Tai chi quang (also spelled as Tai Chi Chuan or Taijiquan) is one of the many popular martial arts. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese practice it regularly for fitness, good health and longevity. It improves blood circulation as well as of cosmic energy or Qi (or Chi), in which the Chinese place their trust for attaining sound health, both physical and mental. Most Chinese practitioners will also affirm that it develops or aids the cultivation of the spirit.
Unlike most other martial arts that adopt a hard style in that they use the stiffness and tension in the muscles, Tai chi quang is soft in its style. A relaxed natural body posture, deep and regular breathing, easy and even movements of legs and hands without the muscles being stiff or rigid, are all marks of this soft style. It strikes you with its grace and beauty of the slow and fluid motion routines that its practitioners display in Chinese public parks. In various countries around the world, you will witness the same thing every morning.
Tai chi quang has many variations and styles. Originally, nearly two hundred years ago in China, the Chen family taught the Yang family a system of Tai chi. This system has inspired the development of most of the modern styles that Tai chi schools use all over the world for training the learners. There are five main styles, each of which derives its name from the family, which taught it first. These families, namely, Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu Quanyuo and Sun (some of these have alternative names), lend their names to the five styles of Tai chi practiced in China and elsewhere. Several new styles have come into vogue now, but all of them are an offshoot of the old orthodox ones.
The main objectives of these schools are to make the students aware of the importance of balance in their own lives as well as of what sort of balance or imbalance that affects the others’ behavior. The students learn to harness Qi for improving the balance and harmony in their own lives and to defend themselves against those who, due to the imbalance resulting from the lack of proper Qi, attack them physically or verbally.
As a beginner, you can practice Tai chi with your bare hands. Moreover, you do not need any particular dress style. Advanced practitioners use weapons and prescribed dress styles. While practicing the martial art, you have to bear in mind three important aspects. One is about your posture. It should be natural and relaxed. Your breathing should be regular and deep. The second is about your mind. It should be peaceful and calm while being alert. The third is regarding your body and its movements. You should let your body weight be on the waist and legs. Your hand and leg movements should be free, without any tension or rigidity, slow and graceful.
If you practice Tai chi quang regularly, you will experience energy surging through your entire being, your stress levels fall to near zero and you will never have any trouble sleeping well. In times of need, you can defend yourself. You will also experience spiritual gains. More than anything else, Tai chi quang, as its practitioners tell you, will bestow upon you sound health and, consequently, longevity.
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