Tai Chi is an art embracing the mind, body and Soul. It originated in China. Zhang Sanfeng, a 12th century Taoist monk is known to be the founder of Tai Chi. Apparently, Zhang Sanfeng left the monastery that he was staying at to become a recluse. In solitary he invented Tai Chi, a form of self-defense martial arts.

It’s a non-competitive martial art that teaches useful self-defense techniques.  It’s an art comprising deep knowledge of the mind & the body. Tai Chi is easy to learn but takes time to master the art. For many, it’s a lifetime journey. It consists of gentle physical exercises and mindful stretching. 

Tai chi is known to improve physical health of the body by focusing on coordination & flexibility. It’s also known to improve mental disorders and helps reduce pain, anxiety & symptoms of depression. The goal of Tai Chi is to generate ‘Qi’ or our life energy to flow smoothly and effectively throughout our body. A certain harmony is experienced as a result of regular practice of Tai Chi.

There are five different known styles of Tai Chi. All dating to different time periods in the Chinese history. Each one has its own approach & is unique in its own respect. 

Following are the five famous Tai Chi methods: 

  • Chen-style, dating 1580 and 1660
  • Yang-style, dating 1799 and 1872
  • Wu- or Wu (Hao)-style, dating 1812 and 1880
  • Wu-style, dating 1870 and 1942
  • Sun-style, dating 1861 and 1932

Some of these forms of Tai Chi focus on health, while others are primarily focused on self-defense. A method of Tai Chi for you to practice should be based on your requirements. Consider speaking to an experienced Tai Chi instructor on which style you should embrace.