The Chinese say that the "secret to long life is Tai Chi Chuan." This Chinese art with its slow, effortless, rhythmical moves can relieve, if not cure, high blood pressure, anemia, tuberculosis, gastric and kidney disease and many others.
Furthermore, Tai Chi Chuan when translated means "The Supreme Ultimate Fist" and its effectiveness in self-defense should not be overlooked.
Also, as one becomes more proficient in the art, the practitioner will find he has actually acquired a peaceful and relaxed mind. As the ultimate in self-defense, the principles of Tai Chi Chuan are related to physiology, dynamics, psychology and moral life.
Despite it's antiquity, it is only recently that Westerns have validated the potency and effectivity of Tai Chi Chuan. Harvard Medical University has conducted in depth studies and published many reports to support what the Chinese have know for thousands of years.
Physiology: The whole body and the limbs are moved slowly without much exertion, so that the ligaments and bones will develop without harm, the moving of blood and strength will be regular, and the whole body will develop balance.
Dynamics: Every movement in Tai Chi Chuan contains a circle. The circle neutralizes the force of coming attacks, a principle closely related to Newton's law. The route of any matter in motion is straight. If one intends to get control of the coming force at an angle and change its direction, and shift the opponents center of gravity out of the base, the best method is to adopt a circular formation. It not only neutralizes the force, but also employs it for one’s own use; for with the help of a slight returning force, it will give remarkable results in a counter attack.
Psychology: Tai Chi Chuan needs slow movements as it makes use of intrinsic energy. The application of the psychology requires that when you intend to move the energy, you must will that you are moving it; that when you intend to lower it, you should will that you are lowering it to your navel-psychic center. When you intend to apply the intrinsic energy in pushing, you must will that it goes from the palm to the opponent.
Moral Life: A certain amount of space and energy expands towards the end of each movement, and the joints of the upper and lower limbs should not be straight but slightly bent in the form of an arc. To deal with things and people we go a roundabout way without wasting our energy in insisting on an extreme or hard lines. Countering in a circular format uses energy naturally and effectively. Countering with circular movement, uses energy naturally and effectively. This is the way to strengthen ourselves to meet unforeseen developments with balance and poise.
In effect, Tai Chi Chuan is closely related to meditation. Once mastered, it's considered a moving meditation. This takes time to develop. However, long practice of meditation may hinder blood circulation, but Tai Chi Chuan helps to quicken it. It also helps to bring about the peace of mind and exercise of breathing as desired in meditation. Tai Chi Chuan clears the mind and strengthens the brain. It renders one’s thinking lucid, one’s mind peaceful and increases one’s vital force. Try it.