Though it may seem very Vanity Fairy-style to talk about which celebrities practice Taijiquan, there is an interesting discussion happening at this article from Bruce Frantzis: Tai Chi Tipping Point: Will Tai Chi go viral?
One finding is that for the Taijiquan community to grow significantly, it would be very helpful to have famous Tai Chi practitioners. Who actually talk about it.
Well, I want to show you a list of celebrities who already practice Taijiquan! I found it actually quite surprising, how many famous people practice Taijiquan!
Lou Reed was an American musician, singer and songwriter, known as the “Godfather of Punk”. There are actually quite a lot of interviews and quotes about Lou Reed and Taijiquan. For example:
“It (Tai Chi) physically changes your body and your energy and builds you up. People think I lift weights, but I don’t. It’s purely from doing Chen Tai Chi with Ren Guang Yi. I do two hours a day every day.” Source
Have a look at this compilation of pictures with Lou Reed doing Taijiquan:
He even produced some music specifically for his own practice. As more and more people wanted a copy of it, he published The Hudson River Wind Meditaions* in 2007.
Unfortunately, he died in 2013. But his widow said: “He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.”
If you want to know more about Lou Reed and Taijiquan, I recommend this interview in Kungfu Magazine, where he says: “I find tai chi to be philosophically, aesthetically, physically and spiritually fascinating.” And a bonus for all German reader: you can read how Jan Silberstorff met Lou Reed here.
Another punk musician who claims doing Taijiquan and Qi Gong is Iggy Pop! He says:
“To feel good when I was 21, all I had to do was to smoke a joint. Now I have to turn off my phones and do tai chi for an hour.” Source
Though I am not sure if I should call Allen Ginsberg a “celebrity”, but he is a well known American poet. He was a practicing Buddhist and … he practiced, Taijiquan! I even wrote a poem about it:
And then are the usual Chinese martial arts actors, like Jackie Chan or Jet Li. They surely know a thing or two about Tai Chi:
And of course Bruce Lee: Here he explains what Taijiquan is: (even though I think Taijiquan is not only for old people!)
But now it is time to end the old-man-section and I will show you which beautiful female celebrities practice Taijiquan:
Gisele Bündchen (one of the highest paid models in the world) does Taijiquan, too! She even did it during her pregancy. She describes Tai Chi as “moving meditation”. Actually not only Gisele Bündchen practices Tai Chi, but also her husband, Tom Brady, who shared it on Instagram!
In this article about Gisele Bündchens teacher Yao Li, it is even said that he taught Tai chi to Steven Tyler (lead singer of Aerosmith). It seems Steven Tyler made up little verses to remember Tai Chi moves!
And Emmanuelle Seigner is a French actress and musician. She is the wife of Roman Polanski. Some years ago I read an interview in German Vogue with her. She said that she really enjoys all kinds of martial arts, especially boxing and Tai Chi.
“Tai Chi really makes me feel relaxed.”
She says that the delicate moevements engerigize her. And she even inspired Ivana Omazic of the Parisian fashion label Cèline to create a Zen collection.
And though she cannot be considered a regular practitioner, even Michelle Obama did some Taijiquan while she visited China.
Well, coming to the end, I wonder: do Oprah Winfrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Will Smith, Tiger Woods etc. really practice Chineses arts like Taijiquan and Qi Gong as described in this article? That would be truly fantastic!
So now you know: not all famous people do Yoga -- some celebrities practice Taijiquan, actually! And additionally, there are signs that Taijiquan is becoming more and more popular and maybe even mainstream.
If you have heard about any other known people practicing Taijiquan, feel free to add them in the comments!
P.S.: Last year there was a movie with Robert de Niro and Anne Hathaway, where they practiced Taijiquan!
And another movie that features Taijiquan ist Calendar Girls with Helen Mirren. Let’s hope that Tai Chi becomes more popular in Hollywood and more celebrities practice Taijiquan!