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It is thought that Tai Chi is practiced by 2.5 million people around the world, who employ it as a slow, meditative workout that promises longer lives to those who use it. While it may not look like much, even the British Journal of Sports Medicine has said that it can help older people’s physical and psychological health.
Tai Chi expert Charlie Gorrie has been practicing the art for 20 years, but instead of the relaxing movements that have become famous around the world, he and his students explore the more competitive side, based on the martial arts.
Speaking to The Hour, he said: “The form that most people know is made up of a series of techniques, strung together and modified to flow.
“[It is] a dynamic form of relaxation, starting with breath, posture, visual field. If you’ve got one thing wrong, if you’re posture’s out, then you’re going to have problems with balance, your co-ordination is going to be off, you’re certainly not going to be relaxed.”
With the help of Billy Leggate and Colin English, he demonstrated how the graceful movements of Tai Chi can be used to defeat opponents in combat.
Tai Chi is also thought to have benefits after sparring, as a means of helping recovery. To give it a go yourself, visit the Tai Chi Glasgow homepage.