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Can anybody give me a simple explanation about Tai chi and its philosophy?

What is it all about? so much esoteric aspect, plain real reference please


  1. I don’t know that much about Tai Ji Quan but I’ll try to talk about what I think I know. 🙂
    Basically, this is what I know:
    – “Tai Ji Quan” means “supreme/ultimate fist” in Mandarin.
    – The dude who created Tai Ji Quan believed that it’s fighting theory and techniques made it THE undefeatable martial art (hence, the name).
    – It is considered a “soft” style.
    – I THINK that the slow movements you see in the forms were actually a form of disguise to hide Tai Ji Quan secrets from nasty Chinese government officials. NOTE: NOT SURE ABOUT THIS. I GOT TOLD IT.
    – It is supposed to the the “father” of all “soft” styles… and it’s supposed to be the best “soft” style out there…
    – Legend has it that Zhang San Feng created Tai Ji Quan.
    – There’s many styles of Tai Ji Quan (it’s not just 1 style because there’s different “families” of styles).
    – It’s going to be VERY HARD to find a GOOD Tai Ji Quan master to learn from… because nowadays, a lot of Tai Ji Quan clubs do the “sport/health” version of it. You know, the “old people style” stuff. I know of a traditional Tai Ji Quan club near where I live and the Tai Ji Quan master there is NOT ONE YOU’D MESS WITH. He’s old as hell but oh sh-t, his Push Hands power is incredible.
    – Not too sure about this but it’s got a lot to do with the Tai Ji symbol… As I said, I’m not sure… but I think it is what you might know as the “yin yang” symbol or the “8 trigrams” symbol. NOT SURE.

  2. EDIT –
    Tai Chi originated as a martial art to protect royalty, and was created by the Chen family. It was then adopted and modified by the Yang family, and so on to the many systems you see today.
    Tai Chi is first and formost a combative system, and is named Tai Chi Ch’uan/Quan (chwan). It’s translation into the English language is not supreme universe, it is Supreme Ultimate Fist. Fist in this concept is way or method, and not taken literally as a certain type of fist. Too many people today confuse translations from the Easter philosophical ideas and turn them into point blank definitions. They are CONCEPTS not DEFINITIONS.
    Tai Chi was found to have health benifits as well as building martial prowess, and quickly became an adopted exercise for health and martial practice rolled into one.
    The esoteric beliefs are not completely fiction as some brutes like to think. “If I can’t pound your face and see blood, it ain’t real!” The Chinese have been using natural remedies in their medical culture for thousands of years. Over 9,000 years of recorded history. That’s a long friggin time to develope these medical practices. First, it was faith healing, and then came herbal, and then came accupuncture or Dim Hsueh/Dian Xue/Dim Mak. It was found through practice that hitting certain areas produced certain effects. So they capitalized on that and began to study the many different effects from the many different ways of manipulating the points and combinations and patterns.
    Tai Chi Ch’uan/Taiji in it’s combative nature took the TCM practices and built the martial system around that. That is why it has the name Supreme Ultimate. Not only are it’s martial practices lethal, but it is good for the body of the practitioner! Taiji also focused it’s practice around the concept of Jing or vibrational energy. This is where you see a person appear to barely move and shatter a brick, or collaps an attacker. The, 1″ punch when done for perfomance sake, is a push. That’s why you see people go flying backward. When it is used with it’s original conceptual function, it is so devistating that the person only collapses.
    Fa Jing – the type of vibrational energy used widely in combative Taiji, (and attempted in many Japanese systems of martial arts and used in Okinawa’s martial arts as well) is what the 1″ punch is supposed to be. That is why it is the whole body that is involved in the 1″ punch, and where true power comes from.
    … I could write a book on this subject, but there are many out there already. If you would like to know more about this subject, I would suggest you find a bookstore or research online.
    … You cannot learn Fa Jing in a short period of time. It takes years and years to learn this method of moving, and most of the time you will be frustrated, until one day 10 years down the road a lightbulb goes off and you have it.
    Here’s a nice video of a demonstration of fa jing

  3. there are five main families of tai chi,
    Chen style
    Yang style
    Wu or Wu/Hao style of Wu Yu-hsiang
    Wu style of Wu Ch’uan-yu
    Sun style
    not all of them are slow moving but some have a faster movements, and some are both hard and soft,
    tai chi is first and foremost a martial arts, it contains, strikes, locks, throws, traps, etc.
    all the families of tai chi have a combat aspect of it, and are not just mediation and spiritual aspects.

  4. Tai Chi is a philosophy. The translation of the words into English is “The Ultimate Universe”. The philosophy states that the forces of the Universe will always act in such a way as to achieve balance. The Ultimate Universe of self is a state of being where the totality of self is in balance. The Yin and Yang is in harmony. The brain and body is in harmony. The emotional and the spiritual are in harmony. When the physical body is in this state, the body’s ability to heal itself is at its peak.
    The exercises that you see are mostly something called Tai Chi Chuan. One translation of the Chinese words is “I demonstrate the principles of the Ultimate Universe with my bare hands”. It is a series of movements, meditations, spiritual practice, energy practice that illustrate a state of balance and harmony. Yin and Yang is present in all movements. As one hand goes up, the other goes down. As you move forward, you are also moving backward. Other forms are Tai Chi Juan, translated “I demonstrate the principles of the Ultimate Universe with the use of a sword”.
    There are a number of different teachings of Tai Chi Chuan and Tai Chi Juan. Some are more martial than others. The Chen style is very martial. The Yang style is more relaxing.
    One medical aspect of Tai Chi is Tai Chi Chi Kung. This is “I use the principles of the Ultimate Universe for health and vitality”. In Tai Chi Chi Kung, gentle exercises are used to stimulate meridians and acupressure points in the body to promote optimum energy balance in the body. Chi is also moved through the body to places where vitality is needed.
    The medical practice of Acupuncture relies on the principles of Ultimate Balance. Needles are used to unblock vitality and energy flows in the body. The ultimate goal is to restore harmony. In this balanced state your own immune system is at its peak and body is healthy.
    p.s. The philiosophy of Tai Chi developed over thousands of years. What I have written here is less than 0.001% of the aspects of the philosopy.

  5. ya tai chi was originally designed for self defense and now its more geared toward health, combat tai chi is not really taught today you have to be really really lucky to find someone that teaches it the way it was designed but it was AWESOME!


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