Taiji Quan is one of the most popular and well-known of all Chinese martial arts. Though still practiced as a means of self-defence, today it is mostly known and sought out for its health benefits, and is referred to using the more general term ‘Tai Chi’.
Tai Chi is a simple, elegant, and easy to learn forms of exercise, performed in a slow and gentle manner, which makes it suitable to all ages and fitness levels. Its well-balanced, fluid movements promote complete harmony of mind and body. The health benefits of Tai Chi have been well documented in scientific literature, and there is a growing body of evidence to support its practice as a means of supplementing medical treatments and preventing illness. Tai Chi has been demonstrated to be especially beneficial for sufferers of all stress-related illnesses, mental health issues, heart and blood pressure problems, arthritis, bronchitis, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, low immunity and the musculoskeletal system.
There are a number of different styles of Tai Chi, usually named after the family name of the Masters who developed them. Within each style are a number of sets or patterns of movements, commonly called forms. Some forms include the use of weapons, such as the sword, fan, or spear.