recommendable. References from clinicians or acquaintances along with oneís own judgment are always welcome as there are no standard training or licensing for tai chi instructors.
  • Dressing up: usually loose-fitting clothes work fine while practicing Tai Chi as it does not restrict your movement. Lightweight, comfortable, and flexible shoes that do not slip and helps in maintaining balance of the body are advisable. Tai Chi shoes are available but one can practice barefoot as well.
  • Warm-up exercises: one should always start with warm Ė up exercises which include easy motions like shoulder circles, turning the head from side to side, or rocking back and forth that not only helps in loosening muscles and joints but also focuses on your breath and body. Cautious Warning: Tai chi is highly known for its safety. However, there might be few side effects and Risks associated with it:
  • Overdoing Tai Chi might result in having sore muscles or sprains, as in case of any exercise regimen.
  • Practicing tai chi right after a meal or when you are extremely exhausted, or while suffering from an active infection is not recommendable by instructors.
  • Modification or avoidance of certain postures is advisable for people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis and hernia or for pregnant women.

Widespread

Tai Chi has been portrayed in many movies, games as well as TV series.

Movies which have shown Tai Chi include Lady Whirlwind, Drunken Tai Chi, Pushing Hands, Kung Fu Cult Master, The Tai Chi Master, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, to name a few.

Other movies such as Tai Chi Master, The Matrix trilogy, Kill Bill 1 and 2 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Avatar: The Last Airbender and in the new 2012 animated series The Legend of Korra, Xiaolin Showdown, The Master of Tai Chi have also shown Tai Chi.

Video game series that uses Tai Chi include Street Fighter, Playstation 2, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Tekken introduced in Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament, Dead or Alive etc. T'ai chi ch'uan plays a role in book series like The Five Ancestors, Tres Navarre, Research of Martial Arts, Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power, The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi: Combat and Energy Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi and Hsing-I etc. Magazines include "T'ai Chi Magazine bimonthly". Wayfarer Publications and Taijiquan Journal.

There are many non asian actors worldwide who are experts in martial arts. Actors such as Akshay Kumar, Chuck Norris and Jason Statham are popular actors from around the world that have propogated various forms of martial arts in their countries.
Some YouTube videos showing Tai Chi are Yang Zhenduo's Yang-style and Various styles of tuishou and sanshou.etc.

 

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