Jean-pierre former of the section Tai chi and kung fu in the Lincolnshire martial arts center association, has been playing the martial art game for over 38 years. He is based in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, UK.
Jean-pierre take on tai chi and qigong. It recognises how tai chi movement can play a fundamental role in the broad spectrum of human health and fulfilment.
Tai chi is a Chinese exercice system that, through the practice of gentle, flowing movements, trains the body to move in the very best way it can, and simultaneously calms the mind. Rooted in principles from 4,000 years ago, this ancient art is now practised throughout the world by people of all ages and levels of physical fitness.
Here, I introduce some of the underlying principles of the art, such as yin and yang, and chi (internal energy). I also trace the history of tai chi from its reputed origin on the holy Taoist mountain of Wudang Shan through to today´s proliferation of tai chi styles.
Tai chi is an ancient martial art that was once performed by reclusive, devoted Taoist monks on Wudang Mountain in China. Today, it is practised in a wide variety of places from dedicated tai chi classes in martial art schools to predominantly health-related classes in health centres and hospitals in city centres all over the world. Since its early beginnings, there have been a number of changes in the way that tai chi is taught and there are now a plethora of styles. What is common to most forms of tai chi is the benefits they offer in therms of health, posture, confidence, mental focus and spiritual development.
Tai chi is part of the Chinese tradition of chi kung, which is a system of exercices that encourage chi energy to flow freely around the body. Today the therm tai chi is applied to an incredible number of interpretations of the original Chinese martial art. Essentially, tai chi is a series of postures, know as the hand Form, that are performed in a smouth, flowing manner over a period of time ranging from 3 to 20 minutes, depending on the style of tai chi. The postures, which were inspired by the fluid movement of various creatures, were originally used for self-defence. In addition to the hand Form, there are also Weapon Forms of tai chi.
The words "tai chi" can be translated as "supreme ultimate". And the full name given to the art - "tai chi chuan" - can be translated as "supreme ultimate fist" or "supreme ultimate boxing". Tai chi chuan is a system of fighting that is based on applying the inter-relationship of yin and yang.
Although tai chi was once used for self-defence, it is not often used for this purpose today. But the principles of tai chi still serve us well because we can apply them to psychological or emotional as well as physical attack. On a basic level, if any type of force (yang) comes toward you, it should be met with softness (yin).