Tai Chi for Self Defense?
There is no argument that Tai Chi such as you will find being taught in many classes is good for your physical and mental health. In fact you are going to find that far more people learn this ancient Chinese martial art for these benefits than for any other reason and when you look at the overall results, you can understand why. However, what most people tend to forget that Tai Chi Chuan in its original form was taught as a martial art and a form of self-defense.
This does not mean that Tai Chi cannot be used as a form of meditation or physical exercise, in fact the vast majority of those who practice it today, do so to reap the many benefits it offers. The various forms of Tai Chi have long been known to offer amazing benefits and are used to help people overcome many physical and mental ailments. What we are trying to say is that while you are learning forms such as “Ward Off’ and “Shoulder Strike” as a form of moving meditation, it should be obvious why they have such names.
Consider this, if Tai Chi Chuan was not meant to be used as a form of self-defense, why would it be given a name that loosely translates to “Supreme Ultimate Boxing”? There is no question that when you look at movements that are called by realistic names such as “Push” or “Press” rather than fancy names such as “Push Open the Doors to the New World of Enlightenment” and that actually look like punches or shoves are derived from a fighting style.
Tai Chi Does Well
Fortunately today we have more need to grow spiritually and improve both our physical and mental health than we do to protect our kingdom from bands of Kung Fu warriors with our knowledge of superior martial arts skills. Tai Chi is considered to be one of the most successful low impact forms of exercise that is available to all, regardless of age, sex or physical condition. It has been successfully used as a treatment for many conditions, but one should never forget its origins as a true martial art.