Taiji or Tai Chi?

Naturally, this site is about the STN and its activities. However, we especially would like you to get to know more about Taiji or Tai Chi, as this martial arts is commonly referred to. There are several different ways that the Chinese characters have been ’transferred’ into English, but our foundation uses the official Chinese Pinyin-spelling ‘Taijiquan’ (Taiji) instead of the also popular ‘Tai Chi Ch’uan’ (Tai Chi). The meaning of both is identical.

About Taiji (太极拳)

Taiji (or taijiquan, tai chi or t’ai chi ch’uan) is a Chinese martial art originating from the search for a soft self-defence system. Depending on the teacher, the emphasis wil be on health, relaxation and/or self-defence.

Yin-Yang

Yin-Yang

Although there are many different theories en opinions regarding the specific origin, Taiji is often attributed to Chang San-Feng, a mythical Taoist monk from the 14th century.

Nowadays, many people start practicing Taiji because of a general interest in their health or as a way to better manage stress in their life. Regular practice can help to improve circulation of the blood and one’s posture. It also provides a a different way to handle stress at work or at home. However, there are also many Taiji practitioners that are interested in the martial side of Taiji.

In general, most styles and forms are suitable for people that can stand up straight and can walk normally. There are no special requirements with regards to level of fitness and age. However, you should always discuss your particular medical situation with your teacher when you start your lessons. This will enable him/her to understand which exercises you are unable to do or shouldn’t be doing.