What is Tai Chi?
What we in the Western World call “Tai Chi” (pronounced: Tie Chee) is a very ancient system for developing the whole person, the physicality, the thinking mind, the human emotions, the sense of spiritual awareness, and a sense of beauty and well-being.
The history of Tai Chi
Its roots are possibly in the ancient kingdoms of the Old Testament from where it moved eastward to India. There it was reformed to suit Indian culture and traditions.
Later it moved into China together with many other aspects of Indian philosophy, medicine, healing and self-defense.
In China what we now call Tai Chi was reformed to suit Chinese needs and culture. For many centuries it remained the private and secret practice of rich and privileged families. However with the democratisation of China in the Twentieth century the teaching of Tai Chi became available to a wide circle of students.
When the romantic idealism of the communist revolution was shattered by the 1960’s many of the traditional cultural arts were repressed by the by the state and many practitioners of those arts, including Tai chi, fled abroad – initially to Taiwan or Hong Kong, then later to America and Europe.
Whilst China subsequently tried to re-ignite its cultural traditions, by then Tai Chi was no longer of solely Chinese culture; rather it was now a worldwide phenomenon.
Teachers around the world took the gift of Tai Chi and honed it to suit the various needs of their culture and students. And so it was with us.