Tai Chi Chuan is a defensive Chinese martial art said to be at least 2,000 years old, based on the principles of Tai Chi.
Tai Chi Chuan is a graceful, slow-moving series of 108 so-called archetypal positions relating to nature (“grasp bird’s tail”) and human situations (“fair maiden works at shuttles”) that flow into one another in a linear series.
The practice has spread throughout the world via Taoist masters and missionaries. In Canada, almost every small city has a Tai Chi center, where classed are taken for an affordable fee. I’m not sure about the US, Europe and other regions, but I imagine it’s much the same.
Enthusiasts say Tai Chi Chuan has notable health benefits in the areas of digestion, general flexibility, arthritis and the cultivation of serenity.
Critics, who usually aren’t too visible, say that the organizational aspect might exhibit cultish qualities. And some feel that the numinosity associated with or generated by the practice of Tai Chi is unclear or spacey.
To this effect Robert Thoor cautions: “Avoid strict or spacey teachers.”¹