There are many friends who ask me what Tai Chi Chuan is (correct spelling Tai Ji Quan). If we do a simple translation
of the words: the supreme ultimate fist or as many others translate it the "absolute fist" (fist here refers to style –
way of boxing).
Compared to many other well-known martial arts (tae kwon do, karate, boxing, etc.) which are considered hard and
external, this is an internal style (Nei jia). What does this mean; The goal of the internal arts lies mainly in working
with internal energy (Qi), and therefore in the development and preservation of health. Through the intensive and
focused training of Tai ji quan routines, students' skills are gradually developed into a "Kung Fu": "supreme skill
through hard work".
As hundreds of books have been written on the subject, I will give my own perspective after 20 years of engaging in
the art, what Tai Chi really is:
- Exercise = with Tai Chi we exercise the whole body starting from mild forms of exercises, we regulate the posture of
the body by strengthening the legs, the torso and the balance. There is not a part of the body that performing a
choreography (form) of Tai Chi does not move, thus transferring blood flow everywhere. Increases strength,
flexibility, balance and serenity. Breathing… we learn how to breathe again, each movement is done with breathing
which is regulated by that movement.
- Healing = It slows the heart rate and lowers the blood pressure. It heals blockages in the body, tendonitis, soreness. It
helps in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, sclerosis, etc.).
- Martial art / Self-defense = the practitioner deciphering the movements uses repulsions, attacks, handles, pressure
points to avoid unpleasant situations. By directing the opponent's attack and having complete control over himself,
his body and his strength, he can withstand any attack.
- Energy = cultivation of Chi, the life-giving energy that resides in dantien and direction throughout the body. We are
grounded and we draw energy from the earth and vice versa. We create an energy field starting from the dantien and
it pulsates in a circle from the center to the outside.
- Meditation = starting from the initial Tai Chi posture and continuing to practice the form, removing all the external
factors one enters into the deepening of the self τώντας by studying the breath, the posture, the expression of the
movement, empties the contact with anything outside the practice. The practitioner is in a state of absolute contact
with his inner self = in an oasis from his external environment.
Result: What remains at the end of the exercise will be a sweet tiredness and a sense of well-being, increased energy
and peace of mind.
An important note: Tai Chi is based on the yin and yang symbol. So, as a result, at its foundation it is the expression of
a circle. At all levels, it is expressed in a circle, arms, legs, posture, energy. Other times horizontally, other times
vertically, other times in a spiral, it is always a circle!