Thursday, November 04, 2004

There is only one type of Tai Chi

According to Yang Cheng Fu, the teacher of Professor Cheng Man Ching, he taught the same type of tai chi that had been handed down from the Chen family. Wu Jien Chuan, the son of the founder of Wu style Tai Chi, also expressed the same idea. You may be wondering how that could be possible, as students and teachers alike, from different styles of Tai Chi such as Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun, and Dong, are promoting the differences between the styles and even the idea of one being superior to another. Wu Jien Chuan best explains the difference in his book about Wu style Tai Chi as the following:

“This is like learning Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting. In the beginning, we have to imitate the technique and method of the old masters. Once we are getting better and have our own understanding of the art, we will perform the same art differently without even knowing about it. However, even when their techniques have reached the highest level of the art, each movement still adheres to the same basic tai chi chuan principles.” (The Tai Chi Chuan of Wu Jien Chuan, 1935)

In fact, all great Tai Chi masters of the old time have had a close relationship with each other. Sometimes, they would even voluntarily take on challenges from other schools of martial arts for their friends.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween with a Tai Chi Sword

“Sunrise, sunrise. Looks like mornin' in your eyes,” The voice of Norah Jones’ relatively new song popped up in my mind early in the morning. Yeah, today is Halloween and I had an urge to take my Tai Chi sword to play in the park.

When I got there, since it was still an early Sunday morning, there were only a few old couples doing their morning ritual – walking in the park. I found a good spot and started practicing my sword in the morning breeze. The sun was so warm and soothing that I felt like I was in a dream, with my Chi extending through the blade of my sword. I tried not, or not to, find a word to describe my feeling…effortlessly. In fact, this is what life is supposed to be.

However, we always try too hard to understand something that is supposed to be so simple and direct. Moreover, we forget that we all have a sword that can fight off all types of distractions, frustrations, illusions, and negativities in life effortlessly, and become