Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan

Aim for its essence, not just its outward form, when practicing Taijiquan


I have been practising Taijiquan for many years but I cannot feel any internal energy flow like what you have described in your book. How should I train?

-- Cliff, UK


One very helpful point for your Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) training is to aim at its essence, and not just its form.

What do we mean by aiming at its essence? It simply means aiming to acquire the real benefits that all Taijiquan masters and Taijiquan classics have said practising Taijiquan will give.

The fundamental benefits of practising Taijiquan are good health, vitality and combat efficiency. So, if a person has practised Taijiquan for 20 years, knows many Taijiquan sets and a lot of Taijiquan theories, but is still sickly, easily tired and cannot effectively defend himself, he has missed the essence of Taijiquan; he has merely practised its outward forms

The crucial factor differentiating between aiming at its essence and merely practising its forms, is energy flow. If you perform Taijiquan forms but do not experience internal energy flow, you are merely practising external forms and missing its essence.

Taijiquan forms are a means, not an end by itself. The forms are a means to generate internal energy flow for health and vitality, and to develop internal force for self defence. The forms are also devised in such ways that they can be effectively used for combat whereby you can exploit the opponents' strength.

The art to train this internal energy flow is chi kung (qigong). Hence, Taijiquan without chi kung is missing its essence. When practised properly, Taijiquan is a complete set of chi kung itself.

The above is taken from Question 9 of Sep-Oct 1097 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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