Tai Chi Chuan
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, the information on these pages is gathered from my own experience, books, websites, and other people's experience. I will not be held responsible for any injury resulting from this information. If you have a medical condition, you should seek qualified medical advice and supervision at all times.
Tai chi chuan is a martial art which originated in China. There are several styles of tai chi, most if not all emphasise extremely slow movements, sometimes synchronised with breathing. Tai chi is often used for relaxation, rehabilititaion and to encourage balance, calmness, flexibility and strength. It is often recommended by specialists as a stress management technique, and to help manage chronic pain, especially to help reduce joint pain.
The five major styles of Tai Chi are:
- Yang style (YouTube)
- Wu style (YouTube)
- Wu/Hao style (Google Video)
- Chen style (Google Video)
- Sun style (Google Video)
Solo routines (forms) are learnt in which the student focuses on correct posture, stance, fluid movement, and synchronised breathing. As the student masters a form, they can slow it down and lower their stance to build stamina and strength. There are also faster forms, and forms that use weapons such as straight sword, sabre, fan, spear and lance amongst others.
Breathing exercises, ch'i kung or nei kung, are also often practised. At some tai chi schools, traditional chinese medicine is also taught.