Three Things People Don’t Understand About Tai Chi Chuan


Tai Chi Chuan, the Grand Ultimate Fist, but what makes it so ultimate? What makes Tai Chi ultimate is that it takes intelligence to make work. This is not to insult other arts, but an inspection of the concepts necessary to Tai Chi that will convince most people that this is true.

I’ve selected three of the many concepts that a student must understand to get anywhere in the Grand Ultimate Fist. The first concept is simply emptiness. Most arts will take this concept only so far as having the fist loose before impact, focus, but that is where the art begins.

To understand Tai Chi one must understand that the entire body must become loose and empty. By becoming loose and empty the body can better feel the various incoming energies, and so handle them. This is easily understood if one understands that light travels best through a vacuum, and in Tai Chi the body must become a vacuum so that senses can travel through it, and emanate from it.

The second concept deals with the generation of power. In my first art, Karate, this was established through stancing hard and fast and causing the tan tien to explode with power. This is fine, except that tai chi relies on a slower explosion of power.

To generate power in tai chi one must take the low stance and grind the motion back and forth between the legs, and back and forth through the hips. Power comes up the legs and the tan tien doesn’t explode, it churns out energy slowly and carefully. Thus, there is a fine line between emptiness of the body, and the power generation of the legs, that must be mastered in Tai Chi.

Third concept, and, again, there are many more concepts, is the idea of moving slowly. Many people move slowly, and they marvel at how much world there is to see. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand that Tai Chi is first and foremost a fighting art.

Thus, when people move slowly in Tai Chi Chuan, they must not just relax and expand the senses, they must actively push energy with their limbs. This is a point many people miss, but which is crucial to the concept of enacting the imagination, and making the imagination wake up the true powers of an individual. The feeling should be like swimming, but the waters are imagination, and the resistance is very real, very worthwhile, and very combat functional.

There is so much to learn, an infinite to learn, and Matrix Tai Chi is a perfect tool to enable the learning process. The trick is to empty the mind to the possibilities, the trick is to relax and let oneself learn. The trick is to realize that it is not just art we are talking about when we speak of the Grand ultimate, but the very soul of a person.

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