View Full Version : Tai Chi Appeal

03-19-2005, 12:09 PM
What is it about Tai Chi that appeals to everyone? We all know exercise is good for us, but what is the particular apeal of Tai Chi?

To be honest I am not the most physical person in the world and I am happy with a pile of good books and CDs. But Tai Chi is different.

Tai Chi makes me think, there is the history, and unlike aerobics, I don't have some silly person shouting instructions from the front while I am at the back struggling to keep up.

03-19-2005, 03:12 PM
t'ai chi tailors itself to the needs of the individual that's what makes it so unique (here i go horning in again);i often cite the example of renown teacher author and historian bob chuckrow who went one day to observe a t'ai chi class
thinking he might want to take it up;when class was finished he asked the teacher what he could expect to gain from learning t'ai chi;the answer the teacher gave was that it was different for each person

03-23-2005, 06:03 AM
TCC gives my mother-in-law (86) better balance and some relief from the arthritis in her hip. It gives me a form of flexibility and coordinatiojn exercise I am actually able to continue most days over a period of years without getting bored. It also gives me good blood pressure control with half the medicine, a quick way to banish a developing headache, and who knows what other wonders lie ahead as my qi develops? The coolest thing agbout TCC is being surprised by its benefits. Working on Sun 73 now, can't wait to see what develops.

Richard Livingston, MD

03-23-2005, 03:49 PM
I have had people do a course of 6 sessions then annouce its not for them.

As I talk to my students there are common themes:- relaxation, escaping from stress, the joy of movement and improvement.

There are other answers that I don't even begin to understand - the lady who said it improved her communication (she's a medium) had me foxed.

Perhaps in the Tai Chi blend of body and mind work it is simply that we find what we need - and in finding that we are free to grow.

I for one am glad I stumbled on it.

03-23-2005, 10:03 PM
It is true that Tai Chi appeals to everyone, but please don't forget that Tai Chi is a martial art which can be physically strenuous at times. Some people have a medical condition or otherwise mentally uncomfortable and it would be difficult for them to meditate or perform martial arts. In this case they have improved their health by so much or were able to relieve the signs of stress.

HOwever for the traditional families incl. myself, Tai Chi is both for martial arts AND health which is inseparable. What could be more stressful than being attacked physically on the street? It certainly makes you grow as a person when you know that you can defend yourself in such cases. One needs to be very healthy both mentally and physically to be able to stand up against a physically stronger person. Therefore balance, focus, correct posture, rooting, relaxation, alignment of elbow and arm e.g. or other parts of the body is necessary for a fight as well as correct functioning of the body and mind.

Communication is very important too. Therefore I mention that push-hands, even if it's just single-handed gentle sticking, is necessary to listen, adhere and go with the flow of another person. Harmony and cooperation within your own body and mind is something which needs to be worked on, therefore meditation and qi gong practice with closed eyes is essential. I could imagine that a medium will increase her abilities.

03-24-2005, 01:47 AM
Hi Caroline... good question...

Originally for me taiji had no appeal at all as I thought that it was an arm waving exercise for new age hippies... a friend tried getting me into it for years and I kept saying no... until I needed to find balance in my life and thought that taiji may provide that... I needed to balance my emotional and mental side with my physical side (I train in weight lifting and previous to taking up taiji did no Inner work at all)... so I looked into taiji and meditation started learning both... I learnt that taiji was a martial art with great health benefits and not some mystical new age thing... and after starting on CMC style I found Chen style and thats the one for me... so for me I would say the appeal originally lay in its relaxing/calming effects...

03-24-2005, 12:30 PM
Thanks for your replies. This shows we are all individuals as we all do Tai Chi for different reasons and get different benefits from it. The main thing is there is benefit.

03-24-2005, 09:34 PM
Hi Caroline,

when I was doing martial arts, I would almost always come home battered and bruised. My last injury was a lower back injury which took months to heal and it temporarily did some damage to nerves in my leg. That scared me enough to quit martial arts and try another form of exercise. TC provides a different type of exercise, but it actually makes me feel better mentally and physically afterwards, without getting injured. I think the low probability of injury is a tremendous benefit, and I'm sticking with it.


04-15-2005, 11:40 AM
I did karate for a while. When I pulled my ham string I did tai chi carefully. I enjoyed the patterns of doing katas which is not what karate is all about. I didn't go back to karate!

02-23-2006, 05:26 AM
i was in a martial arts environment where techniques were being learned and practised, but i never realistically believed that i would "overpower" a bigger man doing those techniques (i'm 5'2''). they were just so showy and superficial. i believed that the only thing i could really rely on was my strong survival instinct. i was also quite annoyed that these 100+ kg men would egoistically give me a hard time, forcing me into bad habits of pushing back to give myself some space.

the appeal of tai chi for me is that i can get the connection from legs and body to arms. it is not just the arms moving, and that's a very empowering feeling. alongside this, is the intent and focus, very calming! i personally feel it has been a lot more effective for me. plus the forms give you a framework in which to learn with purpose (as opposed to, say, pure self defence). plus the fact that in the end it is "no rules", just the feeling.