tai chi general info

T’ai Chi Ch’uan is a martial art that has its roots in China.

In now days is widely known as an alternative way of exercise that offers health, relaxation and mental clarity.

T’ai Chi means something so great that it is impossible to describe. It is a double superlative that many translate as the Great Ultimate. Ch’uan means fist, therefore martial art, but also denotes sacred gesture. T’ai Chi Ch’uan the Great Ultimate martial art, or the sacred gesture of the Great Ultimate.

T’ai Chi Ch’uan is a system of gentle physical exercise promoting an overall sense of well being and constitutes also a holistic approach to health and life. Holistic in the sense that it does not discriminate between the physical, emotional and mental health. At the same time, it does not discriminate between man and his environment but it rather promotes the sense that we are parts of an integrated biosystem. In this way it helps us realize that in order to preserve our health it is necessary to understand our interconnection with nature and tenderly take care for the preservation of our balance with it.

The practice of T’ai Chi includes:

a) The forms which are choreographed series of movements that in the beginning are executed slowly in a relaxed manner, and with time they are accelerated and performed more dynamically.

b) The exercises that aim to stretch the muscular system so that flexibility can be brought back to the body.

c) The martial training where the movements of the forms are being studied separately as self-defense techniques.

d) The Ch’i Cung that cultivates and develops the vital energy of the body, the Ch’i, with the combined use of breath, movement and concentration.

e) The sitting meditation that cultivates the intuitive awareness of the trainee and focuses his mind towards peace.

In order for someone to train in T’ai Chi no particular physical stamina or flexibility is demanded. Neither age constitutes a problem. In other words almost everybody can participate. In the contrary with other physical practices that exclude little by little people of an older age, in the case of T’ai Chi the enjoyment and satisfaction that can be drawn from it augment and deepen with time.

Life conditions in the modern urban environment continuously accelerate alienating us from our body that overall is the basic conveyor of our life experience. T’ai Chi through the gentleness and softness of its movements helps us reconnect with the sensitivity of our body. Through relaxation our rhythms slow down offering us again the sense of spaciousness that we lose during our everyday life. This is one of the reasons for the fame of this art as far as its positive effect in the prevention and help in stress related illnesses is concerned. People that sacrifice time and energy to study the art of T’ai Chi are always accompanied with a sense of spaciousness and serenity that makes them more effective and productive in the growing demands of everyday life.