One of the many disciplines we practice here at Matt Hudd’s Martial Arts is Tai Chi.
There are still a lot of people that are not even aware that Tai Chi is an actual martial art. The reason being is that so many people practice it for the health benefits that it can bring.
Tai chi has uses for literally everyone, it will make a difference to your overall health, physically and mentally but also for those that practice other martial arts, as it will enhance what you already study.
Although there are many physical elements and benefits to tai chi, the practice can be a spiritual experience, as much as a physical one. It can be a nice change of pace from the faster paced arts like kickboxing or tae kwon do and allows you to relax and cool down and become one with your inner self.
One thing that a lot of my students have mentioned is that it is their way of meditating as they have often tried meditating but find it hard to shut out their thoughts and can not sit still for long enough. I could argue with that but then we are all different and we have to find what works for us and when practicing the Tai Chi form, you can not think about anything else apart from feeling the movements and what move comes next.
Tai chi often attracts the more mature individual because of its slow paced practice of gentle movements and stretching. It is often described as moving meditation and creates harmony between the mind and body. I am really pleased to see that our club is now attracting the younger generation as well. I do feel that what stops a lot of younger people from sticking at it is that they don’t think that they have had a workout unless they leave sweating and knackered. It’s the old theory of no pain, no gain which is rubbish, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I used to have that mindset when I was younger, thinking I was invincible. I still like a good sweaty session now but you have to train intelligently, that’s if you want your body to serve you well as you enter middle and old age.
It has many different styles which differ slightly but the principles of movement should be the same, accompanied by deep breathing, the purpose is to encourage our inner life energy to flow smoothly and powerfully through the body.
But why would you want to choose tai chi? We’ve got all the answers!
Who can practice Tai Chi?
Compared to our other arts, Tai chi is a fairly low impact skill and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels.
However, for those who are older and are looking to ease their way into physical exercise and don’t want to tackle the gym, tai chi is a great introduction to help kickstart your fitness journey.
Is it different to yoga?
Although both share certain similarities and have been practised for hundreds of years, there are some distinctive differences between the two.
The main similarity is that they both embrace the body and breath in a way you may have never experienced. They are both good for your mind and body and be beneficial for older adults in particular.
However, both require coordinated breathwork, require focus, and help improve the strength and flexibility of the body. But the main difference between the two is that yoga has some flow aspects to it, whereas tai chi is more dynamic.
Certain poses in yoga require the burn of holding yoga poses, but tai chi focuses more on transitioning through relaxed postures than holding any given position.
Are there any benefits to Tai Chi?
There are so many benefits to tai chi to tempt you into giving it a go!
Firstly, tai chi is a graceful form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. It is sometimes even recommended by doctors or clinicians to help introduce you to a lower impact fitness sport and reap all the benefits that come with it.
Some of the many benefits of tai chi include:
- Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
- Improved mood
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Improved aerobic capacity
- Increased energy and stamina
- Improved flexibility, balance and agility
- Improved muscle strength and definition
One of the biggest benefits, aside from the obvious physical and mental ones is that tai chi is inexpensive and requires no special equipment. You can do tai chi anywhere, including indoors or outside. That is the beauty of tai chi…it really is for everyone!
Have we tempted you into the world of Tai Chi? Get in touch with our expert team at email@example.com or give us a call on 07915 450 663 and kickstart your journey today!