Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
On the 8th day of the 8th month in 2008, the 39th Summer Olympics officially began in Beijing, China. Among the amazing opening ceremony was a fantastic display of Wu Shu Tai Chi. This section of the Opening ceremony is entitled “Nature” and rightly so as Tai Chi, and Martial Arts, is very close to bringing aspects of nature and peace into our lives.
The performance begins with just a few artist on the floor performing in what looks to be glass boxes that flow and shimmer like water. The artists move in unison displaying both the calm and powerful flexibility of Wu Shu Tai Chi.
Then the stage goes black and the middle platform opens with children discussing nature and the environment. As the main area opens up again, we now see a circle of white uniformed Martial Artists. 2008 of them to be exact. In perfect unison that’s breath-taking to watch, they move through the form with fluidity and grace.
One of the more physically demanding Martial Arts and Tai Chi forms to learn, Wu Shu Tai Chi combines the ease and grace atypical of Tai Chi with the amazing physical display of balance and flexibility Wu Shu has become known for. For those interested in a close-up look at some of this Tai Chi performed, below is a link to a YouTube video from the 2006 Traditional Wushu Championships in China demonstrating the Wu Shu Tai Chi.