Taiji Quan (Tai Chi) originated long ago in Chinese history, and was a martial arts practice, with Quan meaning fist or boxing. Due to its heritage and practicability, it has evolved in three directions. With its origin and heritage in Taoism, it is a way to spiritual perfection; with its practicability, it is a way to protect oneself or really fight; and with its health caring effects, it is accepted by the common people as a self-healing or disease prevention or treatment tool.
Taiji Quan boasts several major schools of Yang Style, Chen Style, Wu Style, and Sun Style, etc., which in turn include variety of forms respectively. For instance, the Yang School includes the Greater Routine and the Lesser Routine, while the Chen School includes an Old Routine, a new Routine, and the Zhaobao Routine. And most of these forms have created a short form, with Yang Style of 48 movements as an example. There fore, the beginners are able to learn it more easily.
Taiji Quan exercise are believed to be helpful in treating illness and strengthening the constitution, therefore it is an exercise performed regularly by many people to keep fit, prevent and cure diseases, slow down the pace of growing old and to prolong life. The concentration of the mind is beneficial to biochemical profile of the brain and nervous system, and the flow of the internal self-healing energy is beneficial to the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the tissues. Studies found that practicing Taiji Quan is a great help to the elders. This is an indication of its immense value to men's health, as has been testified by practice and research. In its purest form, Taiji Quan is a beautiful combination of eloquent, fluid and balanced body movement, yet it ca be quite physical and is often used for defense. Because the level of input and complexity is either under the control of or susceptible to the willingness of each individual,, Taiji Quan can be enjoyed by all ages. This is perhaps why more and more people take to Taiji Quan. Now in China , millions of citizens practice Taiji Quan every day.
Over the past three centuries, Taiji Quan has received more and more attention, and its popularity has increased, not only in China, but also gone far beyond its borders to Southern Asia, Japan, America, European countries and many other countries.