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What is Short Form Tai Chi?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 22 December 2018
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Short form tai chi is a specialized version of an ancient martial art that many individuals practice for overall wellness and balance. Tai Chi or Taiji chuang (transliterated from the Chinese) is of Chinese origin. Many historians attribute its origin to the Chen family in the 1600s.

There are many types of tai chi that incorporate different tai chi poses or positions. A tai chi pose may seek to represent a natural element, or it may be related to the use of ancient weapons. Some tai chi moves include a defensive element; other simply seek to mirror a “yin and yang” duality that tai chi users feel will give them a sense of poise or physical grace.

Short form tai chi is a more truncated style of tai chi that is derived from a more expansive set of tai chi poses. Some historians say that a Chen family member sought a shorter, more basic tai chi “form” in order to help beginners, or those with limitations, to practice tai chi. A historical account recognizes 108 tai chi moves that were made into a “tai chi short form” containing only 37 moves early in the development of some main styles of tai chi. Other modern short form tai chi styles include specific numbers of poses, such as “24 short form” or “32 Yang sword form” styles.

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Each type of tai chi is different, and various instructors approach the martial art somewhat differently. Even a basic look at some recorded tai chi moves shows that the exact details of a pose or form can be vague. Generally, the discipline of tai chi has been widely disseminated from the East to the West, and all over the world, with many different options for pursuing a specific tai chi form or style.

Health experts have recognized some common health benefits of the tai chi tradition. With its detailed instructions for fluid movement and posture, tai chi can help an individual build balance and agility skills. It can work core muscle groups to strengthen the body’s overall capacity. Tai chi can also promote healthier joints, bones, and muscles by using the principle of light resistance, where the body works against gravity. The mobile practice of tai chi attracts many who want to blend an active physical regimen with esoteric traditions. Short form tai chi can be a top choice for those who want a more accessible version of this martial art.

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