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Tai Chi session at Victoria Park (by Twin Peaks)

Hong Kong is said to be Asia’s most westernised city with its high building and its 99 years of British colonisation. Although now a Special Administrative Region of China, it has kept a huge part of its habits from the past Western era and somehow rejects its Chinese influence (read this old but still actual article from the Asia Times).
But the past cannot be forgotten so easily and a flock of Chinese traditions still flows in the veins of the huge city: from street temples to street food stalls, its porcelain and ivory antics or its Chinese New Year, it is impossible not to see the culture’s Asian roots.

One in particular can attract an early-rising tourist’s attention: if you happen to stroll in one of the city’s numerous parks, you’ll probably catch sight of groups of — most of the time — middle-aged to old people performing a long series of coordinated slow moves resembling to dance. What they’re doing is an ancient version of our “morning healthy jogging” but in a more elaborated way. Its name: Tai Chi Chuan (tàijíquán in Chinese). Here starts a centuries-old tradition of culture and martial arts.

Although a great variety of styles and forms exists in Tai Chi, this blog is mostly going to talk about Wushu Tai Chi and its 24 forms that were chosen in 1956 by the Chinese Sports Commission to simply the work the new students who wish to learn it.

Next week, we’re going to talk about the first forms as well as the spirit behind the name and the practice.