Taichi – Chinese Martial Arts
Taichi is Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It consists of five elements: taolu (solo hand and weapons routines/forms), neigong & qigong (breathing, movement and awareness exercises and meditation), tuishou (response drills) and sanshou (self defense techniques). While taichi is known for its relatively slow movements, many taichi styles have fast paced movements as well.
Taichi consists of three principles: health, meditation and martial arts. A person who is unhealthy or uncomfortable may not be able to maintain an internal calmness and relief. Therefore, taichi concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. The soft movements of taichi are used to strengthen focus and calmness by the use of meditation. Taichi can be used as a form of self-defense if used correctly. It shows understanding of the art, to yield to the incoming attack rather than attempting to oppose the force. Taichi requires a great deal of training.
The philosophy of taichi is that if one used hardness to resist violent force, then both sides will be injured to some degree. This injury is the consequence of meeting force by force. Therefore, in taichi, students are taught to meet the incoming force with softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact until the forces dies out. This shows the concept of yin and yang; the complementary forces of taichi martial arts.