Since my stay in Zhuhai, I’ve already seen more than one person practising Tai Chi on the streets and in the parks. Even back home in my fitness studio they offer to teach Tai Chi. The word describes two different sites (kind of black and white). “Tai Chi,” the first known written reference appeared in the Book of Changes over 3.000 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty (1100-1221 BC). There it says that “in all changes exists Tai Chi, which causes the two opposites in everything.” Concepts such as attracting, softness/rigidity, formlessness/shape – feminine concepts are associated with yin, while concepts such as substance, repulse, rigidity and the male sex are associated with yang.
In the last month InternChina Zhuhai was invited to a TaiChi lecture with Dr. Paul Lam, who is a world leader in the field of Tai Chi for health improvement. He held a lecture himself in Chinese and English. It was fun, as he tried afterwards to answer all his questions in both languages. Even if though he seemed to be more familiar with English, as he used to be a family physician in Sydney; he was understood by the locals.
Tai Chi itself has two different meanings. It philosophical definition means “the origin of being from which everything emerges”. For Sports it means slow exercise and the smooth flow of movement.
All in all it’s a kind of aerobics from ancient China. Its primary purpose is to strengthen the body forces and health. The flowing movements are intended to raise awareness, imagination and breathing, which should be integrated harmoniously in order to exert a positive effect on body functions. Thus, Tai Chi can play an important role in stress management and in the regulation of your hormones. Dr. Lam told his audience that his program is easy to learn, enjoyable and noticeably improves health.
Dr.Lam and the TaiChi group he brought over, showed us after the lecture how to focus on the interchanging use of falling, rebounding and streaming weight as a source for movement energy.
Many people wonder what distinguishes TaiChi from QiGong. I never thought there is was a huge range of differences between the two forms. TaiChi is generally more complex, while in the meantime Qi Gong is focused only on breathing. Without mentioning their differences, Tai Chi has gained more notoriety than QiGong in the Western world.