Senior Citizens and Taijichuan

One of the main aspects of Chinese Culture we have learned about during our time here has been Taijichuan (In American we pronounce it Tai Chi). Taijichuan is a matial art that consists of beautiful flowing forms and deals with the transference of energy. In a fight, someone who incorporates Taijichuan into their style of martial arts would use thier opponents energy against them. But today, Taijichuan is most commonly utilized as a meditative exercise tool. A large percentage of Taijichuan practitioners consist of the elderly. When I took a visit to peoples park, this was something I had noticed. There’s a large trend in which older citizens of Chine meet in parks to do several forms of physical activity. There is what seems to be organized dance, as well as badminton, and of course, Taijichuan.    We had learned this already from professor Shao–Taijicjuan was not only a main aspect of Chinese Culture in general, but also a huge part of Chinese retired life as well. In public spaces (especially parks) This seems to be a subculture within itself–when I went to the park and shanghai, and when we visited a main park on one of our trips, I noticed that there was a sense of community among the elderly.   Taijichuan therefore plays another role in this case–a social one. As one could imagine, there is not much to do in retirement. This is why many of the Chinese elderly come together in parks. It seems like daily park time and Taijichuan play a central role in the life of the Chinese elderly. In this way Taijichuan is beneficial on many levels. One one hand it gives the elderly something to do.  And beyond this, there are potential health benefits of Taijichuan, among which is supposedly longevity. And while claims like this should be taken with a grain of salt, it has been noted by Harvard medical school that there is scientific evidence for the health benefits of Taijichuan. Overall, I think it is both interesting and great to examine the role that Taijichuan plays in the lives of China’s senior citizens; it seems to be the kind of exercise I would want to practice.

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