When it comes to Tai chi Chuan, many people, even instructors, are doing the art backwards. In this post is the correct method for learning Taijiquan.
When one sets about really learning an internal martial art like Tai Chi Chuan, it is important to be empty. This doesn’t mean one should hold their body limply, but rather to be in a state of relaxation. If one is mentally and physically relaxed, then one is forsaking the muscular system, and this will lead one to an appreciation of the energy system within their bodies.
Don’t manifest energy, rather, learn to input the sensations of the world. If one is manifesting, if one is putting energy forth, then sensation coming in is unable to get through the energy going out. If one is walking around all day and manifesting energy, also called chi power, then at the very least perceptions will be slanted and out of true.
As the body ceases to manifest energy, the student will begin to grow an appreciation for the space of his body. This is an actual ‘universe’ wherein the student ceases to use his physical perceptions and instead uses awareness to see all the nooks and crannies, the never ending space, inside his body. Successful in this, the student will become aware that there is energy in the space…all he has to do is relax and let his chi grow.
It can be frustrating in the beginning, the energy building in the body will evade the student’s attempts to grow and harness it. The student will eventually come to the understanding that the harder he tries, the more difficult it is to make chi power. And, he will come to an understanding that the less effort he puts forth, the more chi power will come into existence.
When it first manifests, the energy will be like a huge wave, like water sloshing back and forth in a hot tub. The real reason for the form, and for the body, will become easy to see. The body makes energy, it is like a big old battery, and the form is a method for making that battery work.
With practice, raw energy will become refined chi power, able to be directed through the body, put into technique, and the student will become a superior human being. He will see that the form is a way to train the mind to flow the chi, until one can just flow the chi without the form. At this point, the doors are open, and life as a human being becomes a blessing, an opportunity, and the student travels through a gateway to ever greater realities.
To sum up, there are several stages in tajiquan. Ascending these stages depends upon the students ability to reach a state of relaxation, and to let his own internal energy manifest. Done correctly, the taijiquan learning experience becomes a method to change a human being into a powerful spiritual being.
This has been a page about learning Tai Chi Chuan.