The Establishment of a New “People’s Tai Chi” Platform

On March 31, 2019, a new tai chi [1] platform was launched in Beijing in an effort to promote tai chi, as well as people’s health. The sports section of the People’s Daily initiated the “People’s Tai Chi” platform which aims to popularize tai chi health practice and philosophy, while promoting the martial art and boosting the culture. This article describes briefly the purpose of this platform, and hopes that it can make progress from the image of tai chi as a good exercise for senior people, to a good exercise for people of all ages.

From the very beginning, Tai chi is always known as a good martial art (for both defense and offense), as well as a good health exercise (both physical and psychological health). As a good martial art, throughout the hundreds of years of its existence, Tai chi has repeatedly demonstrated this fact. Although its health benefits have also been known for hundreds of years, such health benefits have not been proven or supported by modern scientific/medical research investigations.

However, during the last 25 years or so, many scientific/medical investigations have been conducted showing that many of the traditionally claimed health benefits are real, although many more such studies are still needed in terms of larger sample sizes and duplication of results by different research teams at multiple places. [2]

At the launching ceremony, Zhu Kai, director of the sports department at People’s Daily and the president of the People’s Sports, said the platform will integrate sports and medical care; develop sports prescriptions for occupational, chronic and common diseases, promote care of the elderly and spread traditional culture. In other words, this Integrated Tai Chi Platform will work together with the necessary resources across the whole spectrum of the society and the world to provide scientific/medical evidence on the areas of applicability (including its limits) on the health benefits of Tai chi.

Wang Haitao, dean of the School of Continuing Education of Peking Union Medial college, pointed out it’s time to break out of the wall of the hospital, and the hospital’s professionals and China’s traditional sports and hobbies be combined to have positive and health prospect, which can effectively manage and control the chronic diseases.

People’s Tai Chi platform will also unite several organizations and institutes to found the People’s Tai Chi Development Alliance, aiming to mobilize forces from the wider society and around the world to promote tai chi. Hopefully the more than 50 million people in China and the more than 150 million people in more than 159 countries in the world who practice tai chi will gain even more benefits from tai chi and help to spread tai chi.

Later, more than 30 famous tai chi masters from different styles become tai chi culture promotion ambassadors for the first public health campaign of this alliance.

Although a large number of adults practice tai chi, tai chi can also be very beneficial for young people, including young children. Tai chi should not be considered to be only a good exercise for senior adults, but it is a good exercise for people of all ages: seniors, middle age, young adults, teenagers, and children, and for males and females. It can be especially a good exercise for the increasingly large number of young children who are obese or who are experiencing various degrees of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I hope that this People’s Tai Chi platform can make progress in this important but difficult challenge.


[1] See, e.g., Global Times, March 31, 2019.  Tai chi is also spelled as Taiji.

[2] See, e.g., a recent summary article “Health Benefits of Taiji” of many such scientific/medical research investigations:  D. M. Tow, “Health Benefits of Taiji” in the Autumn 2019, Volume 29, No. 3 issue of Qi:  The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, pp. 20-28.  A shorter version can also be found in the article “Trying to Understand Why Taiji Has So Many Health Benefits”:  http://www.dontow.com/2019/09/trying-to-understand-why-taiji-has-so-many-health-benefits/.

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