Thursday, February 10, 2005

What is Taiji?

Taijiquan or Taiji boxing is a martial art that is sorely misunderstood by the general public here in Malaysia. Mention the name 'Taiji' and mental images of senior citizens moving in a dancelike fashion in playgrounds during mornings will automatically flood the minds of your listeners.

Most people in Malaysia are aware that Taiji IS a martial art. Just that they haven't seen it put into use. Or they've only seen it in wuxia movies or TVB kungfu serials. After all, in those movies or serials, Taiji leaves a deep impression in the viewers as the 'soft' kungfu or the one that turns one's body to a rubber-like consistency. With such potrayal by the media, Taiji becomes a supernatural art.

In short, people know what it can do, only that no one can achieve it.

Thus Taiji is relegated into the bin marked 'Health exercise'.

So what is Taiji?

Taiji is a martial art, first and foremost. Taiji uses the principles of Yin and Yang, of soft overcoming the hard and of weak overcoming the strong.

Taiji boxing also claims to be 'effortless' in fighting. 'Effortless' in this regard however, does not mean that one need not train rigorously in Taiji to become a good fighter. 'Effortless' merely means that one uses little, if any, strength to overcome one's opponent. Too many people have incorrectly interpreted the meaning of effortless, thus cheating themselves of excellence in the art.

Taiji practice, simply put, is NOT easy. As we have experienced, Taiji practice involves a lot of sweat, pain and effort. And a little misdirection from the true path takes one very far from excellence in Taiji.

But are the rewards worth the trouble in Taiji? It sure is.

Stay tuned for more posts...

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