TAI CHI CLOTHING
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Guide to Tai Chi Clothing: What to Wear for Comfortable and Unrestricted Movement
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows unrestricted movement of your arms and legs. Sweatpants and a T-shirt or sweatshirt are good examples of appropriate clothing. Whatever you choose, choose a shirt that doesn't restrict your movement. It's important to dress appropriately for the weather so that you are neither too hot nor too cold.
Depending on the surface of the dojo, some Tai Chi schools may require you to be barefoot or wear Tai Chi shoes or sneakers. Typically, Tai Chi classes do not require a uniform. You may want to wear a uniform at a competition or special event.
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A Smooth Flow: My Experience Competing in a Tai Chi Tournament in a Tai Chi Silk Uniform
During my early Tai Chi training, I participated in the 1997 Kou Shu Tournament in Baltimore, Maryland. My Tai Chi teacher was Sifu Chang, who belonged to the school of Ten Thousand Dragons. He required all his students to wear white silk Tai Chi uniforms during the competition so that we would look like a team. I vividly recall the effortless flow of my Tai Chi movements as I performed the Yang 24 form in that uniform. Have you ever attempted to practice Tai Chi in jeans or restrictive attire? The clothes you wear while practicing Tai Chi can affect your movements and fluidity. While loose-fitting clothing such as sweatpants is ideal for Tai Chi practice, there's nothing quite like the seamless sensation of wearing a high-quality Tai Chi uniform.
TAI CHI SHOES
Believe it or not, choosing the right Tai Chi shoe is important. I practice Tai Chi outside often on the pavement so for me, the best shoe would be the Traditional Kung Fu Shoe. When choosing a Tai Chi shoe you want to choose a Tai Chi shoe that grips the floor but also allows for the sole of the shoe to slide on the floor. If your footwear does not allow for sliding, there is a possibility you might hurt or damage your knees when pivoting your feet. When you practice your Tai Chi form on a rug, you may not want to wear Tai Chi shoes, if you do you might find the cotton bottom Tai Chi Slipper is best. Recently, I wanted a pair of Tai Chi shoes for when I practice Tai Chi on hardwood floors. I happened to be in Chinatown New York City and decided I would buy a pair of Tai Chi Shoes on impulse. I compared the traditional kung fu shoe and a pair of similar style Tai Chi shoes with cotton soles and decided on the cotton bottom Tai Chi shoe for my intended use.
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