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Author: Amrazile Rdalap
A lot of people view tai chi primarily as an exercise that is done quite slowly or as a sort of meditation. While it is being taught for those applications, it really is a conventional form of martial art. The first name of the art, Tai Chi Chuan, could be interpreted as "supreme ultimate fist." It shows that the originators of Tai Chi viewed it as a martial art style instead of a type of exercise or meditation.
As tai chi is slow moving, people believe that tai chi is not a martial art. Whereas, you’ll find rapid and powerful movements in karate and kung fu. If you watch tai chi being done, it seems like the same moves in other fighting methods but in slow motion. The actions are in slow motion but they could be carried out fast. But by executing it at a low speed, you need to be more controlled in your movements thus being more accurate. To actually learn how to apply tai chi as a martial art, you’d have to practice it at different speeds, but moving at a low speed gives you greater coordination and balance.
There exists a classic tai chi practice referred to as push hands. In this particular practice, two individuals push against each other to try to get the other person off balance. There are tournaments where this is practiced, much like sparring competitions in karate. In tai chi push hands, your aim is to beat your opponent with as little force as possible. Using the weight and strength of the opponent and not yourself, you make an attempt to take them off balance. This usually takes lots of practice, of course, but a master at tai chi push hands could be a powerful martial artist. The most effective way to practice push hands is to go to a tai chi school or work with a qualified instructor. It takes more than practicing tai chi form if you would like to become very good in martial arts.
In case you are interested in learning tai chi as a martial art, then you need to find a school or instructor that has this focus. While practicing the tai chi form that is usually taught is excellent for your health, and may help you to minimize stress, it will just give you some simple martial arts training. By learning the tai chi form, you’ll have a good foundation of the martial art style but you’ll not know how to put it to use effectively in a competition or as a form of self defense. If the area that you live in does not offer any classes for tai chi as a martial art form, then you may be able to find instruction on the internet or purchase videos or books on the subject.
Karate is considered to be an external martial art style but tai chi is known as an internal martial art. Besides push hands, practitioners of tai chi also use swords and other standard Chinese weapons. Tai chi can be interesting and beneficial, whether you’re interested in it purely for exercise or you wish to get into the martial arts side of it.