Taiji is a traditional Chinese philosophy concept. It is a cosmological term for the “Supreme Ultimate” state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality.
The Great Primal Beginning, changes in this “Supreme Ultimate” state generates the two primary forces. The two primary forces generate the four images. The four images generate the eight trigrams. The eight trigrams determine good fortune and misfortune. Good fortune and misfortune create the great field of action.
Tai chi chuan is an internal Chinese martial art based on these cosmological ideas. It is practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity.
A multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of tai chi chuan’s training forms are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movement. It is also described as “meditation in motion”. This gentle form of exercise can prevent or ease many ills of aging and could be the perfect activity for the rest of your life.
As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations. Tai chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.
Note: “Taiji” and “Tai chi” share the same meaning, and the different written style s are due to different Chinese-English translation methodologies.