The fight between the serpent and the bird
According to legend, tai chi chuan was invented by a Chinese hermit, Zhang Sanfeng, five hundred years BC. He would have been inspired by a fight between a snake and a bird, which he observed at length, to create this chain of complex movements. Like qi gong, tai chi is one of the pillars of traditional Chinese medicine. The difference ? In short, the first aims to boost your energy, while with the second, you learn to defend yourself. It is an authentic martial art called “internal” because it favors flexibility over strength, unlike external martial arts, such as kung fu.
In praise of slowness
In progress, we always repeat the same sequence of 108 movements with poetic names. We mimic “Jade’s daughter who weaves and launches her shuttles to the four corners of the horizon”, we “flatter the horse’s neck” … Slowly, very slowly, we push imaginary enemies with the hands or the fore- arms, they are jostled with the foot, while moving. Without stopping, except to revise positions. It’s like unwinding a thread that must not be broken. If martial applications are not necessarily obvious, duo workshops allow you to put the gestures into practice. Incredible how without any force, we can KO an opponent (and vice versa)!
Flexibility and balance
As it has nothing cardio, this discipline is really for everyone. We work on his balance, his memory (allow a certain number of years before you remember the whole sequence by heart, all the same!), His coordination and his flexibility. It’s not easy at first to extend your leg in slow motion to kick. But it’s worth it to persevere: little by little, the gestures become more fluid, the body straightens up and we feel that the energy is flowing to the tips of the fingers.
Shall we take the plunge?
Indoors or outdoors, there is certainly a course near you. Consult the fairly exhaustive directory of the Federation of Chinese Energy and Martial Arts (faemc.fr). On the big day, plan to wear comfortable and rather loose clothing so as not to be limited in your movements, as well as sneakers or flexible shoes. The course is practiced barehanded but, from a certain level, you will perhaps be offered to wield the sword, the fan or the stick. In all lightness, of course.
Even not bad with dancing