Do you remember the opening ceremony in the Olympic Games in China last year? In the spectacular show, many people in white did tai chi too. That was really beautiful and awesome. I was very impressed.
On February 26 I had an interesting opportunity to take a lecture on tai chi from a young Chinese man, who studies in University of Nagoya. He’s from Xiamen, which is well known as Amoy, in China. He’s practiced tai chi since he was 15 years old.
He introduced the brief history of tai chi first. I was very surprised at his memory because there were many western calendar years in his explanation. He said that there were five major styles of tai chi: Chen, Yang, Wu of Wu Yhsiang, Wu of Wu Chein-chuan, and Sun styles.
I’ve heard that many people in China do simplified 24-form tai chi because many of them learn it in schools as a daily exercise. According to him, all of students don’t learn simplified 24-form tai chi any more, but in his childhood it was taught with other style of tai chi at school as a kind of exercise.
Both of simplified 24-form tai chi and Yang Ming Shi 24-form tai chi are come from Yang style originally. So they look like each other. The biggest difference is time. One hand, it usually takes just five minutes in simplified 24-form tai chi, the other hand, it takes nearly or sometimes more than 10 minutes in Yang Ming Shi one.
According to him, the most important thing of tai chi is breathing. Tai chi is a kind of qigong. But the breathing part is really difficult. Although I’ve practiced tai chi for two years, but I can’t focus on how to breathe while doing tai chi. If you practice tai chi with breathing correctly every day, you’ll keep your health condition well and may live longer.
Then we had lunch together and learned about Xiamen, or Amoy, from which he’s from. He showed us many photos of the place. It looked like a small resort town in Europe. It was very beautiful. His story and photos made me want to visit there once. Anyway his lecture was interesting. I had a wonderful time to talk a lot with him and other participants.