Chen Hunyuan Tai Ji Quan

'Taiji' or 'Tai Chi' is a very well known phrase. Almost everybody you meet will recognise it & automatically associate it with the exercises old Chinese people do in the mornings. However, this is not the true meaning of Taiji.

Do you know what is Wuji, Taiji and Taijiquan? If not, read on...

Chinese philosophy is a fascinating subject. Once you start studying it you can never stop. My teacher once said, "It is like a leaf on a tree. When you Stan pulling it you find it is connected to a branch, that branch is connected to the trunk and the trunk has very deep and strong roots". She went on to joke, "Don't touch! Or you will die for it!" It's true! You will spend all of your time looking at it and your whole life will become involved in it.

Personally, I have forgotten what it is like to live without Qigong. I find I am healthy and I have enough energy for my daily work and to enjoy my interests. Sometimes, because of the commitments, the hard work (which is actually enjoyable) and time, many 'modern people' avoid Qigong thinking it is strange or even think Chinese things are too alien. They prefer to stay in their western, more mechanised and logical world as it seems easier to understand. Then one day, when they become seriously involved in a subject, whether it is science, mechanics or even architecture, they discover these are often closely connected to Chinese philosophies or ideas. Even something as simple as eating. Virtually everyone has tried

Chinese food or been to a Chinese restaurant, why? Because it tastes good. Just the techniques of Chinese cooking cover many Chinese philosophies. This one traditional skill has supported all the Chinese people living abroad and has allowed them to make a living, feed their families and educate their children. It is very powerful, which other country's cultural skills can support its offspring? And of course, there arc many other different skills that have been passed down to help Chinese people survive and understand life.

Chinese believe everything comes from nothing (Wuwai or Wuji), and then becomes something Yauwai or Taiji). I can remember one of Bruce Lee's poems: "Make the infinite limited, make no method a method". This is how he created his 'Jeet Kune Do'. He tried to break away from all methods, to be able to use anything to become a powerful fighter. This is the way to make something become nothing. The Wuji idea is actually a high level Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. Taoism says "if you want to understand Tao, just follow nature. Nature is Tao. Tao has no limit, no way". If you want to reach Wuji (nothing), you need the principle of Taiji to help you understand the concept of Wuji. Buddhists follow fate to reach the level of Buddha, then everything they see and do will eventually go. So you do not hold on to anything, you just take everything easy.

Taoists and Buddhists spend their entire lives trying to reach Wuji - a state of emptiness. Only Wuji goes on forever. If Wuji suddenly changes and becomes something, Taiji, then the process will continue, become Yin and Yang, which becomes Si Xiang (Four dimensions), which become Bagua (Eight Gua), which becomes Sixty-four Gua (8x8), which becomes three hundred and eighty-four "Yell' (64x6). From this you can find out about everything, understand the entire universe.

Taiji is a very common symbol in the Chinese culture. Sometimes you can even see it in modern fashion and decoration, but what exactly does it mean?

Often I hear people say, 'I practise Tai Chi." (Tai Chi is the same as Taiji, one is Cantonese and the other is Mandarin). To say this is actually wrong. Only people who do not know the correct meaning of Taiji say it this way. The people who practise in the

Wuji to Taiji to Si Xiang

Vang

Wuji

Si Xiang

"Taiji is t symbol in t culture, bu\ does it mea morning and in the classes all over the world with their gentle movements are practising Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan, not Taiji. Taiji is a philosophy, a theory. Taijiquan is a martial art which develops using the principles of Taiji. Quan means fist or fighting art.

On the other hand Taiji, the symbol, does not mean Yin and Yang. This is the wrong concept and misunderstanding of Taiji. Taiji means Yin and Yang still moving, not clear and settled. Yin can be Yang and Yang can be Yin. When I ask people how they feel when looking the Taiji symbol, they often say things like, "Very harmonious" or "Very balanced". The Taiji symbol actually makes you confused, and even dizzy if you

Wuji Symbol
Yang Taijiquan Master Yang Zhendou

Yin concept of Taijiquan is 'it makes people healthy", and because it looks very gentle it has bccome very popular. However, some people just make the movements slow, changing the form so it is just slow, soft and calm, and this they call Taijiquan. This is just the skin of the orange. All oranges look the same, but do you think they all taste the same? However, you do not actually know the taste and you only taste the skin. We can see many advertisements for Taijiquan saying, Taiji brings you health, develops harmony and personality. It sounds like a health exercise, but if you want a health exericse, you had better study Qigong which is purely for health. Taijiquan is a martial art which develops non-stop movements and sensitivity, using the principle of Yin and Yang for i very common le Chinese what exactly

Taiji Symbol

keep looking at it. This is bccause the Taiji symbol is still moving and has not settled down. People who do Taijiquan like it so much, seeing the symbol makes them feel they are practising. If you had never practised Taijiquan and had never seen the symbol before, you would definitely become confused when you look at it.

When we practise Taijiquan, the movements are continuous and flowing. Sometimes they are soft, Yin, and sometimes they are hard, Yang. This makes the body circulation strong and acupuncture channels smooth, thus practising Taijiquan is good for health. But there is a problem with a lot of the Taijiquan we see today. Nowadays, the

Wu Taijiquan Master WuYinhua fighting. When practising Taijiquan you will come across Pushing Hands to train your sensitivity, Yin and Yang strength, position, movement and footwork.

In other situations, people practising Taijiquan slow the movements down as much as they can, claiming to be able to sense the Qi, to make it flow and smooth the channels. They only consider the Yin in Taijiquan and by the end of the form they will feel sleepy. In the beginning you started Taijiquan to improve your health, but now that you have done it, your health has still not improved. You still feel tired and sleepy. Of course when people practise they say they feel better. But what they have actually done

Wu Taijiquan Master WuYinhua is only open their channels, and because the body was originally weak they cannot withstand the cold and damp weather. All this 'Weather Qi' comes into the body and so their health does not improve. This is because this 'way' misses the balance, the Yin and the Yang. Where is the Yang in this Taijiquan? With only Yin you will die. In China I have seen many people practising Taijiquan. It is smooth, soft, gentle, but the Yin and Yang are clear - it is not slow, not fast, it is natural.

The principles of Taiji needs Yin and Yang to balance. It does not matter which family's style of Taijiquan you do: Chen, Yang, Wu, Woo or Sun. All of them cover Yin and Yang and are good Taijiquan. Traditional Chinese martial arts all cover Yin and Yang - soft and hard, internal and external training, movement and meditation. Many of today's martial artists only consider fighting, how to be aggressive and tough. Going this way will not make you healthy. Eventually you will have problems with your joints, arthritis, heart problems and maybe even cancer. Some miss the Yin and others miss the Yang. How can this be healthy and balanced and bring you to a high level of martial art?

Every skill has a principle. This principle should follow the way of Taiji and lead you towards Wuji. No one can escape it_

by .Uubuel Tie

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  • vilma rauhala
    What is wuji in chinese philosophy?
    6 years ago

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