“WITHOUT BREATH, YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING.” — HAKIM TAFARI
What makes it unique from other forms of martial arts?
“Tai Chi is probably one of the oldest martial arts out there. The tradition dates back to 1200bc. National Tai Chi day is April the 9th of every year and it’s celebrated because it’s the birthdate of Chang San Feng the grandfather of Tai Chi, born 1247. He was said to have been taught by the Taoist priests, he came from the Taoist mountains born from Taoist parents and was bathed in mysticism and mythological tales. He passed it down and taught the Wudang priests Tai Chi, which is supposedly the evolution of Tai Chi.
The essence of Tai Chi is bathed in the Yu Cheng or the I Ching which is the book of changes. The actual Tai Chi diagram is the Ying and the Yang.
The other piece is the five elements, or the element theory, which are earth, water, air, metal and fire. Tai Chi comprises of all those elements. So when you have a martial art that is rooted in so much tradition and so much philosophy as well as science and deep mysticism… It’s hard not to connect.
On top of it all, Tai Chi has the meditation piece. It bridged the gap when the Chinese were going through Africa and vice versa. Tai Chi was one of those arts that built a connection that blended the two cultures together.”