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Chinese Gymnastics - Spirit and Body Interaction

Thursday, 02 June 2011

chinese gymnasticsThe concern in the Eastern way of life around the world goes forward. The traditional Chinese martial arts, as one more cultural element causes great interest along with a cuisine, cinema and fashion of China. However, what is used around the world to consider military practice, in fact is nothing but a philosophy, subordinated to body movements, concentration of thought and special breathing techniques. All this is the part of the larger tendency to make that is called the Chinese gymnastics.


In many recreational areas of Chinese cities there are groups of people of all ages developing the exercises reminiscent of familiar to Western male karate. Herewith the technique now called the Chinese gymnastics, previously used it in mainly military aspects. And only now, when all over the world centers to study on the eastern system are opened, it becomes clear to many people that the physical movement is only the superficial component of these disciplines.

Chinese gymnastics has as a foundation on the deep faith in balance and harmony between physical and spiritual condition. This can be achieved by means of combining a complex of exercises, a certain direction of thoughts and proper breathing. In China, there are many systems that help to achieve spiritual harmony and improve the health condition, but the most common are three of them, in particular they are: wushu, qigong and tai chi.


Wushu is a system utmost close to the military art. Wushu includes about 130 styles, each of which is subject to a clear structure.

To obtain a positive result in the form of rehabilitation, development of movements coordination (that is the reason they turn to wushu), it is necessary to comply with a clear sequence - from simple to complex. The first (preparatory) stage is the study of exercises, the second is to master the universal basis, the third is a combination of basic exercises, which should take place in a certain sequence.

Wushu has two directions: external and internal. The external, which is called Wai Tsa, represents a fistfight. The internal or Nei Jia is a system of techniques, aimed at bringing spirit and body in a harmony. And if the latter goes with the maximum relaxation and peace of spirit and body, the exercises, representing a fistfight are rather sharp and intensive.

Wushu is the most concentrated out of the three types of gymnastics.


This is another popular system that represents the Chinese philosophy of matching the body and spirit, but this time it refers to the technique of breathing. «Qi» stands for breath, and «gong» means - to work with it. As far as it is known, the Eastern philosophy pays a great importance to proper breathing and balance of vital energy flow through the meridians. It is believed that the exercises, included in Qigong, saturate the internal organs with the energy of «chi», confronting the emergence of diseases, healing the existing ones and strengthening the immunity system on the whole.

Qigong helps to relieve the nervous tension, stress, and to get rid of depression.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese gymnastics, where the movements are very smooth and measured. The advantage of tai chi is its accessibility to people of all ages and physical state. If Wushu mostly applies military tactics, the tai chi is mostly a dance, coupled with the development of physical endurance and overall health improvement.

In this type of gymnastics the body works together with the thoughts, the feelings are visualized, and the mind is maximally concentrated. Continuity and smoothness of movements, a tension and springiness of positions are the main indicators of tai chi technique. This system is typically employed to bring the nervous system in balance and also it is used for weight loss.

Specific recommendations

When discussing overall application of the Chinese gymnastics it is worth bearing in mind that the contraindications do exist, but they are rather individual. So, in case you have varicose veins, you have to abandon the exercises with a long static poses. If there are negative manifestations of the cardiovascular system, it is recommended the intensive Wushu fist fight be replaced with quieter methods.

The Chinese gymnastics, regardless of the techniques preferred, do obviously stimulate the endurance, tolerance, strengthen the immune system, help to resist stresses, improve muscle tone and commit the stretch, balance the blood circulation and help to recover from injuries within short time.

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