Tai Chi – What is it ?

Everybody speaks about Tai Chi but how many actually know what it is?

I  have to admit the first time I ever saw somebody doing this odd silent ‘dance’ I thought they were absolutely nuts.

In fact in my highly charged highly stressed days I actually got angry!

But you know what? I really didn’t know what they were doing.

As Mel Smith once said (in a comedy routine) Tai Chi? It’s the art of directing traffic in the park!

Laugh if you want (I did) but Tai Chi is definitely what you would call an ‘internal’ art.

Or is it?

Yes it is an internal art but it has external benefits too.  In fact there are many physical and mental benefits.

Tai Chi is a few thousand years old in origination and during that time the exercises change according to the Master. However they really are still in keeping with the original ideas.

Many families in China learnt and kept their forms of Tai Chi a secret. In fact at one point it was only done by the upper or ruling classes.

Over time the secrets came out and now anybody and everybody can learn Tai Chi and related arts.

So back to when I was looking at all these “loonies’ in the park in London I was angry and I suppose I was jealous too.

I really didn’t see the point of doing it but some voice inside me told me to do something about it.

I didn’t of course.

Until I was injured in a car accident and then I had no choice but to give up running and gym training.

Fate took a hand and I found out my gym instructor was also a Tai Chi teacher.

But what a shock I had when I discovered that the most important thing I had to learn was that Tai Chi is actually a Martial Art!

Its true every move is a Martial Art Move and must be treated as such otherwise there is no feeling in it.

Anyway 25 years later I am still looking at people doing Tai Chi and thinking they are funny. Only these days the person I’m laughing at is usually me doing it.

I laugh at how stupid I was at not trying to understand this extraordinary art which is the origin of all Martial Arts and many western exercise systems.

Barry Danser


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