Everyday people are attracted to ancient martial arts for a wide range of reasons. But community members consistently seek improved physical health, confidence, and spiritual wellness. Learning Tai Chi and practicing the graceful movements on a regular basis can help you achieve those core goals.
Although recognized as a martial art, Tai Chi does not involve hard impacts and can be included in the lives of people of all ages. If you are interested in improving your physical health and mental well-being, this is why Tai Chi may be the right low impact martial art for you.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai-chi ranks among the most well-known Chinese martial arts. The Chen Style Tai-Chi many people use today was developed during the late 1600s. Other styles include Yang, Wu, and Sun. But the art form brings together movements that were created over more than a thousand years.
Practitioner flow through a series of slow and gentle movements that give it a meditative quality. It’s important to distinguish Tai Chi from mindful meditation techniques such as yoga. Although people often experience tranquility during a session, it is commonly referred to as Shadow Boxing because it is considered a martial art. That means it includes self-defense movements with an underlying philosophy.
Tai Chi is deeply rooted in Taoism, which emphasizes equilibrium in all endeavors. People in Western culture typically recognize the Yin and Yang symbol and principle of Taoism. This involves a harmonious balance between the spiritual and physical. Bringing together centuries of self-defense techniques into a low-impact aerobic exercise regimen, with deep breathing and the principles of Taoism have proven incredibly popular and beneficial.
What are the Benefits of Learning Tai Chi?
The health and wellness benefits surrounding Tai-Chi have been well-documented and widely accepted by the Western medical community. Organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Health, and wide-reaching science-based publications tout the benefits of practicing Tai-Chi on regular basis.
These generally include the following:
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
- Improve Mood and Reduces Depression
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
- Increases Muscular Endurance
- Improves Balance and Flexibility
- Helps Muscle Tone and Fitness
- Supports Restful Sleep Patterns
- Enhances the Immune System
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Reduces Joint Pain
Tai Chi has been particularly beneficial for our valued elders whose bodies see a natural decrease in muscular strength and flexibility. Practicing appropriate Tai Chi and maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent unnecessary loss of balance and hard falls.
Who Can Practice Tai Chi?
Because Tai Chi places minimal stress on the muscles and joints, it can generally be practiced by people of any age group. It’s essential to speak with a medical professional regarding any conditions that may make even this low-impact martial art unsuitable.
For example, people with spinal injuries, bone fractures, chronic joint discomfort, and some pregnant women may not be good candidates. However, a tailored Tai Chi regimen can be crafted — in many cases — to exclude postures that place undue stress on someone’s body.
That being said, Tai-Chi is widely considered appropriate for school-aged children, teens, adults, and our elder community. It’s also an excellent practice for people who have not been exercising regularly to start a beginner-level fitness plan.
As participants improve their cardiovascular health and fitness, opportunities become available to incorporate other martial arts and exercise programs. Tai Chi remains an excellent standalone practice that can also be used as a stepping stone to improved physical health, mental wellness, and quality of life.
How To Get Started with Tai Chi
Although there are plenty of YouTube videos and beginner guides available, joining a local self-defense studio that teaches Tai Chi often proves the best option. At a self-defense studio, you will have the opportunity to work with certified instructors who help everyday people learn the proper techniques and underlying Tao philosophy.
Tai Chi instructors work diligently with beginner, intermediate, and advanced practitioners to hone their skills and maximize the benefits of this ancient discipline. Becoming a member of a self-defense studio also offers a fellowship with supportive and encouraging people.
The United Studios of Self Defense Vancouver offers world-class instruction in three different types of self-defense and martial arts: Shaolin Kempo, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu. We offer both group instruction and one-on-one classes to fit your schedule and instruction needs. We offer classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced in each of the above three disciplines. Classes are available for both adults and children.
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If you’re interested in taking up martial arts and enjoying the benefits it offers, please contact United Studios of Self Defense (USSD) in Vancouver. We offer instruction in Kung Fu, Tai-Chi, and Shaolin Kempo in group classes or one-on-one classes. We can provide you with more information on our martial arts and self-defense programs and help you choose the right program based on your goals.
Contact USSD Vancouver
The United Studios of Self Defense (USSD) Vancouver offers world-class instruction in three different types of self defense and martial arts: Tai-Chi, Kung Fu, and Shaolin Kempo. We offer both group instruction and one-on-one classes to fit your schedule and instruction needs. We offer classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced in each of the above three disciplines. Classes are available for both adults and children.
Contact us today to learn more about our martial arts programs or to set up a time to visit one of our classes in person. Our instructors work with students at every age and stage of martial arts development and are dedicated to helping you cultivate self defense skills that meet your goals and make you feel great about yourself.
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