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The Top 10 Destinations to Train in Tai Chi

The Top 10 Destinations to Train in Tai Chi
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BY LYSTIA PUTRANTO

Tai Chi, loosely translated as “Supreme Ultimate Boxing”, is a gentle yet lethal discipline that offers powerful self-defense techniques and when practiced regularly, comes with an abundance of benefits. Though Tai Chi (Tai Chi Chuan) has been established for centuries, this Chinese ancient internal martial arts is still widely practiced and has been growing in popularity across the globe.

If you are looking to jump on  the Tai Chi ‘bandwagon’ or would like to deepen your skill in this ‘soft’ martial arts style, there’s no better way to do so than to spend some time at a training camp! On this post, the BookMartialArts.com team has narrowed down a list of the top 10 destinations (in no particular order) for you to consider. So go on ahead, take your pick and be on your way to an unforgettable Tai Chi adventure!

Hebei, China

Hebei

Image credit: Study-in-china.org

Situated in the north of the yellow river (Huáng Hé), the Hebei province is located in proximity to China’s capital city of Beijing as well as Tianjin, another prominent city in China. Previously dubbed as ‘The Land of Yan and Zhao’, due to the domination of the Kingdom of Yan (in the north) and the Kingdom of Zhao (in the south), the region is now home to more than 50 minority ethnic groups including: the Hans, Mongolians and Koreans.

As it was regarded as a place of strategic importance during ancient war times, the Hebei province is renowned for its practice of martial arts including Kung Fu and Tai Chi. Nowadays, though martial arts is no longer viewed as a method of survival, its practice is still very much rampant in this area. 

Chiang Mai, Thailand 

Chiang Mai

Image credit: Tao Garden Health Spa & Results

Looking to hone in your Tai Chi skills somewhere sunny and tropical? Chiang Mai certainly fits the bill! This beautiful city is the largest and most culturally significant city in Nothern Thailand. Not only will you be ‘pampered’ by its gorgeous weather, delicious food and plenty of breathtaking sights all year round, but it also happens to be a great destination to learn Tai Chi as it is home to many certified Tai Chi instructors.

Be sure to head on over to Chiang Mai if you’ve been dreaming of indulging yourself on a vacation while learning Tai Chi!

Shandong, China 

Shandong 

Image credit: Asiacation.com

Rich in history, Shandong is the birthplace of the ‘Northern Praying Mantis’ martial arts style and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. It is also the home of many historical figures such as Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, whose influences are still very much evident in China and beyond. Located in the Eastern part of China, it is blessed with beautiful and scenic landscapes such as Mount Taishan. If you’d like to also do some shopping during your Tai Chi training in this Eastern province of China, you’d be delighted to know that there’s also an abundance of fine Chinese pottery, silk and porcelain to be found here.

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei

Image credit: ChinaDaily.com.cn

You’d be interested to know that Tai Chi is as popular in Taiwan as it is in China. With such a large demand for its practice, there are plenty of Tai Chi schools and training camps in Taipei (Taipei City). Hence, it’s no surprise that the capital city makes it to the list as one of the top destinations for Tai Chi!

In the mornings, one can easily ‘stumble upon’ groups of Tai Chi practitioners performing in open spaces such as parks.  If you decide to spend some time in Taipei, you simply can’t miss out on watching hundreds of its residents at Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall moving in unison at early morning hours, it’s certainly a sight to be seen!

Costa Blanca, Spain

Spain

 Image credit: Premier Martial Arts Holidays

Think there’s no way you can find great Tai Chi training camps outside of Asia? Think again! Spain’s Costa Blanca, located in the beautiful Alicante province, not only boasts breathtaking beaches but is home to an excellent training camp where you have the opportunities to partake in group Tai Chi sessions during sun rise. If you have been itching to mix some Mediterranean beach fun along with your Tai Chi practice, this destination promises to be the perfect getaway!

Henan, China

Henan

 Image credit: gbtimes.org

Widely considered as ‘the cradle of Chinese Civilization’, Henan is strategically located in between Beijing and Xi’an.

If you consider yourself an avid fan of Tai Chi and been dreaming to train in its origin, Henan province is where you need to be! This birthplace of Tai Chi is also the home of the legendary  Shaolin Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in China. Located on the majestic Shaoshi Mountain, it dates back 1500 years and it is still the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.

You’d also be happy to know that many UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites can be found here, so if you’re a martial arts and culture buff, you definitely need to make your way to Henan!

Hội An, Vietnam

Hoi an

 Image credit: indochinaqueentravel.com

Though some cities in Vietnam tend to be fast paced, rest assured that you’ll be treated to its serene and cultural side in Hội An. Best known for its well-preserved Ancient Town (dating back to the 15th- 19th century), it is located in the country’s central coast. This city is a former melting pot of cultures where you’ll find a mix of styles (French, Chinese, Japanese etc.) from various eras reflected in its architectures and cuisines.

Similar to Thailand, it is situated in the sun drenched region of South East Asia. Blessed with all year round pleasant weather, it also offers unique delicacies infused with fresh and invigorating herbs. Refresh your body, mind and soul with a Tai Chi retreat in Hội An, you’ll be sure to leave ready and eager to continue deepening your Tai Chi practice!

Hubei, China

Hubei

Image credit: tiempodetaichi.blogspot.com

Located in Central China, Hubei is the birthplace of Wudang (Wutang) and Wudang Quan, Chinese martial arts disciplines which combine Taoist ideology with Kung Fu. As you may be able to tell, both styles were named after the Wudang mountains located within the province. A UNESCO world’s heritage site, the mountain is home to an ancient building complex of Taoist temples and monasteries built during the Ming dynasty.

Hebei is also the origin of Wudang Tai Chi Chuan, a style of Tai Chi, first founded by Chang San-Feng.

Chakilda, Greece

Greece

Image credit: Taichi Holidays

Enjoy practicing yoga and Tai Chi equally? You’ll be excited to learn that Chakilda, the main town of the Island of Evia in Greece is hosting a week long Taoist yoga and Tai Chi holiday with a master of Tai Chi with over 30 years of teaching experience. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, you’ll be able to leave the island with a deeper understanding of body & mind connection all while enjoying the best that Greece has to offer!

Jilin, China

Jilin

Image credit: China Traditional Kung Fu School

With Inner Mongolia, North Korea and Russia amongst its neighbors, Jilin is one of only three provinces that are located in Northeast of China. It has an abundance of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) resources, with around thousands of species of medicinal herbs and wild plants that can be easily found in the area.

BaiJiquan is a Chinese martial arts discipline that focus on explosive, short-range power and elbow strikes. And though it is the most popular style practiced in this region, other martial arts disciplines including Tai Chi are also highly embraced and commonly performed here, making it one of the top destinations in China for Tai Chi training!

Bio: Lystia Putranto

Lystia is a contributing writer at BookMartialArts.com, a martial arts theme travel website. She is fascinated by all types of martial arts disciplines – particularly Chinese martial arts.

 

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