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The Art of Tai Chi Chuan  
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan
A part of the Chinese culture is an art that can make you move through the mind, bringing a state of mental calmness.

Tai chi chuan is a nature of Chinese martial arts. It originates way back from the Tang Dynasty that existed centuries ago. Tai chi, is classified with the Neijia branch, a soft form of martial arts. It distinguishes itself from other forms by implementing internal strength. It embeds internal movement as its principle.

A flashback on Chinese history would remind us that tai chi chuan relates to philosophies of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. All of which has their own means of attaining self-enlightenment, so as Tai Chi.

In translation, Tai, means the big or great; Chi, everything or is everywhere and Chuan, the way.

Though it also aims self-defense, it is mainly practiced for health and meditation purposes. It is an effective exercise and meditation at the same time.

Those who practice tai chi chuan believe that harmony and balance can be achieved through these forms. Originally, tai chi utilized the Thirteen Postures which used stationary positions and forms. This means the practitioner does a posture and remains still for about an hour or so. This aims to connect the posture to The Form thus creating unity of the soul and body.

It takes an excellent deal of practice and application to master Tai Chi. One incorrect move may break everything. The feet and legs, and how it is interrelated to the upper body must be in the right position. Failing to do may and will lead the body in confusion. To create the proper form, it all begins in the mind. The Tai Chi Classics, writings by masters of the martial arts, describes the techniques of tai chi as body coordination with a relaxed state.

Through the years, this form of martial arts has already evolved to different forms. The popular Chinese martial arts movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle employed the techniques of this martial arts.

From the slow-paced forms, tai chi has now evolved to a faster pace of forms. Tai chi styles as Yang, Wu and Chen are part of these. Different styles of tai chi are derived from the respective Chinese families who originated it. These different styles differ in their training, but basically, they still share tai chi’s underlying theories. From the Neijia branch, there have already been five major classic families who have produced their own techniques in tai chi. Hence, from the original 13 forms, there have been a number of forms that have already sprouted.

Since 1989, tai chi has already been incorporated in Wushu, a sport which has a 42 competition form.

Tai chi chuan is not only about being still and following the forms, for the Chinese practitioners, aside from the benefits it give, it is most importantly, an art.

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