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Martial Arts - The Art Of Tai Chi

Tai Chi began as a martial art that was practiced for centuries in China as not only a form of combat, but also as an exercise and a way to improve the internal flow of energy in the body.

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Tai Chi began as a martial art that was practiced for centuries in China as not only a form of combat, but also as an exercise and a way to improve the internal flow of energy in the body. It focuses on having correct form and feeling with each and every movement, which is why it is always taught to be practiced and performed in a slow and gentle fashion.

By getting the entire body involved in an exercise with little to no impact, Tai Chi promotes strength, flexibility, and stamina in a safe and effective manner. With the entire body being taught to move as a whole, Tai Chi cultivates the link between mind and body, helping to enhance the state of one's mental AND physical coordination and balance. It can also help with the joints as well, especially if an individual is very stiff in the joints, and has been found to be effective in relieving some osteoarthritis pain.

Although initially developed to be a martial art, in its modern form as an exercise, it involves very little striking, offensive, or even defense techniques. Tai Chi is more a movement and breathing art that works on all of the major muscles and joints in the body, helping to circulate internal energy, or chi. The Chinese believe that an internal life energy, known as chi, is what prevents or stops diseases.

Many organizations such as retirement communities and senior fitness programs have recognized what a great fitness medium Tai Chi can be for seniors as well as younger members of society.

When practicing the art of Tai Chi, the body will remain very soft and relaxed, just like it was suspended from the top of the head with the joints being similar to that of a puppet. The mind of the student is focused on each movement, focusing on the flow of energy. By being relaxed and focused, you allow the energy to flow through your entire body.
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Even though you seem to be soft and relaxed when properly practicing Tai Chi, you are still constantly moving. The energy that flows through your body never stops, it moves from muscle to gland to brain, heart and lungs as it keeps you moving.  When you move in the real world, your training makes it seem as if you require little or no energy to make a movement.  By using your chi, everything you do seems as if it is weightless.

As originally used in combat, the Tai Chi warrior would use his opponent's own energy against him. The modern student or stylist is very relaxed, believing that the energy of an imagined opponent can also be used against him. There is little to no strength involved, making this a great martial art method for seniors, women, children, and all you big strong men out there. When the opponent becomes weak and tires himself out - the stylist attacks. This way, there is very little energy left to the opponent for defense or attack.

Its true origins shrouded in history, Tai Chi is one of the oldest styles of martial arts, and one of the hardest to find an instructor for these days.  As with other more militant martial arts, such as Tiger Claw and Ninjutsu, it can be very hard to find a dojo that teaches the art.  If you can find a dojo that does teach the art of Tai Chi, you really shouldn't pass it up.  It can teach you a lot about internal energy and your spiritual well being - learning more about yourself than you ever thought possible in the process.

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Page Updated 2:32 PM Monday 5/9/2016