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What do you get when you cross Yoga with Martial Arts? Tai Chi!

16th March 2016

What do you get when you cross Yoga with Martial Arts? Tai Chi!
Tai Chi is most often viewed as a form of meditation and relaxation. However its origins run deep into the world of Martial Arts.

If you study the moves closely, you can see that a Tai Chi routine essentially consists of combat techniques being practiced at a slow tempo. It was originally used for self-defence after its creation in 13th century China by Taoist monks, but now it is more promoted as a health exercise. 'Meditation in motion' as some call it.

There are five different Tai Chi styles; Chen, Yang, Wu Hao, Wu and Sun. All of these have different methods and principles.

What are the benefits of a Tai Chi class?

Tai Chi classes use slow and gentle movements in a routine that will help you increase your muscular flexibility and suppleness. It is especially good for older people who struggle with limited movement. Especially in the legs. Consequently, research has shown that by improving balance, it can reduce the chance of falls.

The slow movements help you to relax and improve your concentration. Some of the benefits, for example to help you deal with stress or anxiety, are very similar to what you can achieve by practicing yoga.

However Tai Chi can still incorporate its traditional roots of self-defence. Classes can really go one way or the other - self-defence, or health and meditative exercise. Either way, it is great for improving general health and helps you to feel revitalised.

The Martial Arts edge to Tai Chi can be increased further with the introduction of weapons. Some will just use the hands and form to teach common self-defence moves, but others will use Kung Fu and Wushu Weapons such as swords and sabres.

As an exercise, it is completely risk free. The low impact movement is appealing to people who are recovering from injury as the chance of a recurring injury is slim. Research has also found that it can be beneficial to those who suffer from Parkinson's, chronic heart failure, fibromyalgia, diabetes and depression!

It is also a low cost social activity that is great fun and rewarding. It can be practiced anywhere, anytime and is a great stress management tool to be used in day to day life.

How to find a Tai Chi class near you

The great thing about Tai Chi is that it is accessible to all ages and physical abilities. Because of its versatility as a martial art or a meditation tool, it appeals to everyone and even if you consider yourself to be very unfit, you can still take part.

Finding a Tai Chi class is easy! There are qualified Tai Chi instructors on Martial Arts Near You that offer a range of Tai Chi classes around the UK.

To find a class, visit the Martial Arts Near You homepage and search using your postcode. You can select Tai Chi on the drop down menu and this helps you to identify only Tai Chi instructors.

Once you have found a class that suits you, contact the instructor through their profile and they'll be able to tell you more about their classes.
Source: Martial Arts Near You