Editorial - April 16, 2000
Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art developed at least 300 years ago but may have its origins nearly 2000 years ago. It has been described as the physical expression of the spirit and principles of Taoism. Visit Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan for an interesting article on the relationship of Taoism to Tai Chi.
A Tai Chi form is a set of exercises or specific, carefully orchestrated movements that take on the appearance of a dance of sorts. It is often practiced in groups with everyone doing precisely the same movements at the same time. Unlike martial arts like judo and karate, Tai Chi is a non-contact, non-combative way of improving health and energy and reducing stress. Its practice promotes flexibility, balance and physical control.
It is also a kind of moving meditation, where the mind centers itself on each movement producing inner calm. The Tai Chi exercises, also known as the "form", improve the energy flow within the body. This energy is called "chi" or "qi".There are many forms or styles and some different approaches to the practice of Tai Chi from a purely physical exercise to a complete spiritual discipline.
For a good description of what Tai Chi is and a little history, visit Cloudwater Tai Chi. The Tai Chi Site has a large directory of Tai Chi links. Zenzibar Alternative Culture has a Tai Chi category that you can visit, too.