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Friday, May 16, 2014
The Arts Of Taiji (太极拳学)
Taiji is more than just martial arts.
Many people practise Taiji boxing as a form of slow
exercise; only a handful few learnt Taiji sparing techniques for self defence
purpose. The former has now evolved towards performing arts or dance (舞蹈) while the later is not too
impressive (无看头) to look
at and slowly forgotten in time.
I am not going to touch on Taiji as a performance art; but
the other lesser known aspects of this uniquely Taoist art. There are many
branches to Taoist Taiji:
·The practice of human to human
·The practice of human to plants, spirits,
·The practice of human to heaven and earth
The practice of human to human is the man to man combat or
otherwise known as “push hands” (推手).
The basic idea behind it is very simple: to make the opponent lose balance and
hence to capture (擒拿手) or to
harm him/she. Hence in actual situation, Taiji is quite a deadly art and it
involves the training of fingers strengths. The basic idea is simple: one must
be able to feel the source of an opponent’s strength (听劲), lock it and use his/her own power against
The fundamental principle of Taiji is neither let go nor
opposes (不丢不顶); so when the opponent
made a mistake, he/she will be thrown off balance. Now, let’s move on as it is
getting too technical and boring.
Everyone knows that Taiji is based on Yin (阴) and Yang (阳).
So, one must understand where he/she stands against his/her opponent. A
stronger opponent is Yang, and a weaker one is Yin. Similarly, a plant and
spirit belong to Yin. Some animals are Yin while others are Yang type. The
celestial bodies such as the sun, moon and stars are Yang while the earth is
Yin. Only after we know where
we stand that we may start sending energy to, or receive energy from the
example, if we want to feel the energy of a tree, then we can first send our
energy and then retrieve the energy from the tree hence making a complete
energy exchange. We may choose to stop the energy or collect it and then
release back to the tree. Likewise we may go to a tomb and perform the same
exercise, but the danger in doing these exercises is that if the opponent is
stronger, it may steal our energy instead. So, please don’t venture into the
woods or cemetery first without permission; and second, without any
If you feel
sad or down for some reason, then you can perform the congregation of energy
exercise as above. Imagine that you are holding an invisible ball and turn it
clockwise and in circular motion. The energy ball may grow and when you feel
you have had enough, let the energy ball go with a shout. I guarantee that you
will feel lighter as if unloading a heavy burden. O, do the exercise in an open
area such as a garden please.