What is Taichi?

The word “taichi” is used both to refer to the art and to refer to the specific type of martial art in which the art is practiced. Taichi has many different names around the world, including tai chi, taiji, and tai chi chuan. These names often vary based on the country in which the term is used, reflecting the different pronunciations of Chinese characters used in different languages. In Chinese, “tai chi” is written as 太极, which consists of two characters, 太 (tài) and 极 (jí). The first character, 太 (tài), means “great” or “exceedingly”. The second character, 极 (jí), means “extreme” or “most”. Together, the characters suggest that practicing tai chi can help one to achieve greatness. The second character, 极 (jí), also has the connotation of something being “very detailed” or “exceedingly precise”. In this way, the word tai chi can be understood as “exceedingly thorough”.

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Benefits of Taichi for Martial Artists

Although taichi is often seen as a relatively “gentle” martial art, it can provide a number of physical and mental benefits for martial artists. Practicing taichi can reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health and respiration, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve muscle tone, flexibility, and coordination. Practicing taichi has also been shown to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. For martial artists, practicing taichi can also help to develop a wide range of skills. Practicing taichi can help to improve one’s balance, posture, and proprioception. Taichi can also improve focus and strengthen one’s mental health.

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