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The History of Tai Chi

Aug 18, 2007
It seems the history of Tai Chi can be traced back to Buddhist and Taoist temples. Though the history is mostly told from a modern perspective of legend, it would appear that many Buddhist and Taoist theories and practices are apparent in the teachings. Some believe that the martial art form was founded by Zhang Sanfeng in the 12th century. Others purport that it was founded by the Chen family in 1820 who then taught it to the Yang family.

It was around that time that the Neo-Confucians were beginning their climb into the intellectual side of Chinese life. As it goes, it is said that he used the breathing principles learned at the temple and combined them with martial art movements. This together formed the founding principles of Tai Chi.

In keeping with the principles of Buddhism and Taoism, Tai Chi was the perfect martial arts for inhabitants of the monastery It is considered a very peaceful, soft and non-violent martial art. It was an excellent way for the monks and others at the monasteries to learn self defense (if they needed to use it) while still maintaining their peaceful ways and all the while toning their body and exercising their mind.

As the Buddhist and Taoist leaders would have it, Tai Chi is martial art that supports a whole health outlook; if the body is healthy, the mind is healthy and if the mind is healthy, the spirit is healthy and so on and so forth.

As time went on, the demand for a less violent and less strenuous martial art became apparent and Tai Chi quickly gained in popularity. Of course, it is more popular today than it ever was before. This recent revolution in the reputation can be attributed to up to date and current health studies that have shown It to medically affect the body in positive ways. Some experts even go so far as to say that it is proven to help reduce and reverse the effects of aging, while other experts only state that Tai Chi is, in fact, medically beneficial to the human being as a whole.

Tai Chi is actually becoming more popular for its health benefits and is being used less and less as a form of martial arts, but the basis remains the same and it will always be rooted in the martial arts. It has become increasingly popular (along with Yoga) among New Age groups and many people both young and old are signing up for classes, many Tai Chi classes are available at New Age centers, clinics, and even some hospitals. This just goes to show that the history of Tai Chi is one that will be indefinitely long lasting.
About the Author
James Dunn owns and opperates Martial Arts Tutor
Visit Tai Chi Lessons for more information about Tai Chi or Karate Lessons to learn about Karate.
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