Is Tai Chi a martial art or a form of meditation?

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Hi I am looking at doing at Tai Chi to improve my co-ordination as advised by my doctor, however when I internet search for places to enroll, different places list Tai Chi as a class for mediation and others as a class for martial arts.
Which one is it?

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it’s both and very good for you… and to stay focused through the day.

chris b

Tai Chi is a martial art that is good for meditation due to the fact that you have to study it for a really long time for it to be practical self defense, but I would not want to go against a tai chi master either.. cause they don’t go as slow as you see the people on the beach go. it is a mix of hard and soft styles. so when mastered it can be very effective. it is good for meditation because it has philosophies of taoism and confucianism.
essentially the difference is instead of making a “sport” version of tai chi, much like judo, they made a version focusing on it’s health and longevity benefits…


Tai Chi is very versatile.
For me it is a martial art and I train it like a martial art. I went to China this summer to a Tai Chi school and we trained hard for about 6-8 hours every day, Sundays too. There is no doubt it is a martial art. They taught conditioning, running, weights, coordination drill, sparring, pads and bags, you name it. They were very creative in inventing drills to work on your weaknesses. I had the pleasure to train at night in the dark (as in pitch dark, no lights) to improve my balance.
For other people who are not that athletic it can be a meditation thing, some do it for relaxation and/or health. Tai Chi offers all those things. Unfortunately people have taken the internal aspect of the art and mystified it. It is NOT a mystery. I would be careful about a school who makes it into something supernatural or even connect any type of religion with it.


i took tai chi. no its not a fighting style at all. its meditation type of thing they will have u memorize 12 steps at first. i dont think it will help your cordination. u look silly doin it as well. u stand and slowly move your arms and hands and legs in a 12 step choreograph movement while breathing a certain way. people in asia do it for meditation purposes. good for that reason. not my cup of tea thats for sure. if your looking to learn how to fight take muay tai kixkboxing instead

Sensei Scandal

Those who list it as a form of “moving meditation” do so because they never learned the deadly applications to the movements of Tai Chi Chuan.
It is a martial art.


It was created as a martial art. But since it took so long to master and many people wanted to take it up just for the exercise to improve health, a shortened version minus the martial arts application was created just for that purpose. Today, most people are familiar with the shortened exercise form of Tai Chi which is what is being practiced by groups of elderly people in parks around the world.


Tai Chi was created for war and self defense. Tai Chi is MA first and foremost. Any health benefits gained from Tai Chi is from ur own hard work. Theres nothing mystical about it. Anyone who tells u otherwise doesnt know what theyre talking about. Tai Chi is a complex MA. There are way too many people out there that havent scratched the surface of understanding the art that teach it to others with their flawed understanding of it and prey on students who dont know any better. The challenge is to find a GOOD Tai Chi sifu.


both dam it

Blue Siytangco

Taijiquan is first and foremost a martial art. But it has such a broad training regimen that parts of it can have tremendous therapeutic benefits. It can be adapted to students of any age group, athletic ability, personal interest, etc. However Taijiquan should never be defined solely by its health benefits, as this takes away from the complete curriculum. In fact the best benefits are gained when the art trained in its entirety.


it is first a martial art and second a moving meditation

Evan S

Tai Chi is first and foremost a martial art. It was originally used by Chinese vagabonds. The slow movements you see people do are actually techniques, though most folks here in the west don’t realize it. They use it for its many health benefits. However, I would go as far as to say that Tai Chi is one of the deadliest arts in the world – as a martial art, not a mere exercise.


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