Taijiquan 太极拳

T’ai chi ch’uan or Taijiquan, often shortened to t’ai chi, taiji or tai chi in English usage, is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. 


It is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: itshard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, andlongevity.
As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of t’ai chi ch’uan’straining forms are especially known for being practiced at what most people categorize as slow movement.

Today, t’ai chi ch’uan has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of t’ai chi ch’uan trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: ChenYangWu (Hao)Wu, and Sun.
Relation to taiji philosophy.

In modern usage the term 太極,t’ai chi / taiji (unless further qualified as in “taiji philosophy” or “taiji diagram”) is now commonly understood, both in the West and in mainland China, to refer to the martial art and exercise system.

However, the term has its origins in Chinese philosophy.
The word taiji translates to “great pole/goal” or “supreme ultimate”, and is believed to be a pivotal, spiraling, or coiling force that transforms the neutrality of wuji to a state of polarity depicted by the taijitu.
T’ai chi / taiji is thus symbolically represented by a state between wuji and the polar “ying and yang“, not by the actual yin and yang symbol, as is frequently misinterpreted.[1]
The combination of the term taiji and quan (“fist”), produces the martial art’s name taijiquan or “taiji fist”, showing the close link and use of the taiji concept in the martial art.
The practice of taijiquan is meant to be in harmony with taiji philosophy, utilising and manipulating qi via taiji, to produce great effect with minimal effort.
The appropriateness of this more recent appellation is seen in the oldest literature preserved by these schools where the art is said to be a study of yin (receptive) and yang (active) principles, using terminology found in the Chinese classics, especially the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching.[5]
Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T’ai_chi_ch’uan


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