Depending on where you go and the professionalism of the the seminar that you attend will depend greatly on what you will learn at a Tai Chi seminar, but this does not mean that each one of them will share some of the very fundamentals of this ancient art. Not only has it been used as a skill for martial arts fighting, but some forms can be used to relax the body and help you find that center and inner peace that you may have been looking for. Also, it can even be used for rehabilitation to get the body back into shape.
Each seminar that you will attend will most likely spend some time on the history of this martial art. It has been based on self defense and has been passed down from family to family through the generations from about 13th Century AD which have originated in China. It is a synthesis of martial arts and meditation that has formed its own philosophy and culture.
Tai Chi was originally developed by artists to further their skills in other areas. Traditional Tai Chi comprised of highly complex moves that included kicks, blocks and punches that could be incorporated into whatever they had already learned as their primary martial art. Traditional forms can take anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes to complete and even over a year to master, but with normal exercise and practice, learning the forms from a basic standpoint still has great qualities to add to your exercise routine.
There are three main branches that include many forms or styles of Tai Chi. Throughout the years, they have been adapted and changed, but the main idea has stayed the same. The three branches are called Yang, Chen, and Wu. They have been named after their proponents that had created them in the first place. A seminar will most likely give you a brief history of each of these branches as well.
The most important part of Tai Chi will also be covered, and that would be the mind and body principles of Tai Chi, or the guidelines for practice. Each place that practices Tai Chi has a different set of rules, but are very close to being the same. They are as follows.
Always maintain control of your breathing. This helps the body relax and keeps the tension level in your body low.
Move slowly. This will emphasize your movements which will in turn strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance.
All of the movements are connected, from your head to your feet and from your feet through to your head. The movements of Tai Chi emphasize this.
Your height should remain constant and your head upright with your shoulders back and relaxed. This allows your body to remain relaxed while still able to do the movements. This helps with posture and also with breathing.
You will practice active relaxation. This is being alert and relaxed at the same time.
You will practice weight separation, which means that almost one hundred percent of the time all of your weight will be on one foot at a time. This will increase your balance and help with weight distribution.
As you can see, Tai Chi, to practice it seriously, is no simple task. It can be a serious undertaking that takes a lot of dedication and time just like any martial art. It can be used for many rehabilitation efforts for those that have been injured in some way or want to improve the way their body functions. Whichever may make you decide to look further into Tai Chi, a beautiful martial art, will be well worth it.