The Do’s and Don’t of buying Tai Chi Equipment

Buying Tai Chi EquipmentFirst and foremost before I dish out any advice on buying Tai Chi Equipment is in the beginning always follow the crowd. It saves having to make any decision and once you have built up your experience and preferences you can start tweaking what you practice your Tai Chi with. The same rule goes to all Martial Arts practice to be honest.

So where should be start? If you’re club wears a Tai Chi uniform you’ll only have two real options, Silk style or Cotton. All Tai Chi suits vary a bit but apart form the fastening and cut of the fabric that is the main variable. Tai Chi originated in an area of China, Hubei province that get extremely hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Something very light would be needed for summer practice and something heavy and warm for winter, hence the two varieties. In fact the winters get so cold you will see people with many layers on them, just to keep warm.

In the UK we don’t really have that issue, as it never gets that hot, I’m talking 40 degrees +, so the silk is rarely needed. Cotton Tai chi Suits are best for our climate and you may want to invest for a fancy Silk Tai Chi suit for demonstrations and displays, much like the Chinese do. Cotton Tai chi Suits are definitely best for practice.

What else may you need? Well, apart from buying Tai Chi Shoes, which I can covered in depth in a previous article you may want purchase some weapons to train with.

Most commonly used across the world and seen in China everywhere is the Tai Chi Sword, a straight sword with a double edge. Early in the mornings you’ll see these being carried everywhere in China by people going to and from their practice, but in the West carrying these round will raise a few eyebrows. Most people go for Wooden Tai Chi Swords, they have great balance and feel. Metal Tai Chi Swords vary massively and good quality one’s even harder. For starting out, I’d definitely recommend a Wooden Tai Chi Sword and when you’re ready for a Metal Tai Chi Sword you’ll have an idea about what you want in a sword.

The other major common weapon is the Tai Chi Fan, these ten to have less variation but the major decision you’ll need to make is Bamboo or Metal. Bamboo Tai Chi Fans are much lighter than the Metal Tai Chi Fans and that is the main decision to make really. Both can take being dropped and practice some partner work so their usability is fairly equal it’s all about how much of a workout you want to have.

You can buy all of the items at