Taoist Tai Chi™ is a form of Tai Chi that involves following a set of basic principles of movement while performing the prescribed set of exercises used in this form of Tai Chi. In all, 108 movements make up the Taoist Tai Chi™ set, which begins with an opening pose and ends with a closing pose. Also commonly called T'ai-chi, Tai chi chuan, Taijiquan, or Taiji, Tai Chi is a form of martial arts that originated in China. Tai Chi is a practice combining breathing exercises with movement and meditation.
The International Taoist Tai Chi™ Society is a non-profit organization that oversees Taoist Tai Chi™ organizations in the 25 countries in which the group operates with a number of local chapters that hold classes and Tai Chi events. The Tai Chi instructors in the Society are volunteers. Generally, this organization holds its events, classes, and meetings at community centers and public buildings.
While the basic focus of the organization is on teaching Tai chi chuan, Taoist Tai Chi™ learning centers also teach Hsing I, Lok Hup Ba Fa, and Tai Chi Sword and Sabre. Hsing I is an older form of martial arts that predates Tai Chi and is thought to be an ancestral form of Tai Chi. Lok Hup Ba Fa encompasses advanced movements that are meant to be supplemental to the practice of Tai Chi. Tai Chi Sword and Sabre is a form of Tai Chi practiced with a sword or a sabre, which is a curved sword.
In addition to its artistic appeal and exercise benefits, it can also reduce a patient's risk of many health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and Parkinson's disease. Because it typically involves slow movements, Tai Chi is used in many hospitals and nursing homes as a form of exercise for patients with limited capacity for physical movement. The Taoist Tai Chi™ Society often offers special classes catered to senior citizens and otherwise limited individuals who wish to engage in the practice of Tai Chi.
Tai Chi was originally practiced to strengthen internal defense and increase health in warriors, as well as for its beauty as a form of dance. In the Western world, Tai Chi is used as a form of exercise and a method of relaxation. Though it has many benefits, Tai Chi practice usually offers only mild cardiovascular exercise and does not constitute a full program of exercise for most people.