Tai Chi: gymnastics or martial arts?

Tai Chi is a combination of exercises that includes self-defense and rhythmic gymnastics in combat. It appeared in China several centuries ago. The official name is “Taijiquan”, which can be translated as “the highest boxing at the limit.” Curious to know what it is? Let’s figure it out.

Peter Wayne, associate professor at Harvard School of Medicine and director of research at the Osher Center for Medicine, claims Tai Chi is also spoken of as “a form of gentle exercise.”

Where tai chi comes from is unknown, but it is assumed that it is an evolved form of martial arts of the East, as well as the practice of philosophy, spirit and healing.

Tai Chi Chuan is a very popular trend in China, it is practiced every day by many people. They can often be found in the early morning in a park or other open space. Over the past half century, Tai Chi has spread beyond China, not bypassing Russia.

Doctors in China and other countries have conducted research and noted the undoubted advantages of this practice:

  • Improves balance, coordination.
  • Develops flexibility and endurance.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure, heart and psyche.
  • Reduces the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s disease and many others.

Tai Chi martial gymnastics

The exercises of this technique are absolutely safe for people of all age groups. According to the indications, it can be compared with yoga. Just like yoga, Tai Chi has different forms: Yang, Chen, Wu, Hao, San.

All styles are individual, but their common trait is smoothness, regularity and careful control over movements.

All movements slowly flow from one to another – it can resemble a dance. In Tai Chi, sets of exercises are called forms or sets, each of which includes a certain number of positions. Those who have perfected this practice for a long time can diversify their training with staves or swords.

At the initial level, Tai Chi is a fairly simple workout, for example, squats, twists, rearranging legs from place to place. Although the movements are simple in appearance, they increase muscles well and teach you to concentrate.

Common tai chi sets include relaxation training to help distribute energy throughout the body.

Why is Tai Chi good for health?

The smoothness and sluggishness of movement is ideal for the elderly, the sick, or people with disabilities. Moreover, the practice is popular among people of all age groups in good health. Studies have shown that Tai Chi will benefit everyone on the planet, from energetic young men to older women with cardiovascular diseases.

Much research in the West has focused on the physical elements of exercise routines rather than the spiritual aspects. The benefits of the practice are so great that most hospitals arrange Tai Chi training for visitors.

Also, the significant benefits of Taijiquan can be attributed to the fact that it helps to strengthen cognitive functions and develop memory, improve the balance and strength of the muscles, improve the quality of life, strengthen the immune system, and also get rid of excess weight.

Tai Chi for beginners

First, you should stretch your legs and get your breathing and concentration in order. In no sport is it possible to achieve success through brute strength. You need to be able to focus and use your potential.


In tai chi, there is a concept in which you need to root yourself. Imagine that your feet are taking root. You become part of the earth, and you can no longer lose your balance. Your limbs sway like the wind and you take root.

This does not mean that the legs have to become firm. On the contrary, you need to feel like a part of the natural world, to feel complete freedom in movement. You can’t fall anymore.

Types of Tai Chi

The main forms of practice:

  • Small. There is less mobility, less active exercise, the main emphasis is on meditation.
  • Large. More dynamic workouts, they learn to correctly position the body and align energy.


After you decide to immerse yourself in the worlds of Chinese gymnastics, we recommend that you do some experiments and try different forms of Tai Chi.

  • Chen can be difficult for newbies because the style starts out smoothly and then explodes at a fast pace.
  • Jan is very popular. Exercise at a steady pace.
  • Woo – every movement seems microscopic. They are easy to do, but not easy to control. The emphasis is on powerful flows of energy and pressure from within.

By the way, with the help of Tai Chi classes, you can well lose those extra pounds.

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