What is Tai Chi? – It’s not just Martial Art
What is Tai Chi (and qigong, for that matter) … and how is it spelled and pronounced?
Over the many years of practice and study, I have heard it described in many ways. T’ai Chi, taiji, chi kung, qi gong, qi gong, etc. Etc. Etc. few … no mail please). Tai Chi is an art of martial arts, self-defense, long boxing, boxing, meditation on the go, slow folk dance, natural dance and destruction, health fitness and more. I learned about Tai chi as a tool for teaching conflict resolution and anger management, and for managing ADD / ADHD, as a mood management program, stress reduction, immune system, and the remaining training program. I’ve heard from the great Grandmaster that Tai Chi “anything is done well”, and I’ve heard of Tai Chi as a way of life. Currently, tai chi (VERY SPECIFIC tai chi) is the answer to arthritis. So again what is tai chi?
What I’m using is a straightforward movement pattern, trying to create a set of rules. Actions have a fighting effect, if not an application, and are sequential in a way that allows me to practice the concept of attack / defense tactics. A rehearsal time is a time to emulate the endless, urgent sound of modern society, and to return to your thinking experience.
It seems to me, sometimes my life has gone smoothly because of practice, my mood has improved, and my health has improved at times when I have repeatedly tried to practice, whether repetition was aimed at “perfect” a piece, or simply, regular practice. I have practiced and taught tai chi for fitness, balance, stress, relaxation. I have experienced and witnessed “major changes in perception” (Webster’s description of the miracle), the removal of technical barriers, the exposure of the truth against speculation, and significant changes and growth. I felt interesting, and watched as others passed it on their way to “something else”. For me, it is a journey that has allowed me to visit many people and places; some I liked, and some I didn’t like. It is always challenging, depressing, shocking and rewarding and always leads to a new perspective.
Qi Gong (and Tai Chi), Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, and similar “art” hail outside the Chinese period, ended about 4,000 BC. The period known as the “Wild History of China” by some, is a source of Chinese mythology, myth, and human tradition. It is a time before the writing of written history, when the three Augustes, the gods-kings, used their magical powers to live a long life, to rule a long and peaceful reign, and to make the lives of their people better. Fuxi, Huangdi, and Shennong were commended for the production of writing, farming, fishing, fire, traditional medicine, and the original production of traditional Chinese medicine. The busiest time, the fog, the most important, tied the time between the great flood thousands and thousands of years ago, until the time of the first official empire, the time of Xia People 2100-1600BC. The last of these is the “King of the Earth” who is said to have ruled for over 45,000 years!
What we do know is that prehistoric people did not live long, spend most of their time scaring lunch, and resting until it was time to create a new generation, or eat again … or applaud, ponder the words, the full moon. Absent from the extensive menu of differences (terminology), our “Wild History Man”, probably knew the moon in ways most of us in years of information can never trust. From that natural knowledge (experience) it has evolved into an all-encompassing worldview, in which the whole process of integration and dissolution is shattered. (Huh?) The five elements of zealchemy: the cycles of nature and destruction.
In practice and in reading and thinking, I think that the most important “truth” (opinion?) That I have revealed is how powerful, and at the same time; to reduce, the words may be. I think people with limited vocabulary have more life experiences than the ones described; quite different, and my guess is that their life experiences are even more powerful. Words, I fear, cause a kind of destructive thinking process … Emperor Duan has taught us that our thoughts are stronger, more thoughtful, the energy needed to maintain them. Energy from the body and head. I have experienced this, words that mean something different to me, than someone who has never had it, and others with experience can interpret it differently.
Practicing, studying, and learning qi gong and tai chi and that is where I got into the “new mind”, in Tai Chi we call it the mind of beginners. It’s a place where I get into life experiences and things, much bigger, and somehow richer than I would have been able to know with “my old mind”. It allows for openness that allows, and celebrates the secret of existence, and does not always try to explain away.
By working with others, what I do best is to share experiences … and world experiences; of life, very different from the one I met … the names alone are not enough, as is the case with the Chop Wood, Carry Water shows.
Practice, read, ponder, share. Get acquainted (gain, obtain) with present-day techniques. Experience.