What is Tai Chi? A Concrete and Simple Description
Tai Chi is a holistic practice where you involve your mind, your body, your spirit and your emotions. Its practice will help you know yourself and find your way. As it is rooted in the purest and oldest form of Taoist philosophy, which emphasizes living in Harmony with the Tao (The Way – The Path). This means being in harmony with “what is”, accepting and embracing opposites in life and in yourself.
As you learn and apply this philosophy and Martial Art into your life; you develop the virtues of integrity, wisdom, respect, humility, courage, honesty and honor (to name a few); you learn to focus on finding your own inner strength not to defeat or harm another, not to look for fights but to live a honorable life where you build your chi (life force energy) for benevolent purposes and only defense purposes. 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 defense techniques). While tai chi ch'uan is typified by some for its slow movements, many tai chi styles (including the three most popular – Yang, Wu, and Chen) – have secondary forms with faster pace. Some traditional schools of tai chi teach partner exercises known as tuishou (pushing hands), and martial applications of the taolu's (forms) postures.
When Tai Chi is properly taught and practiced; you develop various skills and gain many benefits that are contained in mind-body health/harmony. Some of them are:
Focusing your mind, concentration, physical strength and health, energy, mind-body-spirit harmony, flexibility, discipline, self-defense and reflexes, meditation, finding peace within (ease of mind), strengthen your immune system, grounding (centering-being here&now-standing on Earth), and the ability to handle your emotions in a healthy way which takes you to contentment.
When you follow its philosophy and constantly apply it to your daily life, it helps you to flow with life as you let go of what is holding you back, and allowing yourself to be free and to uncover your true potential.
My 6 years of constant practice, and an excellent teacher.