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Tai Chi
Tai chi (or taiji) is short for tai ji quan (太极拳), which literally means “fist of the Great Absolute.” It is a form of martial art that started in ancient China as a means of self-defense. Over time, however, tai chi evolved with the philosophies of Daoism and Confucianism. By combining martial arts and meditative movements, tai chi promotes the balance and healing of both mind and body and is used primarily for health purposes today. There are many different styles of tai chi, but all involve slow, relaxed, graceful movements, with each movement flowing seamlessly into the next. Many Chinese people commonly practice tai chi in public parks in the early morning hours. At the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program “China: Tradition and the Art of Living,” Chai Chai Yunlong (柴云龙) and Tian Mengyi (田梦艺), two martial arts students from Beijing Sports University, demonstrated tai chi and a fu chen fight routine. Learn more about “China: Tradition and the Art of Living”: Editing: Jackson Harvey [Catalog No. CFV11275; © 2019 Smithsonian Institution]
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1 min 38 sec
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