People might describe Tai Chi as exercise, an art form, a mood elevator, or a martial discipline. Indeed, this old and fascinating discipline can improve physical and mental health, allow personal expression, teach fighting techniques, and much more.
Five Unbelievable Facts About Tai Chi
To discover more about this popular and compelling discipline, explore these five unbelievable facts about Tai Chi.
Fact 1: Millions of People Practice Tai Chi WorldWide
Almost 300 million people practice this martial art. Most Tai Chi practitioners come from the art’s country of origin, China. However, it also enjoys popularity worldwide, with about 2.5 million in the US. This artform’s accessibility may explain its popularity. For instance, many people practice a slow style that offers low-impact exercise for practitioners of all ages and fitness levels.
Fact 2: Even Very Old People Can Practice Tai Chi
Popular Tai Chi styles rely on slow and repetitive movements and a focus on form and breathing. These characteristics make Tai Chi an excellent way for older folks to maintain their mental and physical health. For instance, Iggy Pop practices Tai Chi in his seventies. He says partying made him feel good at 21, just like Tai Chi improves his mood and fitness today.
Fact 3: Tai Chi Offers an Effective Martial Art
For many, the mention of this discipline conjures images of older adults performing slow, deliberate movements to exercise and relax. Today, most people rely on it for exercise, but Tai Chi originated as an effective martial art. The martial discipline relies on using an opponent’s energy against them. Some styles rely on faster movements and may even include weapons. The original Chinese symbol translates into English as Supreme Ultimate Fist.
Fact 4: Tai Chi Works on Bones, Joints, and Internal Organs
Tai Chi movements don’t just help tone muscles and improve balance. They also gently massage internal organs, which Traditional Chinese Medicine considers powerful therapy. The exercises can also help release calcium deposits in bones and joints, strengthening bodies and relieving pain or stiffness.
Fact 5: A Professional Dancer First Demonstrated Tai Chi in the USA
Sophia Delza, a dancer, held the first American demonstration of Tai Chi in 1954 at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. After her demo, she offered to teach classes for students who wanted to learn more and improve their health. Ms. Delza also wrote the first English-language book on Tai Chi, published in 1961.
Is Tai Chi Hard to Learn?
Mastering Tai Chi can take years, decades, or even a lifetime. At the same time, students can learn basic moves and begin to enjoy benefits very quickly.