Tai chi chuan is an internal Chinese martial art and is mostly practiced for health and longevity reasons.
A multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern. Some of tai chi chuan’s training forms are well known to westerners as the slow motion routines that groups of people practice together every morning in parks around the world.###
The study of tai chi chuan primarily involves three aspects:
- Health: tai chi concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on body and mind.
- Meditation: focus and calmness are cultivated by the meditative aspect of tai chi.
- Martial art: tai chi chuan martially is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces and thus a form of self-defence in combat.
Researchers have found that intensive tai chi practice shows some favourable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility as well as cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.