Although it is a martial art, it is also an exercise for concentration and health. Its slow and gentle movements conceal the power and vitality within. A Chinese proverb characteristically says: " a needle wrapped in cotton ".
Its philosophy is based on the principles of yin and yang. Taijiquan symbolizes yin and yang as a unity of two opposing forces, flowing one into the other. Taijiquan is the bodily interpretation of the taiji philosophy. It is the microcosmic reflection of the laws of nature which humans need to comply with and accept.
Its slow and calm movements symbolize the force of life that continuously changes and flows. The constant rhythm allows the subconscious to relax and be focused. To achieve the full benefits of this art, the guidance of a good teacher is necessary, as well as continuous and continious practice. There are five main styles of taijiquan: Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao and Sun.
Daily taijiquan practice can keep the body in good physical condition well into old age. It calms the nervous system, liberates breathing, making it deeper and calmer, improves the circulation of blood and strengthens the immune system. Taijiquan clears the mind, increases stamina and effectively has a positive effect on problems of the back, the shoulders and joints. As a martial art, it can cultivate and increase internal energy. It allows us to develop patience and confidence, strengthening the body, helping it to gain high skills.
The Yang style was developed in the mid 1800's. Today, Yang taijiquan is the most widespread style all over the world. The long frame of 108 movements, the sword forms, and the various exercises, like push hands for two individuals, have established it as a complete martial art system.
The Athens Taijiquan Association is under the Dong Style Tai Chi created by Master Alex Dong