Why T’ai Chi Ch’uan?
T'ai Chi Ch'uan is a set of naturally flowing movements for health and fitness, relaxation, meditation, and self-defense that originated in China nearly 1,000 years ago. Since then, it has been highly valued as one of the treasures of China. T'ai Chi Ch'uan exercise consists of about 100 movements which are performed slowly in a continuous sequence with a spirit of calmness, balance, and awareness.
Originally, the art was a closely guarded family secret. Today, it is practiced by millions of people, both young and old, in China and around the world.
Health and Fitness
Regular practice of T'ai Chi Ch’uan develops strength and flexibility of the joints, muscles, and ligaments. T’ai Chi Ch’uan also enhances the performance of the cardiovascular system with a minimum of stress. It is classified as a low impact aerobic exercise, comparable to walking. Because of the gentle nature of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, it is often used as a therapeutic exercise by people who are recovering from illness or injury, or for those who are beginning an exercise program and who are ‘out of shape.’
T’ai Chi Ch’uan teaches a way of relaxation with vitality. One is relaxed under pressure and when at ease, there is still tone in the body and awareness in the mind. Through the daily practice of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, one learns to use the body more efficiently and to achieve greater results with less effort. One then has more energy left over to ward off illness and enjoy the good things in life.
In T’ai Chi Ch’uan the mind is focused on accurate body position, calm breathing, and moving with minimum tension. This focus helps develop a calm and balanced attitude which carries over into the regular activities of daily life. Through daily practice, the mind becomes alert, clear, and relaxed, and the practitioner gains a new sense of serenity.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan is known as an internal martial art because the strength that is manifested comes from the development of inner and outer coordination and stability in motion, rather than external speed and strength.