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Guinness World Record for Most Tai Chi Performers

On August 8, 2009, China entered the Guinness Book of World records again for having the most people performing Tai Chi at once.

The day marked the first national Fitness Day in China and was established to commemorate the 2008 Olympics which was held there. On this day, 33,996 people appeared before the Bird’s Nest Stadium, the primary location of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Those involved performed the simplified 24-posture Tai Chi. The previous record was for 30,648 people performing Tai Chi at once in Luoyang, Henan province. This was set in April 2004.

The people that participated came from all walks of life, some coming from many miles away from the capital to participate in the day’s event. The form lasted only a few minutes and under a misting sky. It was part of a greater celebration that was intended to encourage all Chinese to exercise at least one hour a day for better health and well-being. Attending were many government officials as well as the first ever Chinese gold medalist, Xu Haifeng, who won in 1984 for sharp shooting.

The simplified 24-posture Tai Chi was created by the Chinese Sports Committee in 1956 as a form of exercise for the masses. The four tai chi instructors that created the form started with traditional Yang family Tai Chi with the aim to give beginners an introduction to the basic elements of Tai Chi. The basic movements are recognizable by most people who practice Tai Chi.
The 24-postures are:

  1. Opening
  2. Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane
  3. White Crane Spreads Its Wings
  4. Brush Knee and Press
  5. Playing the Lute
  6. Repulse the Monkey
  7. Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail (left)
  8. Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail (right)
  9. Single Whip
  10. Wave Hands like Clouds
  11. Single Whip
  12. Pat Horse on Back
  13. Right Heel Kick
  14. Strike Ears with Both Fists
  15. Pivot and Left Heel Kick
  16. Snake Creeps Down, Golden Rooster Stands on Left Leg
  17. Snake Creeps Down, Golden Rooster Stands on Right Leg
  18. Fair Lady Works with Shuttles
  19. Picking Up the Needle from the Bottom of the Sea
  20. Fan Penetrates Back
  21. Deflect and Punch
  22. Apparent Close
  23. Cross hands
  24. Formal Close

Other Martial Arts Guinness World Records include:

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