Tai Chi looks very much like slow-motion kung fu. David Carradine performed a form related to Tai Chi as Kwai Chang Caine on the television series Kung Fu. And although Tai Chi shares some similarities with kung fu, don’t let that scare you away. Tai Chi can be practiced by anyone at any age and in any condition.
In martial arts circles, it is known as an internal martial art. Tai Chi promotes internal strength physically, mentally, and emotionally, which is why it can be powerful training tool for martial artists. But you don’t have to be a martial artist to benefit from Tai Chi because it can also be practiced even by those in wheelchairs, with great results.
Unlike karate, Tai Chi has no belt or ranking system because the benefits of Tai Chi can only be felt and not seen. You practice Tai Chi to live better, more calmly, clearly, healthfully, and productively. Tai Chi is a tonic for life. You will see your progress reflected by how you feel, how spry you look in the mirror, how much you love life, and how healthy you are. Isn’t this much better than owning a black belt? However, if you do karate, Tai Chi can help you get that black belt by improving your internal function and grace.
Also, Tai Chi differs from most martial arts in that people of all ages can practice it. Many people with disabilities and ailments practice Tai Chi as therapy. No one is restricted from practicing Tai Chi, and yet Tai Chi can benefit the fittest athletes, just as much as it benefits elderly arthritis sufferers. Tai Chi clubs are sprouting up all over the world, with people from all walks of life.