Taijiquan for Health...

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Cheng Man-ch?ing on pain, rootedness, health, and defense.

Post by Brutonator » Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:38 am

From ?The Three Fearlessnesses? ? translation from Professor Cheng?s Thirteen Treatesses

?The fearlessness of taking pain: If a person is afraid to take pain, then there is no hope for progress. In the Tai Chi Chuan Classics it says, ?The root is in the foot.? There is no doubt that if the person is afraid to take pain, it will mean that the foot cannot be dropped to the ground to grow root. There is also no doubt that such pain-taking is beneficial to one?s heart and the development of the brain?.The basic ?preparation stance? is also the rooting exercise ? the basic rooting exercise ? for the complete gung fu of the person?s ?one unity with the ground.? The ?single whip? is the extending and opening discipline, with all the joints open. All of those positions greatly benefit one?s health and one?s self defense ability. One cannot afford to overlook them.?

From Wolfe Lowenthal, There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man-ch?ing and his Tai Chi Chuan (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1991) pp. 26-27.

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Post by catfish » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:48 am

From p.55 of T.T. Liang's T'ai Chi Ch'uan for Health and Self Defense:

The internal cultivation of temperament and the external training of muscles and bones are both important; neither can be lacking. So we can see that the unification of both civil and martial aspects, the equal importance of Tao and techniques, and the internal cultivation with external training are the very best methods for beginners to learn T'ai Chi.

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taiji chuan for health

Post by look » Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:19 pm

There Are No Secrets, Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing and his Tai Chi Chuan, by Wolfe Lowenthal

Chapter 21

"This is not a game, what we're really about here is the study of the Tao" - Professor Cheng

Professor once said, "Do push hands as if you were standing on the edge of the cliff."

The students' immediate response was to stiffen up and resist. "Damn, I sure don't want to get pushed over a cliff."

That was not what he meant. There is a zen story about a man chased by two tigers. Trapped at the edge of a cliff, he seized a vine and lets himself over the side. As he hangs on the side of the cliff he sees a tiger above him at the top. Looking down the sees the other tiger waiting for him at the botttom. Then two mice begin chewing through the vine from which he hangs.

At that moment, with his life in the balance, he sees a wild strawberrry growing out of the cliff wall beside him. He picks the strawberry and eats it, thinking how delicious it tastes.

Push hands is not a game, it is the study of the Tao. Therefore, it should be played like you're standing on the edge of a cliff, or suspended on a vine between two tigers, in a crystalline moment between life and death. We can waste our short time on the vine frettting away our life, or we can let go of our fear and enjoy the strawberry.

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re: taiji for health

Post by Benny Bangarms » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:28 pm

From Master Cheng's New Method of T'Ai Chi Self-Cultivation

by Man-Ching Cheng

Page 25:

"Every joint in your body must be strung together. This allows qi to pass smoothly through your body and benefits both form and application. Issuing energy and uprooting your opponent especially requires an unified form if the fulcrum principle is ever to be employed properly. A malaligned body simply scatters your energy and retards your mental directives."

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From Yang family manuscripts

Post by Stocker » Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:10 am

Yang Family manuscripts copied by Shen Chia-chen, from Tai-chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions, pg 87.

A single wooden board cannot support a whole structure; a single hand cannot make a clapping sound. This is not only true of civil essence and martial practice, but of all things in the world. The civil is the inner principle and the martial is the outer technique. Outer technique without inner principle is simply the brute courage of physical strength. However, when on is no longer in the prime, bullying an opponent will not work. Those who pssess inner principle without outer technique, who think only of the arts of quietism and know nothing of the practice of combat, are lost as soon as they commit the slightest error. Whether for practical pursuits or simply the way of being a human begin, how dare we neglect the two words--civil and martial.

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Taiji for health

Post by look » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:56 pm

Wolfe lowenthal, There Are No Secrets, etc.

chapter 23

"The difference between yoga and Tai Chi", he (Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing) once said, "is that even if you get it studying yoga, there is nothing you can do if someone tries to knock you off your cushion"

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Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:43 pm

From an interview with Yang Jwing-Ming, Inside Kung Fu Magazine, Sept. 2007

"Many mistakenly think that taiji training is only for health and relaxation, and they forget the martial arts root... The worst thing today is that martial arts has become a business."

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From Zhang Sanfeng's Classic

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:36 am

Lately I've been working on translating the Taijiquan Classics & I was struck by how straight forward and martial in tone Zhang Sanfeng's Taijiquan Jing is.

for example-

You shang ji you xia, you qian ze you hou, you zou ze you you. Ru yi yao xiang shang ji yu xia yi. Ruo jiang wu xian qi mian jia yi cuo zhi zhi yi.
Si qi gen zi duan, nai huai zhi shu er wuyi.

translation -

If there is up there is down, if there is front there is back, if there is left there is right. If one wants to go up there is also simultaneously intent downward. If you lift something there should also be pressing down.
In this way, he severs his own root himself, quickly destroying him without question. (my emphasis)

This struck me as ironic since the legend of this daoist immortal founding taijiquan is one way that people use to present the art as some sort of mystical daoist practice instead of the straight up martial art it is. There's nothing in Zhang's treatise about healing or what might be called spiritual cultivation.

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Taijiquan these days...

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:05 pm

Watching a match at this summer's US National Fencing Championships, I was pleasantly surprise when I over heard some teenagers talking about the winner of a match. ONe describing the winner,"He was smooth like taiji..." Naturally I was happy to hear some young guys tailing about our art is such positive terms.

But then while visiting Beijing last week, I asked an old friend if he was still studying taijiquan? He told me he had given it up because it is hard to find a real teacher. He complained that most practice for a few weeks then become "teachers." And that's Beijing...

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Trying to teach taichi as a martial art

Post by KungFuPanda1979 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:52 pm

Hi folks,
Thank you all for sharing these pearls of ass whooping wisdom. I have been inspired to open a topic about experiences with trying to promote 'real taijiquan' in general discussion. Please have a look at my own experience of trying that, and please share your own experiences too.

The Panda

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