People practice tai chi outside the Taiji Museum in Chenjiagou village of Wenxian county, Central China's Henan province, Oct 29, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
Tai chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. Perfectly combined with Chinese dialectical theoretical thinking, martial arts, art, Daoyin (breathing exercising) and traditional Chinese medicine, tai chi absorbs essence from traditional Confucianism and Taoism. It is thus good for people to nature one's temperament, physical fitness and improve one's attacking and defending skills.
Today, tai chi has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of tai chi trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu (Hao), and Sun. All of the former, in turn, trace their historical origins to Chenjiagou village, Wen county, in Central China's Henan province, where master Chen Wangting created tai chi in the mid-17th century.
Though originally conceived as a martial art, it is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: competitive wrestling in the format of Pushing Hands (Tui Shou), demonstration competitions, and achieving greater longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims with differing emphasis. Some training forms of tai chi are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movements.