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IS TAI CHI A MARTIAL ART? HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHERS?

Considering joining an adults TAI CHI class but have never done martial arts. I’ve been told that TAI CHI is part meditation and part martial art. Any info appreciated!

6 Comments

  • Tai Chi is a MA. It was developed by the Chen family for use in war and self defense. Chen Style Taijiquan is the original style of Taijiquan. Like any MA the most important thing is to find a good sifu to study under.

  • Well…. Now there is “Tai Chi Chuan” and then there is “Tai Chi” and even “Tai Chi Dance” these days. Sometimes ppl just say “Tai Chi”, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be learning as much a martial art as you will a moving meditation dance.

    The difference is in what is really being taught and how.

    If taught as it was originally intended, then yes…. It is a martial art. There are different family styles out there. The most prevalent in the West are versions of the Yang style. But also there are the “Chen”, “Sun”, and “Wu” styles. And, of course, there are sub-divisions of these based on different lineages and interpretations.

    Most likely, you will begin by learning a form. (A series of movements chained together in an almost solo dance/choreography.) You will begin by learning the form sequence and then you will practice it as you try to apply certain classical principles such as the principle of “sung” (loosely translated in the West as “relaxed”). You may also learn push hands (an exercise drill you work with a partner). And perhaps even learn some sword or sabre work as well. (But it is not likely you will learn this early on.)

    I can’t offer much beyond this without knowing more details about the class.

    I will say this. Tai Chi Chuan is one of my favorite martial arts when it is taught as it should be. If it is taught as some New Age moving meditation and with no real practical training for dealing with aggression (both my own and that of another), then it seems more a waste of time. I would very much like a chance to study with a good teacher in this method. Unfortunately, it seems far easier to find a teacher who can spout the jargon but cannot walk the talk than it is to find a good teacher.

    Hope this helps. Be well.

  • yes tai chi is first a martial art, although most people only teach the health aspect of it and never learned the combat aspect

    there are 5 major families not all of them are the slow moving tai chi yang style everyone is familiar with, some are more faster, they all contain various strikes, throw, locks, traps, etc in them and taught properly can be very useful

  • There are many different styles or families of Tai Chi Chuan. The five which are practiced most commonly today are the Yang, Chen, Wu , Sun, and Woo styles. All Tai Chi styles, however, are derived from the original Chen family style.

    It is believed that Tai Chi was developed by a Taoist Priest from a temple in China’s Wu Dang Mountains. It is said that he once observed a white crane preying on a snake, and mimicked their movements to create the unique Tai Chi martial art style.

    Initially, Tai Chi was practiced as a fighting form, emphasizing strength, balance, flexibility, and speed. Through time it has evolved into a soft, slow, and gentle form of exercise which can be practiced by people of all ages.

    Currently many schools are reviving the Original harder forms of Tai Chi along with its internal aspects and Taoist doctrines. It is actually a very powerful Martial Art and
    very much concentrated on internal well being and energy, through meditation and Qi Gong.

    Wudang video :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_vBDxlW4c&feature=related

  • I have never done Tai Chi, but I did do martial arts. However my mother did Tai Chi, and I believe it is a cross between yoga, or meditation and martial arts. So yes I believe you are correct.

  • tai chi is technically a form of kung fu,but has evolved quite a bit and is usually considered its own entity now. but yes, it is technically a martial art. however, you won’t be breaking any bricks or playing with swords. it is more focused on clearing your mind, on using physical motion to clear mental blocks.

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