Tai Chi (meaning something like big outstretched fist, a young form of Qi Gong) comes from China and in it you do movement exercises in a choreographic form that come from martial arts. Originally the movements were to develop fighting skills. Now it is practiced much more to improve health, de-stress and for the meditative element. So Tai Chi is meditation in motion and so that promotes concentration.
Many people who practice Tai Chi are not even aware of the qualities Tai Chi has as a martial art. Without understanding the internal (martial) principles, it is difficult to reach a higher level of Tai Chi Chuan. It is extremely important to develop your internal strength and learn the skill to apply it. By bringing the external martial techniques and the internal energy principles, such as the spirals and the spiritual-intent, together in the form, you gain insights that you can apply throughout the form. Tai Chi is more than walking a form, and the inner power thus distinguishes Tai Chi from external martial arts. With the overall result being the many health benefits.
To every teacher the saying “in the student one recognizes the master” applies. A good Tai Chi teacher will be able to teach and refer you in all the aspects of ‘martial art’, ‘health exercise’ and ‘art of living’.
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