T'ai chi ch'uan

Tai Ji Quan, TaiJi or in cantonese Tai Gik in English usage Tai Chi, is a type of internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of t'ai chi ch'uan's training forms are especially known for being practiced at what most people categorize as slow movement. Today,Tai Ji Quan has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of t'ai chi ch'uan trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun. The term "Tai Ji Quan" translates as "supreme ultimate fist". The Chi in this instance is the Wade-Giles transliteration of the Pinyin ji, and is distinct from qi (ch'i, "life energy"). The concept of the taiji ("supreme ultimate"), in contrast with wuji ("without ultimate"), appears in both Taoist and Confucian Chinese philosophy, where it represents the fusion or mother[2] of Yin and Yang into a single ultimate, represented by the taijitu symbol. T'ai chi ch'uan theory and practice evolved in agreement with many Chinese philosophical principles, including those of Taoism and Confucianism. T'ai chi ch'uan training involves five elements, taolu (solo hand and weapons routines/forms), neigong & qigong (breathing, movement and awareness exercises and meditation), tuishou (response drills) and sanshou (self defence techniques). While t'ai chi ch'uan is typified by some for its slow movements, many t'ai chi styles (including the thre

most popular - Yang, Wu, and Chen) - have secondary forms of a faster pace. Some traditional schools of t'ai chi teach partner exercises known as tuishou ("pushing hands"), and martial applications of the taolu's (forms') postures. In China, t'ai chi ch'uan is categorized under the Wudang grouping of Chinese martial arts[3] Ч that is, the arts applied with internal power.[4] Although the Wudang name falsely suggests these arts originated at the so-called Wudang Mountain, it is simply used to distinguish the skills, theories and applications of neijia ("internal arts") from those of the Shaolin grouping, waijia ("hard" or "external") martial art styles.[5] Since the first widespread promotion of t'ai chi ch'uan's health benefits by Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu, Wu Chien-ch'uan, and Sun Lutang in the early 20th century,[6] it has developed a worldwide following among people with little or no interest in martial training, for its benefit to health and health maintenance.[7] Medical studies of t'ai chi support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy. It is purported that focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. Besides general health benefits and stress management attributed to t'ai chi ch'uan training, aspects of traditional Chinese medicine are taught to advanced t'ai chi ch'uan students in some traditional schools.[8] Some other forms of martial arts require students to wear a uniform during practice. In general, t'ai chi ch'uan schools do not require a uniform, but both traditional and modern teachers often advocate loose, comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes.