Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art often practiced with the aim of promoting health and longevity. Tai chi training forms are well known as the slow-motion routines that groups of people practice together every morning in parks around the world, particularly in China. Some medical studies support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy. Tai chi chuan is considered a soft style martial art – an art applied with internal power – to distinguish its theory and application from that of the hard-martial art styles.
Before Tai Chi’s introduction to Western students, the health benefits of Tai Chi were largely explained through the lens of Traditional Chinese medicine; which is based on a view of the body and healing mechanisms. Today, some prominent Tai Chi teachers have advocated subjecting Tai Chi to rigorous scientific studies to gain acceptance in the West. Researchers have found that Tai Chi practice shows favorable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elderly patients. The studies also show some reduced pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects. Other studies have indicated improved cardiovascular and respiratory function in healthy subjects as well as those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. Patients that suffer from heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s may also benefit from Tai Chi. There have also been indications that Tai Chi might have some effect on noradrenaline and cortisol production with an effect on mood and heart rate.
ABOUT THE FORMS
At Mullins Shaolin, we teach 24 Tai Chi forms and do formal advancement rank testing. Testing is offered about every three months. There are certain Tai Chi forms that are required to advance in Kung Fu. Once a member, that information will be given in your “Required Material” section for your rank.