Do I need special clothes for Tai Chi?
One huge monetary benefit and reason for the proliferation of tai chi is because you don’t necessarily need facilities or materials in order to train. That being said, once you have been practicing for a while, certain purchases make a lot of sense.
Uncomfortable pants limit stance work and typical athletic shoes can impinge on the ankles and stick to the floor when you pivoting. When you join a class or eventually present your form to a crowd, the taichi clothing can be quite striking.
With regards to the weapons, they are implements meant to teach a specific skill. YES! They are beautiful and unbelievably fun but their weight, length, and material can affect whether or not you get why you are moving in a certain way or (Buddha forbid) whether or not you hurt yourself.
Weapons and clothing can be pretty inexpensive at the low end and go all the way up to the finest, most expensive silk robes and hand crafted swords you can imagine.
Tai Chi Pants
You would think that finding pants for taichi would be easy. Was it easier when zumbas were in? Athletic pants work fine but having more room means you are not restricted in your movements. Secondly, long open legs can get caught on your shoes as you are stepping throughout the forms. Here are two of the best as well as other larger retailers at the bottom.
We are big fans of Nelson at Beijing Imports. He has been supplying martial artists since before the internet was invented. He is a martial artist and truly wants to get every order fitting right.
TaichiTranquility is run by two women in Australia. The pants are a thinner (not inferior), lighter quality and wear well.
This is a nice looking site that has uniforms and some more and unusual fabrics and the pants are affordable. Plus, they were nice enough to provide you with a coupon code for a discount for visiting their site! Coupon Code SH005 – Save 5% when you shopping for tai chi clothes.
Tai Chi Shoes
“It’s the shoes.” You have about three options when looking for shoes for tai chi. There is an all-cloth version specifically for training inside. These are much like slippers. There is a hybrid version which is basically the cloth shoe with a rubber sole. And then there is a low profile athletic shoe that looks like a soccer shoe.
Why can’t I wear my athletic shoes? It’s ok to begin with but understand that the soles of these shoes have been designed not to slip. Your foot is rotating frequently throughout taichi which can put strain on the knee if there is any drag. Many commercial brands such as New Balance have some great low-profile shoes that do the trick but here are some of our favorites.
Rubber Sole Shoes
All of the rubber sole shoes seem to be the same regardless of where they come from. They are very comfortable, last a long time and are cheap. Amazon is the easiest place to order them from.
Low Profile Tai chi Athletic Shoes
Kung Fu Direct has a ton of styles of the low profile athletic shoes and the prices are pretty good.
Tai Chi Weapons
We will list some of the unique sites here but the truth is that the major retailers with a lot of stock have taken to also advertising on Amazon. This means that you can view many products side-by-side that are competitively priced. We have gone through and highlighted some of the most promising versions.
Tai Chi Swords
Swords are normally measured as being the distance from your wrist to your earlobe. They range from inexpensive to exotic. A look around the larger sites listed here will give you an idea of what is available but many options can be found on amazon for less than $40 if you are just getting started.
Tai Chi Broadswords
Broadswords are wider, a bit heavier, and only have one cutting edge. The broadsword forms and practice drills use the momentum of spins and jumps to have the sword act as a falling cleaver. It is like a game or dance where you try to let momentum do most of the work as you move your body out of the way. Therefore, the weight and size is important based on the person’s body size.
More to come on the following weapons
Tai Chi Spears and Long Poles
I can only safely suggest that you order from a local store where you can check them out or talk with Nelson at Beijing Imports. Spears and long poles need to be straight and a stock of poles can curve over time if not kept flat. If in person, place the pole on the floor and roll it back and forth like you would test out a cue stick. Be cautious of knots. Extend the life of your pole by storing it on the ground, not vertically or horizontally in a rack.
Tai Chi Fans
Fans need to open and close smoothly and some weight is needed so that 1) it is not redirected by the wind and 2) so that it “snaps” when you issue energy into it. I am not sure why someone would buy a plastic fan when there are stainless steel versions for about the same price. Amazon has some nice starter option and any size price or color can be found at any of the larger sites listed below.
Tai Chi Uniforms
Uniforms depend on so many variables such as: what style you like, how much you want to spend, your body, what it is for, etc. We will use this section to list the larger retail sites that have really good selections.
Nice simple, comfortable, uniform
Nice simple, comfortable, uniform
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