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Tai Chi is often described as an internal martial art, characterised by soft relaxed movements and trained at a slower speed than other martial arts. There are many interpretations of the art, some involving partner work and weapon forms, but a typical class moves from warm-ups into the full practice of a choreographed set of gentle movements.

Most people who start Tai Chi do so for the well-documented health benefits. These include increased flexibility, suppleness and muscle strength, while the relaxed, natural breathing helps to release tension. The principle of promoting the smooth flow of energy around the body is rooted in all aspects of traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture.

There are several umbrella organisations covering the various styles. The websites listed below contain information on Tai Chi classes and events across the UK.

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> The Tai'Chi Union (External link)