Tai Chi & Zhan Zhuang
For those who are looking at the different martial arts and trying to find one that can help them to relax and not only teach them a martial art per se, but teach them how to relax and achieve a pure meditative state, you may come across both Tai Chi and Zhan Zhuang. Both of these are ancient Chinese martial arts and they both involve performing a series of movements or forms while in a standing position. The big question for most people is likely to be, “which of these two marital arts offers more benefits?”
What you will find is that both Tai Chi and Zhan Zhuang have a history that is steeped in centuries of history and that millions of people have enjoyed the health benefits that both of these martial arts have to offer. While both of them have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to offer significant mental and physical health benefits, they also have their own very specific benefits. Zhan Zhuang is often referred to as post standing and in many ways demonstrates the most basic tenets of the majority of martial arts.
The early essential training in both Tai Chi and Zhan Zhuang involve learning a series of steps that must be performed when standing in one place. This is on the floor for Tai Chi and of course on a post for those learning Zhan Zhuang, but the basic emphasis is the same in that what you are being taught will lead to improved balance and stamina and you cannot go on to learn any of the various postures in either martial art until you have mastered these basic moves.
You will find that many of the older masters of both Tai Chi and Zhan Zhuang will require you to spend many months practicing horse standing and chuan standing before going on in your lessons. This is because mastering these basic skills will not only help to build the muscles in the lower half of your body, but will teach you not to sway erratically when you are standing in place for extended periods of time. The sense of being perfectly balanced is critical before you can begin the study of Push Hands or Taijiquan sword and pole sparring.
Zhan Zhuang & Tai Chi, same Goals
However, no matter whether you choose to follow the teachings of Tai Chi or Zhan Zhuang, you will find that both of these disciplines were developed with the same goals. These are to strengthen your body and enhance your physical conditioning and in doing so combat the diseases and illnesses that you are susceptible to. The only major difference in the end lies in their approach as Tai Chi is more about a listening and understanding force, whereas Zhan Zhuang is more about a testing force, yet after years of practice they can achieve the same results.
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