Why practice tai chi chuan?

Tai chi chuan is a very special martial art designed to help people handle stress.

by Ben Serpas — 

Is your life more stressful today than it was yesterday? Unfortunately, your likely answer is, “It is.” This is a worldwide phenomenon, not only affecting our society, but also touching millions of human beings all over the world who experience the same stress we do. This is but one reason for tai chi chuan’s worldwide popularity.

Tai chi chuan is a very special martial art designed to help people handle stress. We know we become stressed anytime we are subjected to change, even though change is not necessarily a bad thing. Many are actually favorable for us, yet the changes can still create stress, which, if unmanaged, can damage our physical, energetic, emotional, mental and even spiritual health.

It is impossible to isolate ourselves from all the changes going on around us. They affect us whether we like it or not, and they cause stress in our whole body. This is where tai chi chuan has been found to contribute so much: it easily facilitates the release of this stress. No pills, no hospitals, no strenuous exercises; just the practice of a martial art where violence is not the objective, but harmonizing your inner self is. Your physical body must be as closely as possible in harmony with your energy, your emotions and your mind.

Life is like a river flowing toward the ocean. Sometimes the current gets so rough that all we want to do is get out, because we don’t know how to swim ashore and take a break. Tai chi chuan seems to slow things down; it is like a hand reaching out to help us swim to the shore of life. We can rest and then return to the center of the river, secure in the knowledge that we can slow down, even give ourselves a rest, if we need to. In fact, by practicing tai chi chuan as you ride the river’s current, you may actually enjoy experiences which once stressed you out.

If you want to get in shape, have more energy, treat a health problem or simply feel relaxed instead of stressed, then tai chi chuan is what you need. The practice will unblock your nervous system by unclogging the channels, called meridians, so that energy (chi) can flow through them unobstructed.

Chi will then be able to reach your brain, eliminating the “toxins” that cause stress. These toxins are merely negative thoughts or emotions that create a vicious circle and stress your inner and outer being. Tai chi chuan will help you get your house in order. It will help tune up your body and your psyche. Your self esteem will then be at its peak.

Isn’t it high time for you to learn this wonderful art, the “yoga” of martial arts, tai chi chuan? The sooner you start, the better for your body, your heart and your soul.


Sifu Ben Serpas is the national director for the Philosophical Martial Arts Institute in Phoenix, and is a master of tai chi and archery. 623-696-8244, bennyserpas@gmail.com or www.themartialartsinstitute.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 1, February/March 2008.

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