Like many martial arts pursuits, the venerable practice of Tai Chi Chuan carries with it an exotic flavor and a long tradition of mystique. These qualities alone attract today’s Western mentality to such arts. Of course, it is the long-term benefits that make the practitioners stick around.
The Benefits of Tai Chi
The dedicated practice of Tai Chi brings with it a long list of benefits, such as:
- Alleviates stress and habitual stress responses
- Greatly improves balance
- Relieves pain
- Increases mental acuity
- Strengthens the immune system
- Heals or reduces back, neck, and joint problems
- Normalizes circulation and blood pressure, reducing heart problems
- Strengthens and tones muscles
- Improves physical flexibility
- Increases vitality and therefore longevity by reducing energy blockage
- Provides a sense of overall well-being
- Offers an opportunity to cultivate one’s individual spirituality
How Long Does it Take?
Nothing comes from nothing and, as we all know, there is a direct correlation between what we invest in any self-improvement effort and what we get out of it. Put simply, Tai Chi takes time to show profound results.
The practice of Tai Chi is done by performing a set of movements in the same precise manner every time. The movements, called “positions,” are strung together in a prearranged set, called the Tai Chi Form. Since there are dozens of Tai Chi styles, there are nearly endless combinations, but the student will always perform the same movements in the same order within the particular style they adopted.
The Colorful Tai Chi “Positions”
The Tai Chi positions have colorful titles that help the student remember them. This video depicts a few of the 64 positions, including the movements required to complete one part of the Tai Chi position called “Wave Hands like Clouds,” starting at c. 30 seconds.
Here is partial list of the 64 Tai Chi positions as practiced by Do No Kai Martial Arts Temple: