After firearms came to China during the 19th century, martial arts changed their basic use from a self-defense method and a war weapon to a self-defense method for specific purposes (defense of individuals and events).
Since then, most of the people in China and around the world want to study Tai Chi Chuan not that much as a self dense art but as a health improvement methodology and also for healing purposes. Today, contemporary people around the world study Tai Chi Chuan as a life extension and health improvement methodology.
Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan is a practical system in which by series of exercises and techniques, the practitioner learns to increase his or her physical energy, to get free from the tension, to improve his or her health condition, to self – defend and to protect from illnesses.
SELF – DEFENSE TOOL
The effectiveness of Tai Chi Chuan Yang style as a system for self – defense is extremely high. The focus is on neutralisations of the opponent without using rude physical force.
Quick and dynamic hits with the palm of the hand and the fist are used, as well as locks of joints, throws, and kicks on all levels. In order to study Tai Chi Chuan as a effective self-defense method, the practitioners should go through a special methodology of education in order to master their theoretic knowledge, to develop their force, physical and mental endurance, flexibility, relaxation, to master all the forms with and without weapons, push hands, sparrings without and with weapons.
HEALTH AND LONGEVITY
In the process of creating an unshakable base of health and welfare of the physical body, the person also builds a base for developing his or her own spiritual potential. The preservation of full physical psychic balance, in the condition of peaceful mental concentration, is a basic requirement for Tai Chi Chuan training. It is basic for the development and cultivation of personality.
Tai Chi Chuan is the way to balance the life of the practitioner, by the realization of his place and role in the world surrounding him or her. Tai Chi Chuan is set to the inner meditative practice in movement. The systematic practice of Tai Chi Chuan leads to the general strengthening of the immune system, improving the metabolism and treatment of many diseases.
- Tone and strength of muscles
- Body alignment and posture
- Balance and coordination in Tai Chi
- Aerobic conditioning
- Releasing stress and anxiety
- immune system issues
- Cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive function issues
- Lower blood pressure
Tai chi is a relatively safe practice. However, there are some cautions.
- Tell your health care provider if you are considering learning Tai Chi for health purposes (especially if you have a health condition for which you are being treated, if you have not exercised in a while, or if you are an older person).
- If you do not position your body properly in Tai Chi or if you overdo practice, you may get sore muscles or sprains.
- Tai chi instructors often recommend that people not practice Tai Chi right after they eat, or when they are very tired, or when they have an active infection.
- Use caution if you have any of the conditions listed below, as your health care provider should advise you whether to modify or avoid certain postures in Tai Chi:
- Joint problems, back pain, sprains, a fracture, or severe osteoporosis
- A CAM approach should not be used to replace conventional medical care or to delay seeking that care.
The benefits of Tai Chi are generally greatest if you begin before you develop a chronic illness or functional limitations. Tai Chi is very safe, and no fancy equipment is needed, so it’s easy to get started. Here’s some advice for doing so:
Don’t be intimidated by the language:
Names like Yang, Wu, and Cheng are given to various branches of Tai Chi, in honor of people who devised the sets of movements called forms. Certain programs emphasize the martial arts aspect of Tai Chi rather than its potential for healing and stress reduction. In some forms, you learn long sequences of movements, while others involve shorter series and more focus on breathing and meditation. The name is less important than finding an approach that matches your interests and needs.
Check with your doctor:
If you have a limiting musculoskeletal problem or medical condition — or if you take medications that can make you dizzy or lightheaded — check with your doctor before starting Tai Chi. Given its excellent safety record, chances are that you’ll be encouraged to try it.
Consider observing and taking a class:
Taking a class may be the best way to learn Tai Chi. Seeing a teacher in action, getting feedback, and experiencing the camaraderie of a group are all pluses. Most teachers will let you observe the class first to see if you feel comfortable with the approach and atmosphere. Instruction can be individualized. Ask about classes at your local Y, senior center, or community education center.
Talk to the instructor: There’s no standard training or licensing for Tai Chi instructors, so you’ll need to rely on recommendations from friends or clinicians and, of course, your own judgment. Look for an experienced teacher who will accommodate individual health concerns or levels of coordination and fitness.
Choose loose-fitting clothes that don’t restrict your range of motion. You can practice barefoot or in a lightweight, comfortable, and flexible shoes. Tai chi shoes are available, but ones you find in your closet will probably work fine. You’ll need shoes that won’t slip and can provide enough support to help you balance, but have soles thin enough to allow you to feel the ground. Running shoes, designed to propel you forward, are usually unsuitable.
Gauge your progress:
Most beginning programs and Tai Chi interventions tested in medical research last at least 12 weeks, with instruction once or twice a week and practice at home. By the end of that time, you should know whether you enjoy Tai Chi, and you may already notice positive physical and psychological changes.