The following resources have been shared by members of the BKFA community. They describe some of the benefits of practicing kung fu, tai chi chuan and qigong.

The health benefits of tai chi

SUMMARY: From Harvard Medical School, a short primer on the benefits of tai chi.

A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

SUMMARY: Tai Chi and Qigong are put through a systematic review, with 77 articles being put under study to determine both the psychological and physiological benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong. The combined number of participants in these studies number 6410, and among these participants 163 different physiological and psychological benefits were uncovered. These benefits were grouped as: bone density, cardiopulmonary effects, physical function, falls, balance and related risk factors, quality of life, self-efficacy, patient reported outcomes, psychological symptoms, and immune and inflammation-related responses.

The Beneficial Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on Blood Pressure and Lipid Profile and Anxiety Status in a Randomized Controlled Trial

SUMMARY: Another study concerning the effects of Tai Chi on blood pressure. Here, authors investigate the effect of Tai Chi on blood pressure, cholesterol, and anxiety. At the conclusion, it is determined that there is a quantitative improvement in all measures.

Tai chi: physiological characteristics and beneficial effects on health

SUMMARY: Learn all about the physical benefits of tai chi. Here, authors at the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a meta study, gathering the results of 31 original studies in both Chinese and English journals. These studies looked at either the physiological responses to Tai Chi, or its impact on general health and fitness.

Tai Chi on psychological well-being: systematic review and meta-analysis

SUMMARY: Ever wonder what some possible benefits of tai chi are? This study goes in depth to get a quantitative measure of the psychological benefits of tai chi.

Changes in haemodynamic parameters following Tai Chi Chuan and aerobic exercise in patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction

SUMMARY: From the Department of Cardiology in Royal Hallamshire Hospital, an article describing the physical changes in blood pressure experienced by older people who have suffered a heart attack practicing Wu Tai Chi, specifically comparing it to both aerobic exercise and a control group. Perhaps surprisingly, the tai chi group benefited the most, achieving drops in both measures of blood pressure. They also managed to be the group to most successfully complete the 8 week training at 82% completion, compared to 73% for the aerobic group, and 8% for the control group.

Fighters, Thinkers, and Shared Cultivation: Experiencing Transformation Through the Long-Term Practice of Traditionalist Chinese Martial Arts

SUMMARY: A doctoral thesis about the transformative experience of traditional martial arts from an autobiographical perspective. This qualitative sociological study examines long-term British practitioners’ experiences of transformation via Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Wing Chun by addressing five issues: 1) Rationales behind practice 2) Resulting transformations 3) Explicit/implicit pedagogic strategies 4) Cultural transmission 5) Relations to broader social life. It approaches these questions through an emergent research design incorporating autobiographical vignettes as a practitioner-teacher-researcher, life histories of experienced practitioners and ethnographic fieldwork of two case study schools.