The Tai Chi that most of us are familiar with consists of slow, gentle, flowing movements—the kind that you see people practicing in parks usually in the mornings. This is just one aspect of Tai Chi, and it is a therapy for the mind, body, and soul. But do you know Tai Chi can also be used in combat situations? Those dance-like movements can be executed with deadly effect to thwart a physical attack and launch a counter attack. So Tai Chi is a martial art and a therapy.
Tai Chi is a Martial Art
Tai Chi originated in China more than 2,000 years ago as a martial art. Chinese monks who lived in secluded monasteries perched up in the mountains practiced Tai Chi to keep fit and keep away intruders and robbers. So every Tai Chi move has a martial application and can be used in a combat situation.
Tai Chi as a martial art focuses primarily on the physical aspect of an exercise, like adopting the exact stance, maintaining the correct posture, and putting the right amount of force behind a blow or a kick. Martial Tai Chi focuses on empowering the practitioner with the physical skills needed to attack and defend.
Tai Chi Chuan is a martial style of Tai Chi.
Why Tai Chi is a Martial Art with a Difference?
Martial Tai Chi concentrates on the physical aspects of the form and consists of moves that enhance muscular strength, coordination, and stamina. But it does not neglect the mental aspects either.
All styles of Tai Chi are grounded in the Chinese concepts of yin-yang and qi. The Chinese believe that within every human being are two opposite forces, yin and yang. Qi is the vital life energy that flows through our bodies. Tai Chi aims to balance yin and yang within the body and make qi flow freely. When the mind and body are in harmony and there are no energy blockages, you keep away a host of physical and mental illnesses, beat stress, and enjoy peace of mind. In this respect, martial Tai Chi differs from many other forms of self-defense techniques that concentrate solely on preparing a person physically for a fight.
Tai Chi has been called “meditation in motion.” Martial Tai Chi provides all the benefits of mindfulness meditation. The moves require you to relax and focus on a particular stance and align the breath with your movements. These are complex moves and require you to turn your full attention to the exercise. So martial Tai Chi helps sharpen your focus and compels you to be mindful of your movements. The deep breathing techniques emphasized by martial Tai Chi are also relaxing.
Free Tai Chi Video: Form Practice
If you want to learn Tai Chi as a martial art, be prepared for more intense and longer training sessions than programs that focus just on enhancing fitness levels and enabling spiritual development. But you will be rewarded doubly for your efforts—you will learn fighting skills and become a calmer, happier, and healthier person in the process.
Learn more about how Tai Chi is a martial art