Taiji Quan (Shadow Boxing), which can be used to self-defense and improve the corporeity and prevent and cure the illness, is a kind of traditional Chinese boxing with gentle and slow actions. It has a long history with various schools and wide popularity.
Taiji Quan originated from the late Ming Dynasty of China (about 400 years ago). Chen Wangting, a villager of Chenjiagou village, created a new kind of Chinese boxing based on the integration of the ancestral boxing, the essence of the excellent folk boxing types and the Chinese medicine meridians. The theory of Taiji Quan (Shadow Boxing) evolved from the classical works of the Chinese traditional philosophy, leechcraft, Wushu and absorbed the contents of the Daoism, Confucianism and so on during its long time development, so Taiji Quan is called as “the Quintessence of the Chinese Culture”.
Taiji Quan is a kind of martial art to make people strong and healthy. The actions of the Taiji Quan are gentle, slow, coherent and flexible, and it can dredge the main and collateral channels, regulate Qi and blood, nourish the viscera and strengthen muscle and bones. Nowadays, Taiji Quan has become one kind of sports especially for old people.
The study of Taiji Quan chuan primarily involves three aspects:
Taiji Quan's health training therefore concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. An unhealthy person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use Taiji Quan as a martial art.
The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of Taiji Quan is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health (in the sense of relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis.
The ability to use Taiji Quan as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student's understanding of the art. Martially, Taiji Quan chuan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces; the study of yielding and "sticking" to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of Taiji Quan as a martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.
As a unique Chinese sport, Taiji Quan has aroused interest and love of many foreign friends. There are Taiji Quan activities in Europe, America, Southeast Asian, Japan, and etc. Many countries have established Taiji Quan Association to carry on communication activities with China.