Contrary to popular belief, tai chi is not only an old man’s gymnastics practiced on Sundays in the Buttes-Chaumont park, behind the swings in the playground. It is not just a hobby either. for bobos from the 11th arrondissement who, tired of a season of African dance and an introduction to ephemeral aboriginal sculpture, fall back on the mysterious Orient twice a week when leaving the office.
No, tai chi is in fact an authentic martial art, a sophisticated form of street brawl along with karate, judo, kung fu and jiu-jitsu. Translated from Chinese, because it is from China that he came to us one fine morning (calm), “tai-chi-chuan” means “boxing with the shadow”, “boxing of the supreme summit” or “ boxing of eternal youth ”.
Boxing, what …
This means that if you can practice it alone in slow motion, before taking the metro to La Défense, in order to better tackle a day of commercial seminar that promises to be long, you can also practice it at the speed of light. in a terrible duel to the death.
To do this, we will then use our feet, fists and head, it goes without saying, but also some blunt or sharp accessories depending on the type and severity of the injuries that we want to inflict on our opponent: a stick, daggers, a spear, a billhook, and, above all, it’s the top, a saber (says Dao).
The latter weapon, developed in the Tang dynasty (618-907 BC), is particularly dangerous and it is rare that one is authorized to use it from the first year of practice. We will then be entrusted with a wooden version, much less likely to impress the friends who came to dinner and to whom we had bragged about having given up African dance for tai chi and having bought a sword.
Another time, we will talk about boxing, which is a bit like English tai chi but without the sword.