Taijiquan – the multi-faceted art – intro
I must be honest with you, the reason I started taijiquan was because I had read that it was
the ultimate martial art. Indeed in Chris Nicol’s fine book Moving Zen, a Japanese karate
master described it as a martial art for supermen. I liked the sound of that.
Now more than thirty years later. I know that there is no such thing as the ultimate martial
art. I also know that taijiquan is indeed an effective martial art, but it is also so much more
My first Chinese taijiquan teacher, Mr. Huang Jifu, always described taijiquan as
postgraduate level martial arts. By that he meant that the lessons the art teaches are most
suitable for those who have a firm grounding in some other martial art. To some extent I
agree with him. But, even if you have no other martial arts experience there are important
things you can learn from the art, even from your very first lesson.
One of the most important lessons the art has to offer, and one which continues to offer
enormous benefits throughout your taijiquan career is the value of slowness.
How often in our lives do we just slow down and pay attention to not only what is going on
around us but also to what is going on in both our body and mind?
Yet from our very first lesson we are taught to stand still, to pay attention to our breathing,
to learn how our bodies move. Very often it is difficult for beginners to do even such simple
things as ………………
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