This I find is one of the great questions that I get to answer from unknowledgeable or biased people within different fields. Why Tai chi they ask? Martial artists say things like does that really work? People with health risks ask the same and each of them even though they are two different questions are answered the same. the first thing I say to them is Its name is TaijiQuan when properly pronounced and its meaning is the grand ultimate. Now some people believe this is a lofty title but today I will clarify why not only is it not lofty but also why it is well deserved. Though most martial arts deal with the strong overcoming the weak and the fast overcoming the slow, taijiquan negates all this and even though many martial arts use particular types of alignment in order to gain a superior position for strength accumulation tai chi is quite natural. Taijiquan also known as Tai Chi attacks the issues of fast and slow and strong and weak, healthy and unhealthy from its source the mind and the breathe. If a person was capable of aligning up their body by way of aligning their breath and mental states as one how could they not be the best that they could ever be. Now some of you would say but don't all martial arts and forms of medicine do this as well and the answer is NO.Many Martial arts focus purely on sport so there is no need to control the breath except for to create greater stamina so one can prolong through rigorous training in punching or kicking which is a form of cardio. Where Tai Chi is beyond this is it takes away the competitive and dominating spirit which causes stress within the mind and causes the breath to be rigid and broken,which is the cause for all dis-ease. Most martial arts actually center the breath around the state of conquering and domination, which in time leads to debilitations of all sorts, from muscular problems all the way to emotional and mental problems which manifest later when the chi is exhausted. This is why the younger martial artists once they have broken and damaged everything run to tai chi and do not stay with their given art because TaijiQuan centers the breath and the mind around stillness and tranquility, which can be used martially but we do not look at it as this. We see movement not martially but as energy that can be manipulated according to the disposition of the practitioner. If I am filled with harmony more than likely I will never see confrontation but just in case there is a confrontation that needs my energy, I can give back what is given to me without having to claim it as my own or use any negative energy of my own. I just hit return to sender lol. TaijiQuan 13 energies are the energies that perpetuate life in balance. With medicine most doctors focus upon temporary relief of the pain thus covering the symptoms and even when the patient is cured by pills or other types of medical external treatments the dis-ease returns.without awareness of how the disease began in the first place how can one prevent it from returning. Taijiquan causes the patient to look from within to see where and what they were doing to get themselves to this adverse place. Understanding the energies which a patient perpetuates mentally and emotionally and how they manifest physically is its primary goal so that the dis-ease never shows up again, it also gives the patient power in responsibility and knowing that they can with support heal themselves.
This art is the grand ultimate because through and through its principles bring about a concrete understanding of how to experience life at its best within and without, which you can take to any part of your life. The taijiquan energies and with the correct understanding, all of your life can become a great success.
TaijiAdept Eric Randolph