Tai Chi was invented in ancient China. It is a powerful and gentle form of martial art. It originally developed for self-defense, health and longevity. In modern society, it is practised by the general public across the world for health and fitness.

I was born into a traditional Chinese family. My father is a very well known Tai Chi master in China. He started to practise Tai Chi and other form of martial arts when he was 11. More than 70 years later, at age 81, he is in perfect health, and has thousands of students. When I was young, my father used to wake me early each morning, and trained me in Tai Chi. Under the pressure of my parents, I practised the movements for about 7 years.

When I came to Australia, I found different interests. I started swimming, and swim regularly, so no more Tai Chi practice. Until about six years ago, when a terrible incident changed my focus.

It was like this:  one winter day just like today, I finished work and drove home. On the way back, I bought some groceries. When I arrived home, it was dark. I parked the car off the street, put hang bag on my shoulder and started taking the shopping bags out of the boot. The street was quiet. I noticed a strange woman walking on the other side of the road. She looked like an islander, brown skin, with a broad nose. She was tall and strong. The woman walked to me, I thought she was going to ask me about an address. She came close, and put both of her hands on my hang bag, said ‘let go’, and she pulled.

All of a sudden, my brain scanned my bag, there were too many important things inside it: car key, house key, mobile phone, IDs, cheques and wallet. I said ‘No’. I dropped all other bags, and held onto the belt of my hand bag very tightly. Physically, I wasn’t comparable with her, I was a lot smaller and lighter. She pulled the bag desperately, pulling and dragging the bag and me for a few metres. At that moment, I recalled the Tai Chi movements. I defended myself by using Tai Chi technique. By then some other people had showed up, and she fled.

I started to practise Tai Chi again after this incident.

The martial technique of Tai ji is to learn how to use four grams to pull down a thousand grams.

The philosophy of tai ji is: harmony and balance. Harmonise yourself with the heaven and earth. Tai Ji movements are like clouds moving in the sky, gentle like water flow.

Tai Ji is a great exercise, everyone can do it, you can do it at anywhere, anytime. It strengthens and relaxes the mind and body. It can improve flexibility and muscle strength, restores balance and increases energy. In particular, we can use it to defend ourselves.

From my personal experience with Tai Chi, I highly recommend this exercise to you.