Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan )

Xue Yongbin

In the late 19th century in Qing Dynasty in China, a physical exercise of gentle and slow movement was popular among the people and in the palace of the Dynasty, it was Taijiquan(Tai Chi Chuan), the one of martial arts.

From early morning to evening, people practiced Taijiquan quietly in parks and gardens.

Among them, there were men and women, the old and the young.

The movement of Taijiquan is gentle, the rhythm is slow, and the movement is mainly circular, like flowing water, continuously going on and on. It looks as though the practitioners are feeling the air, or as though they are dancing in the air leisurely and carefree.

Most of them practice it to gain or maintain good health; some of them practice it as martial arts. Most of movement are gentle, at times, it can be very quick and of great power.

Taijiquan, a way to gain health, has been spread to many countries, however, it originated from martial arts, and today still has the essence of martial arts.

Taijiquan is a martial art with intellect

The martial arts in the history were mainly skills of attack and defense based on power and speed. Over thousands of years, many people used them, did research on them, and created many schools of Chinese martial arts. The schools have been unique in their own ways.

In Song Dynasty in China about 1000 years ago, the arts, philosophy and martial arts were maturing. In the field of martial arts, people began to attach importance to the inner power of human being, i.e. adjustment of the mind and control of inner power-Qi (). Later a new martial art, Inner Power Martial Arts, was created with addition of Qi into tradition martial arts.

The purpose of using the name Inner Power Martial Arts is to differentiate that with other traditional martial arts. The traditional martial arts were based on power and speed, closely related to the physique or constitution of practitioners, so the kind of martial arts was called external power martial arts, on the contrary, the new kind of martial arts that is based on deep and clear consciousness, and control of power, is called Inner Power Martial Arts.

Different from external power martial arts practiced quickly and powerfully, Inner Power Martial Arts look gentle and slow in movement, and at times, it can be very quick and extremely powerful.

Over the years, Inner Power Martial arts also become diversified. About 300 years ago, Taijiquan was created with addition of the philosophy of Yin(negative) and Yang(positive) into Inner Power Martial Arts.

Taijiquan is an application of the balance of Yin and Yang in martial arts, it pursues total rationality and reasonableness, the waist is the centre of movement and the movement is mainly circular, application of power is directed by inner consciousness, to restrain in-coming force with gentleness, and to restrain the in-coming person.

Taijiquan can be described as a martial art with philosophy, and a martial art with intellect, it has also transformed martial arts into an art, an art of human body, and an art of being in harmony with others.

Taijiquan has made changes to traditional martial arts in their forms and perception. Due to its reasonableness, nearly everyone can improve health or gain health, and also gain quite high level of martial arts, through practicing it, and yet its philosophical aspect gives enlightenment to people in daily lives.

As a kind of effective physical exercise, Taijiquan has been spread to many countries, and has become a cultural treasure of mankind. Its forms and martial arts aspect are colorful, and we should preserve it, do research into it, and develop it.

(Translated by Xue Yongxin)


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