In Chinese, Tai Chi or Taiji, means ‘supreme ultimate’, and Tai Chi Chuan, or Tai Ji Quan translates as ‘supreme ultimate fist’, is a branch of the Chinese martial arts that originated in China some 400 years ago and is one of the most commonly practised martial arts in the world. Whether training for martial skill or for health and relaxation we begin by following the same principles of postural alignment, balance, coordination of hand to eye and upper and lower body, timing, footwork and mental focus, linking and involving the whole body in carrying out the form's slow movements.
As an internal martial art, Taijiquan enables us to develop a sense of being connected and aligned throughout the body by using the natural opening and closing, sinking and expanding, spiralling movements of the body. Where, with perseverance and correct practice, not only our tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints become stronger; but where our internal, inner strength, and Qi energy are also strengthened.
There is an old Chinese saying that states ‘Whoever practices Tai Chi regularly will in time gain the suppleness of a child, the strength of a lion, and the peace of mind of a sage.’
The practice of Taiji makes an essential contribution to our overall health and well-being, and its many health and martial advantages are freely available to anyone who has the patience and perseverance to learn them.
'There's no mystique to tai chi chuan. What's difficult is the perseverance'