Tai Chi or Tai Chi Chuan or taiji quan is, according to how it is practiced, at once health gymnastics, a Chinese martial art, known as “internal” (neijia), Taoist inspiration, and a spiritual path.
The Chinese Character tai chi chuan are composed of elements taiji 太极 “ridge Supreme” and quan 拳, “fist boxing” and is literally translated as “supreme ultimate boxing” or ” boxing with shadow” because the observer has the impression that the practitioner fight against a shadow. Another common translation is “boxing of eternal youth”, the Supreme ridge being less literally translated by “immortality”; ultimate goal of Taoist alchemy, where man is an intermediary between Heaven and Earth.
To write a good research paper on the topic it is important to understand that the aim of Tai Chi is to refine your vital energy (chi) and thus “open your consciousness to a higher dimension.”
- movements have both a martial application (dodges, parries, strikes, seizures…) and energy developing;
- they have been created and developed by Taoist warriors or monks medics;
- Tai chi chuan is practiced with bare hands but is associated with arts using weapons (range, sword, saber, spear…).
Tai Chi arose in Henan in the area around what is today the Wen Xian. Various villages are in dispute about who was first, but the two resorts that have had the most practitioners and prominent figures are village Chen Jia Gou and town Zhaobao located a few kilometers apart. All other major schools originated in either Chen Jia Gou, Zhaobao or both. Yang Lu Chan studied with teachers from Chen Jia Gou (especially Chen Chang Xing) took Tai Chi to Beijing and made it known and famous. He was named Yang the invincible (Yang Wu Di) because of his great skill in battle. It was in Beijing that became interested in Tai Chi as health-promoting exercise so that the practicing person become stronger and have more stamina. Yang Lu Chan’s grandson Yang Chen Fu changed many of the movements removing jump kicks, force explosions, etc. to obtain a routine that could be used by anyone regardless of age. A similar trend also occurred in several of the other styles but excluding Chen style.
Tai Chi Taiji exercise consists of a long series of movements performed in a single pass without clear transitions between movements. For more advanced practitioners are “push hands” techniques practiced with a partner. Taiji exercises are also available with broadsword, straight sword and spear and rod.
When taiji quan is used as a martial arts / self-defense movements it is no longer slow. However, there still is the philosophy of hard and soft, circular and straight and shifts between them.
In China; there was developed some versions of Taiji where struggle moments do not usually emphasized so much (for example, 24 form created by Li Tian Ji). This taiji has become a Chinese folk gymnastics. Some believe that taiji can even cure diseases.
Free example research papers on tai chi may be a good source of relevant data.
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