Blog Postings - Relaxed Mind Tai Chi Authour - Lee Chang Tye copyright - Relaxed Mind Tai Chi https://www.relaxedmindtaichi.com
In Waysun Liao's book he made the point that Qigong & Tai Chi were the only physical arts left in the world that focused on, cultivated & sought to move the "Chi" around our bodies as a way to promote health/longevity etc. This (I thought) was a very significant (and very bold) statement given that much of the Chinese culture/way of thought has been based/influenced by this concept of "Chi" (I-Ching, Ying and Yang/Daoism, Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture etc). Given that the amount, balance and quality of "Chi" plays a major role in your mind and body health (not to mention martial arts). How could something so valuable as "Chi" be neglected by other physical arts? My first thought was that he was not objective & just a bit closed-minded & biased towards Qigong & Tai Chi. There other exercise/physical arts that talk about the importance of "Chi/Ki" (like Aikido) but as far as I know they don't focus on cultivating it. There are also other lesser known arts - but you could argue that they were formed as an offshoot of Tai Chi or Qigong so for argument sake we can neglect both of them from this question. So Yoga was the obvious argument against Liaos' assertion that came to my mind. I mean Yoga also has its roots as an ancient art of mind-body health discipline, and to my limited knowledge of Yoga, I know that there are many, many kinds. Some traditional with spiritual objectives, some with just a cosmetic goal (good for getting a "tight butt" I was told), some focusing more on moving, some focused more on breath, relaxation, toning, balance, flexibility, etc. Over the course of several months I casually but determinedly asked people whom I knew who had/have been practicing their chosen forms of Yoga (some for over 30 years, some for a couple of years, some students, some long-time teachers of Yoga) questions to determine whether they get the same (or at least similar) warm, relaxed, vital feelings of "Chi" flowing through their bodies as we do from Tai Chi - by the end of their Yoga session. The responses were invariably that their feelings of well being were "different". A few of the people I asked are Tai Chi students of mine so they would know exactly the feelings of well-being that I am talking about. Almost everyone talked more about "relaxation" that came as a result of the hard work done stretching and holding postures but not about this warm "flow" of Chi through their bodies, and of course they don't feel the grounding or "rooting" aspect of Tai Chi as they are often lying down in Yoga. So, from my small little qualitative research project, I am starting to believe that Waysun Liao may be right in his claim and that Qigong and Tai Chi maybe the only exercise/physical arts left in human culture that cultivate and move this precious "Chi" within our bodies for health and martial arts purposes. All the more reason to treat the Tai Chi principles with even more respect like a torch bearer protecting the flame.
These are my thoughts about various aspects of Tai Chi. They may or may not be original and I try to give credit where credit is due.
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