The History of Wudang Kung Fu
Zhang-Sanfeng, the founder of Wudang Internal Boxing, was the famous Wudang Taoist in Wudang Mountains at the turn of Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty. It was said that Zhang-Sanfeng, originally named Zhang-Quanyi, nicknamed Sanfeng, was born in Yizhou City, Liaoning Province and was tall and strong, with tortoise shape and swan bone, big ears and round eyes, hard beards and moustaches. He always wore a coir raincoat and a pair of straw scandals. No matter in summer or winter, he lived in the lonely and deep mountains or traveled in the crowded cities. He could remember what he had read just by one look and talked nothing but moral, kindness, faith and filial piety. He could talk with the gods and understand Taoism, so he could forecast the future and solve all the difficulties in the world. He could live without a meal for five days, even for two or three months; He could penetrate the mountain and drive the stones when he was happy; he lived in the snow when he was tired; He traveled here and there without any trace, so all the people at that time were amazed at him and thought him one of gods.
Wudang Taoist medical cultivation has a long history, especially the inner medicine, which is to cultivate the breath into medicine so as to make one strong and healthy, and prolong the lifespan by way of breathing. Zhang-Sanfeng had a profound cultivation in inner medicine. He said in On Taoism”To cultivate the mood before cultivating the medicine; to cultivate the character before cultivating the good medicine; when the mind is steady, the medicine will come naturally by itself; when the mood and character have cultivated, the good medicine will be in reach”, which figuratively explained the progress of medicine cultivation. He had written many books on medicine such as The Gist of Gold Medicine, The Secrecy of Gold Medicine, A Song of Inner Medicine, Twenty-four Principles of Rootless Trees, Taoist Song of Earth Element and Real Immortal, which had been published in the Ming Dynasty. Later, the people had compiled them into The Full Collection of Zhang-Sanfeng’s Works, with eight volumes.
Zhang-Sanfeng was not only profound in medicine cultivation but also in martial art, especially good at boxing and swordplay. He, on the base of Taoist theories, such as the naturalness of Taoist theories, keeping in a humble position and so on, had combined Taoist internal exercises, guarding skills of regimen, boxing acts of martial art, military sciences of militarists into one, and then created Wudang Boxing, which takes the internal exercises as the body, attacking as the purpose, regimen as the first important thing, self-protection as the main principle, and to defeat the tough with a tender act, charge the active by the still movement and attack the opponent with his own force, strike only after the opponent has struck. From the Ming Dynasty, martial art world have respected Zhang-Sanfeng as the founder of Wudang Inner Boxing and Taiji Boxing. Wudang martial art, through many generations’ succession and development, has become one important school among China martial art and spread in the folk with a long and profound influence.
During the beginning years of the Ming Dynasty, Zhang-Sanfeng came to Wudang Mountain to worship Emperor Zhenwu on Heavenly Pillar Peak and built a hut to the north of Flag-stretching Peak in which offered incense to Emperor Zhenwu. Then he built a hut in another place, named Meeting Gods Temple. He once said to the seniors in the mountain that Wudang Mountain would be different from that day. Later, the second emperor of the Ming Dynasty did order to build Wudang Mountain at a large scale and made Wudang Mountain the head of the Five Famous Mountains in China, naming the Biggest Mountain.
In the twenty-second year of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty, he left Wudang Mountain without any information. When the King of Hunan Province, Zhu-Bai worshiped Wudang Mountain and could not find him. Then Zhu-Bai wrote a poem which eulogize Zhang-Sanfeng, which said to the effect that “Zhang-Sanfeng loves gods. He drinks the water from the clean river in the morning and sleeps under South Cliff in the evening. He has cultivated Taoism in Wudang Mountain for many years, paying no attention to the changes of seasons and landscapes. When I could not find him in the bare mountain, how sad I am! There is only an empty hut left, an old Taoist sleeps under the pine tree.”
In the 24th year of Emperor Hongwu, Zhu-Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty, sent profound Taoists to put in order all Taoism in China. For that Zhang-Sanfeng was so famous, he specially ordered them: “If you meet Zhang-Sanfeng, invite him to me.” But they could not find Zhang-Sanfeng.
When Zhu-Li became emperor of the Ming Dynasty, he wanted very much to invite Zhang-Sanfeng who was famous and highly influential among the folk to work in the central government, so he sent many men to look for him many times, but all ended in failure. He himself had written a letter to Zhang-Sanfeng, which said to the effect that: “A letter from the Emperor to Zhang-Sanfeng: I admire you so much that I want to learn from you. I have tried sending men to look for you all over the country, but you are a profound god, full of wonder and mystery, so I couldn’t find you. Though I am not so clever and special, I look forward to meeting you day and night. So I send envoys again to look for you with my letter, waiting for your coming, so as to express my faithful feeling to you. On February 2, the tenth year of Emperor Yongle.” From the letter, we can understand his anxiety and admiration to meet Zhang Sanfeng. Had looked for him for many times, but all ended in failure; so Emperor Zhu-Li ordered to build Meeting God Palace and copper statue for Zhang Sanfeng and sent officials to clean the palace. That the highest emperor built temple, made statue, and offered incense for a Wudang Taoist was the only one in China Taoist history.
Eight Diagrams Palm is the famous internal boxing of China with profound theories and agile movements. The palm, bearing in mind the theory of eight diagrams, is to realize the mind through all the parts of the body quickly and flexibly. Ba Gua or eight diagrams forms the basis of the I-Ching. The foundation of Ba Kua is in the circling movements and it’s constant changes. The ultimate goal is to allow the body to move, act and react naturally. It is believed that Tung Hai-Ch’uan learned it from a Taoist master in the mountains of Kianasu Province. Tung started teaching it to the public in the late 1700s. There are three sections in the exercises: 1. slow motion, 2. continuous motion, 3. continuous motion with different Gua’s (hands). There are eight animals, ten exercises and three styles of walking: natural, medium and low. Anyone can walk a circle, but not everyone can walk a Ba Gua circle.
Eight Extremities Boxing routine: 47 movements, Chinese name BajiQuan, According to Wushuproverbs :”For ministers, Taijiquan is used to run the country and for generals, Bajiquan is used for defending the country. BajiQuan is one of the Wudang hardest forms.
WudangTaiyi Five-element Boxing, one important school of WudangWushu, was invented in the year of Emperor Hongzhi of the Ming Dynasty by Wudang Taoist Zhang-Shouxing, the leader of Dragon School of Wudang Taoism. On the bases of Taiji Thirteen forms invented by Wudang Taoist Zhang-Sanfeng, and the Play of the Five Animals invented by Hua-Tuo, the famous doctor of the Han Dynasty, Zhang-Shouxing invented WudangTaiyi Five-element Boxing absorbing Taoist theory of breathing.
I. On the base of the form, capability, and orientation of the five elements, the ancient masters made the basic boxing forms a system of five elements: walking on, walking back, turning to the left, turning to the right, and standing in the middle. Taiyi Five-element Boxing, from movement programs to movement routines, is following the theory of the five elements just as the name implies.
II. Through combining the five elements with human body and observing the theory, all the elements are helping and harming each other at the same time, the ancient masters expressed Taoist theory that human and nature are unified, with a purpose to go for naturalness and return to simplicity. Using the still as the base and the soft as the form, organically combination of regimen and attack, are the guiding line for Taiyi Five-element Boxing.
III. The ancient masters used the theory that all the elements are helping and harming each other at the same time to standardize boxing. So there are Yin and Yang penetrating into the movements that the boxing has an everlasting violent power.
Hsing-I Chuan or XingYiQuan is the first of the “three sisters” of Neijia, or Internal Martial Arts (Kung fu) practice. The Neijia School’s primary Kung fu comprises Hsing-I, Pa-Kua and Tai-Chi.
There are three primary styles of Hsing I Chuan being practiced today. The ShanXi Style, the HeBei Style, and the Henan Style are widely recognized today. Each style of Hsing I Chuan is distinctly different in flavor and appearance from the other methods, or families.
The ShanXi style is mainly considered to be the original method which was created by General YuehFuei, circa 1100 A.D., although this cannot be substantiated historically. ShanXi style is known for its vigorous and powerful movements and abundant releases of fahjing energy. This method is tight in frame keeping a well-guarded movement structure which is quick and extremely powerful. It is by far the most complex form and nuance of the three different families. This is especially evident in its twelve animal structures. But it is perhaps the most rare of the Hsing-I styles found today.
Hebei style, in contrast to the ShanXi style, uses much larger frames and appears slower in practice. Its stances are more open than the ShanXi style, but there will be less appearance of fahjing energy in the practice of the forms. The HeBei style is said to be delineated from the ShanXi method, but this link remains unclear. Many people practice the HeBei method today. And if you meet a practitioner of Hsing-I, they will most likely be of the HeBei style. HeBeiHsing-I’s expressions of the Five Elements are more simplistic than those of the ShanXi style and its Twelve Animal structures are much more simplified largely.
The last style, known as the Honan style, is a very simplified style of Hsing-I practiced extensively by the Muslim Chinese community for generations. It has only Ten Animal structures which are extremely simplistic and each has one or two movement forms only. The Five Elements are presented only as concepts in this method, having no movement representations at all.
There are several recognized spellings or renderings of this arts name. The most common is Hsing-I Chuan, from the Wade/Giles, or XingYiQuan from the newer PinYin system of Chinese phonetics. Other common spellings include the abbreviation Hsing-I, XingYi or Hsing I. Also, on occasion an apostrophe is added, as in Hsing I Ch’uan to further emphasize the pronunciation
Xuan Wu Boxing
It is also called Two Modes Boxing, which comes from the saying, “the coordination of yin and yang gives birth to Tai Chi, and the separation of the two leads to Two Modes.” In this boxing, the advantages of “yin” and “yang” can both be felt. Some of the movements are rather swift, while some are relatively slow; some are hard while some are quite soft. This is why we call it ” Two Modes”. It is a kind of Kung fu which can be used to practice hands, eyes, body, basic work as well as mixed strength (explosive force and bouncing ability). When practice it, the practitioner moves as quickly as lightning and as loudly as thunder. It has the function of striking later but controlling the upper side first, thus it is considered as a must for learners to study Kung fu of Tai Chi School.
Eight Immortal Cudgel
This set of Kung fu belongs to Wudang Eight Immortals School and was created depending on the characteristics of eight immortals. ZhongHanli(one of the eight immortals) undoes the clothes to sleep; He Xiangu catches up with the stars and the moon with her cudgel; LvDongbin seems to get drunk; Han Xiangzi plays the flute; LanCaihe represents flowers; Cao Guojiu recites; Tie Guaili gets downstairs from the clouds with one leg; Zhang Guolao rides the donkey with face backwards. This work vividly represents all the immortals’s airs.
Eight Immortals Sword
It derives from the postures of eight immortals and combines the features of wudang Kung fu. Form and will are both contained in the simple but practical movements. Meanwhile it is a combination of both vigor and suppleness. Just as the old saying goes: Dongbin(one of the eight immortals) looks quite like a knight-errant with a sword on his back; Zhongli lives a carefree life with a fan in his hand; Guolao feels frightened when Guojiu comes near. Caihe is quite proud of his mansion; If He Xiangu opens Eight Trigram Array, Even Xiangzi cannot survive a narrow escape from death.
The Fu Chen
The Fu Chen or Horse-tail Whisk is a very characteristic weapon of Taoist Kung Fu. In ancient times when a Taoist disciple was ready to leave the temple, the Fu Chen was one of the three gifts that a Taoist Master would give to his disciple as a reminding of their faith and beliefs. When the wandering disciple was tempted to return to the earthly society, the Fu Chen would remind him that those temptations were just like flies around him and that he had to scare them away. The Fu Chen is a soft weapon.
Xuan Men Sword
Just as we often say: Wudang Sword and Shaolin Cudgel. Wudang is famous for its sword. Sword plays a very special role in Chinese weapons. TaiyiXuanmen Sword is of more prominence, and it is a specialty of Wudang Kung fu. When it is practiced, it requires that the sword should go with the body and the will should be used to lead the movements so as to make the two as one unit. For example, there are some refined movements in Xuan Men Sword such as the magnificence of blue dragon rushing out of the sea, the influence of seeing the sun through thick clouds, smart cows watching the moon, the mystery of the ape removing the trees.
XuanMen Sword Play: 74 postures in all. Shaolin enjoys its fame of cudgel manipulation for a long history, while wudang gains its popularity for its internal Kungfu and sword. Sword plays a very special role in Chinese martial arts, and it is considered as “King of Weapons”. TaiyiXuanmen Sword is the most valuable treasure among weapon manipulation arts. When performed perfectly, the sword is to follow the movement of body, and is manipulated by the will so that it can achieve such a state that the body and the sword can cooperate as one unit.
Baxian Sword Play (Eight Immortal Sword): 81 postures in all. It originated from the Stances of Eight immortals. This work makes movements of both sword and body incorporated into one unit and embeds intention in body movement. It is characterized by simplicity, combined force of hardness and suppleness, and imitative stances of eight immortals.
Longhua Sword Play: 71 postures in all. As the northern wudangkungfu lineage, Longhua Sword Play features the typical movements of a dragon. When performed perfectly, it looks as though the dragon was passing through the clouds, rushing into the peaks in a sudden or hiding in the bottom of the canyon in unexpected way. And throughout the whole process, all the movements are perfectly coherent with each other and full of vigor.
Fochen Play (a kind of horse-tail whisker): 55 postures in all. This weapon has the implication to keep aloof from the mortal world. It is a kind of soft weapon and can be carried along with easily. The movements for this work are mainly cut, pull, shake, sweep and so on. And once it is performed well, people are often impressed by the feeling that they resemble the wind sweeping the ground. It combines features of sword and broadsword with the styles of whip and dart, thus fully representing the characteristics of perfect combination of the hard and the soft as well as lauching all attacks later (but not overlooking the defence).
Chiwu Spear Play: 72 postures in all. It is said that spear is the king of weapons. A lot of famous generals in ancient times are skillful at using spears. Once practiced, the body and the spear can not be separated from each other, and that the spear should move in line with the body and vice versa. Ziwu Spear can be used to parry overhead, press downward, prick forward, and punch backward. It is an ideal weapon for both attack and defense. The whole set of movements is very smooth and swift, as though an easy dragon was playing with water.
Xuangong Broadsword: 63 postures in all. It is a kind of Kun fu which belongs to wudangXuangong School. The postures include cutting, sweeping, hooking, tangling, upper cutting and so on. When performed handsomely, it should be felt as though the dragon was dashing out of water. And the wrist-work must be carried out high flexibly, in good cooperation with internal work in coherent and smooth way.
Spring and Autumn Broadsword: 48 movements in all. As one weapon manipulation, it enjoys the same popularity as spear. But the latter is often connected with the magic of dragon, while the former is commonly related to the courage of a tiger. There goes a legend: Guan Yu, a famous general in Three Kingdom period, was an expert in using this broadsword. So he named it scimitar. Besides, he liked to read History of Spring and Autumn Period and wanted to follow the example to become a hero at that time. Therefore, people named it as Spring and Autumn Broadsword. The main movements for this work are cutting, liao (upper cutting), wiping, patting and so on. When practiced well, the broadsword can go wherever the body goes. Each posture is full of force, steadiness and vigor.
Harrow Play: 56 postures in all. A harrow can weigh more than 50 kilograms, a unique weapon in Taoist Kung fu. It is a mixture of broadsword, spear and cudgel. For a harrow practitioner, some people believe, in the front, it is a spear for him to wield; at two sides, two tulwars; and behind, a rake is supplied; and in well connection of the three, a cudgel is there in the middle communing with the three. The main movements for this weapon is pricking, liao(upper cutting), mixing, raking and so on.
Baxian Cudgel (eight immortal cudgel): 61 postures in all. This work is one treasure of Wudang Eight Immortal School which is only handed down secretly to specially-nominated disciples. It is created in reference to the features of eight Taoist immortals, namely, ZhongHanli, He Xiangu, LvDongbin, Han Xiangzi, LanCaihe, Cao Guojiu, Tie Guaili, and Zhang Guolao. It is heard in a legendary story that ZhongHanli undid the clothes to sleep; He Xiangucatched up with the stars and the moon with her cudgel; Lu Dongbin seemed to get drunk; Han Xiangzi played the flute; LanCaihe painted flowers; Cao Guojiu recited poem; Tie Guaili descended from the clouds with one leg; Zhang Guolao rode the donkey with face backwards. From such description, people can vividly visualize how this cudgel play presents its contents.
Easy Shovel: 72 postures in all. It is also a unique weapon of Taoist martial art. It is somewhat similar to crescent shovel in Buddhism and a must for Taoists when they go for travel. It is said that the easy shovel was passed down by Lao Tsu. Lao Tsu left 81 shovels to encourage his disciples to cultivate their moral character attentively, in a hope that they can do good and remove evil. Easy Shovel is a weapon incorporating cudgel, fork, and spear. Its main movements are pressing, parrying, pricking, shoveling, wiping, patting and so on. Such art looks magnificent once in mastership performance.
Tai Chi Quan comes from Wudang
Since Chinese Wushu has a long history, no one can tell exactly the sources of so many kinds of boxing styles and there is no available way to find them. For example, eight- diagram palm was created by Dong Haichuan, and then he passed it to Bi Cheng qie (Red Lotus Taoist) and his master’s brother GuoYuanji (Iron Cap Taoist), but nobody knows to whom Bi and Guo passed on the boxing? Another example, Nature Gate of Wan lai Voice (sound of nature) was passed on to Dwarf Xu. But then to whom? Form and Will Boxing is said to come from the Boxing script of YueFei (a patriot of the Southern Song Dynasty), and YueFei imparted it to Zhou Tong, but to whom Zhou tong passed on it? And what about Gongsun aunt’s graceful sword arts? Many unknown things exist among famous generals. It is known to all that Tai Chi Quan was from Zhang Sanfeng of Wudang, but in the 30s of 20th century, it was suspected after Tang Hao and GuLiuxin’s research. They insisted that Chen Pu and Chen Wangting of Chen Village created Tai Chi Quan. Therefore they declined the fact that the real creator was Zhang San -feng.
Who created Tai Chi Quan and where is its source? This article will research it according to the relative historical materials.
1.It is a mistake that Chen Clan created Tai Chi Quan. Preface of Tai Chi Quan illustration by Chen Xin says that the first ancestor Wei Pu taught his son and grandson in his spare time to move Yin and Yang to help digest. And his movement was based on Tai Chi, thus it was called TaijiQuan. If it was true, then Eight-diagram and twelve-diagram were called Tai Chi Quan, too. Later in the Chen clan’s family tree, no one was mentioned to have practiced Wushu. Is this a mistake? There was no written materials about this.
2.The view that Tai Chi Quan was created by Chen Wangting is the subjective view of Tang Hao and GuLiuxin. The view began from Tang Hao and GuLiuxin. After 3 times visit to Chen Village, Tang Hao found the family tree of Chen Clan, and there were relative articles about it. Words like this: Create boxing when one feel boring and Chen Wangting was the creator of Chen Clan sword and spear. Thus GuLiuxin compiled it to the Encyclopedia Physical Section. The second note of Tai Chi Quan says that in the early times, Tai Chi Quan spread among Chen clan in Chen Village of Wen County in Henan Province, and the creator was Chen Wangting who was an outstanding expert of Wushu. The introduction of the Art of Tai Chi Quan says that Chen clan’s Tai Chi Quan was a kind of antique boxing, and other schools of Tai Chi Quan (Yang, Wu, Sun, Wu) developed based on it. From then on, the whole situation had been changed. The Chen clan follows this point of view and people saw the same opinion from both the books and TV. What about the true story of it on earth? First, let us see the fact of Encyclopedia.
Wushu senior Li Tianji in an interview which was organized by Mr. Yu Zhijin, said:” GuLiuxin took Chen Wangting in Lulong County, Hebei Province for the Chen Wangting in Chen Village. The one in Hebei was a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in the Ming Dynasty. He was not the same person who was born at the end of Ming Dynasty. Gu corrected his error on Physical Newspaper in 1984.” Later, Li Tianji said:” I was not willing to write the knack of Tai Chi Quan with Gu, thus he cooperated with Li Deyin. At last, Gu wrote all the knacks by himself and wrote what he liked. Now I am 80 years old and have no energy to correct it. Therefore, I hope you the young generation write the correct and true one through thorough research.” From the words above, you can see that the concept that the Chen clan created Tai Chi Quan is unavaila-ble.
Look at the sentence: The creation of spear and sword of Chen clan, Chinese Wushu had few thousands years’ history and Chen was the creator is obviously not conformable to the fact, but why did people say like this? In a sense it is partly true, because:
1. The family handed down double three boxing knacks saying: “I learned it from Ji Clan though I don’t master it perfectly, so I dare not say that I can impart it to the younger generation.” The author learned it from the Zhen Clan, disciple of Mr. Jin Longfeng. It was the compile during Yongzhen Period, the same time when Wangting lived.
2. Chang Quan of Chen Clan is the combination of TongbiQuan and Hong tong TongbiQuan in Shanxi Province; Hong tong quan (ZhongYiquan) was passed on by GuoYongfu in Henan. He imparted it to HeHuaibi of He Village when he visited Hong tong during Qian long (a emperor in the Qing dynasty). The order of passage is like this: Shaolin temple—GuoYongfu (a person good at darting) —He Huaibi (He Jiazhuang in Hong tong)—Shi Jiwen (Wan an Town) —Shi Genlin (Shi tong wenzi) —Yang Rumei, QiaoBai (Wan An Town) —Pan Yi qui (Gao gong Village)
3. Chen Wangting copied knacks of boxing scripts from Quanjing song JixinNew book from Qi Jiguang. The basic theory belongs to Shaolin boxing family
4. The annotation of the old boxing knack of the Chen Clan says, the diagram of the spear style was derived from Yu Clan in Si Xian County. And another article of Wen Xiutang record: the knacks above come from Northern Wang bao Village. Zhang Kaizhou copied and rewrote it in the 23rd year of Daoguang.
These 4 points above illustrated that in Chen Village, Chen Wangting was the first one to learn Wushu, which was the combination of TongbiQuan and PaoQuan, falling into shaolin style. What’s more, some were the duplicate copies. The so-called “creator” was the one who learnt from the earliest one, so how Chen Wangting created the boxing in his spare time?
Tai Chi Quan is a kind of complicated Wushu, “creating” can be counted on only if one has thorough understanding of Yi (change) Theory and boxing theory, then add the concentration, inspiration and aesthetic mood. Under the state of being terribly upsetting, people cannot create common Wushu and gymnastics let alone Tai Chi Quan. So creating Tai Chi Quan needs rigid conditions (Chang duanju did not conform to the mental state of Wangting). maybe this has something to do with Jiang Fa.
After failure of Li Ji’s troop, Jiang Fa lived in seclusion, who was a competent disciple of Wang Zongyue, a Tai Chi master of great learning and integrity. Jiang could rush like a galloping horse and chase rabbits within 100 steps. Since Wangting knew his competence and treated him warmly, which made Jiang so grateful that he taught Wangting according to his aptitude. Then he combined the essentials of Tai Chi Quan with PaoQuan in the way of twisting and turning and removed the sharp angles of PaoQuan. Thus the Chen Clan created Tai Chi Wushu skill. In federal society, how can one have his servant as his disciple? Moreover, the original native place of Jiang Fa was Liu cun Village of Dong Town in Wen Xian County, and he moved to Shuiyun Village later. Jiang learnt boxing for 10 years from Wang Zongyue in Shanxi, then became a servant in Chen gou Village and concealed his identity after the failure. At last he imparted the boxing skill to his disciple Chen Wangting and then Xing Xihuai. After his death, he was buried at a place called Yang haiwa, Northwest of Yangjigou.
Chen Zhengshu, the 17th generation of Chen Wangting, often holds honorable ceremony for Jiang Fa in honor of their senior and showed respect for their master. Jiang Fa had outstanding Wushu skills and was respected by the villagers of Chen gou Village.
The sure purpose of the above fact is to illustrate that all schools of Tai Chi Quan were derived from Zhang Sanfeng, though it has a long story. All the people regarded Zhang Sanfeng as ” the original master” ,but there are still people who still turn deaf ear to it and held view that it is only a legend and could not be worthy of believing but only brought about chaos to Tai Chi boxing. Even now, no one exactly knew from which generation and how it was passed on from the Chen Clan.
There was a lyric from the 51st Division Headquarter of Kuomin tang: Tai Chi derives really from Wudang, if one gets the essence of it, it benefits both the nation and its citizens, and also it helps to make oneself stronger.
Wudang Tai Chi
Many people who observed someone practicing Tai Chi Chuan will remark on its grace and beauty. It is like dance in its exterior form, but in reality it is much more than that. It benefits both the interior and the exterior of the body. It is a moving meditation. It is a physical exercise that is suitable for people of all ages. It needs very little space for practice and needs no special equipment.
Tai Chi Chuan is taught in slow and relaxed movements. You are taught deep regulated breathing which can promote blood circulation and Lung capacity. Tai Chi Chuan developed into martial arts originally based on Taoism. It is often referred as the mother of martial arts. Gradually it began to develop into a healing art with its slow form.
The people who often practice this ancient martial arts own a healthy body and a sharp mind. Those who practice Tai Chi regularly will have an inner tranquility that allows you to let your thought guide your actions. This inner peace brings a sense of well being and inner strength to you.
1. Argumentation about spirit: The three treasures of bodybuilding are: maintain the vigor and then turn it to inner energy, maintain the inner energy and turn it to spirit, and the third, keep all of them in good care. If one can do it well, one cwill become energetic and intelligent and can also accomplish the tasks that are beyond their abilities and achieve the degree, which the others cannot get to. The way is called Tai Chi Regimen which means to master the three treasures of bodybuilding and the regularity of the change between the vigor, inner energy and the spirit. When one exercises it, he can achieve the goal of bodybuilding and live a long life.
2.Tai Chi argumentation Tai Chi was generated by Wuji when Yin and Yang combined together (that is one Qi diverted into two, namely, Yin and Yang, when Yin and Yang combined, the Mixture is called Tai Chi) But what dose Tai Chi mean? Laozi said: Void is the beginning of heaven and earth, which means the mixture. Mixture is the vitality and the original elements that composed the world. Thus ” void” got its name. The original world was born from Yin and Yang and later it developed in them but at that time, there was no limit between Yin and Yang. It was the very beginning of myriad creatures in the world. Void has no limits.
When the mixture had been divided and the original pattern of world was set. Yin and Yang began to combine with each other. That is called ” tangible world comes from the intangible one”. Tangible world is the mother of everything in the world, which was called Tai Chi later on. For example, the combination of the heaven and the earth ,and Yin and Yang gave birth to myriad creatures. The movement of the sun and the moon brought forth the 4 seasons. The intercourse between the male and the female gives birth to a new life. This is called Tai Chi and thus became the mother of everything.
3. Liang Yi Argumentation Tai Chi, the real meaning is tranquility and peace. The combination is as a whole, in which there is object, and the limit of tranquility turns into the separation of Yin and Yang, so they are called two components, thus, when the two components separates, one is dead and when the two combines, a new life begins.
4. Human beings are born in the vitality and then live in it. The vigor comes from food. It is unclear, feminine and mobile; while the inner energy comes from the vigor. It is clear, masculine and stationary. They are the main components of the heart and the kidney of the human body. When the body is full of vigor, the human being has life while it is frail, people will die. The opposite is that the vigor converts into the inner energy and then the spirit. These two then combine perfectly, thus Taoism and immortal come into being. However, the two belong to the character and the will. The character is like ape that is restless and belongs to Yin, while the will is like horse that is still and belongs to Yang.
When one can control the ape that is his character, and the horse that is his will will be under his control automatically. Therefore, in order to control their character and will, the practioners try their best to strengthen their character and will. They also turn the air they inhaled to the inner energy and further the spirit. When one keeps on to be energetic, he can live a long life and take his body in good care, which is the good result of the cultivation.
Harmony between the heart and the will, the will and the inner energy, and the inner energy and the spirit are called the six harmonies. Only when these elements are harmonious with each other, one can live and grow. Therefore, the way of Tai Chi Regimen is the way to live a long life, the root of the life and the stone step of becoming the immortal.
Xiaochengkungfu of Taoism is to convert the vigor to inner energy, the pure inner energy, and then transfer the inner energy to spirit, the real spirit. When the spirit and the inner energy combine, the light of character comes out. The whole process is like the flower blossoming over the wall, and also like the luminous pearl high in the sky lightens the darkness.
The scripts said: When the flowers begin to blossom, it is the best time to appreciate. Pick and swallow them down is a good way to add nourishment to the body. Pick and collect them when they are mature, one can get its essence. When the real character and the real essence are combined, Dachengkungfu is generated. The way to practise:
There are many ways to practise, such as walking, stopping, sitting and lying ect. One cannot stick to one pattern. Now illustrate the sitting style cautiously as follow: Before sitting, loosen the cloths and sink the heart slightly, make sure that the body should be upright and not be bound by anything else. The blood vessels go through freely. Sweep away the distracting thoughts in order to concentrate.
Sit with your legs crossed. Before sitting, erect the body with flat legs and sit in a natural way. Curl back the right leg and then the thigh. Pull the left leg and put it on the right bone with the left leg outwards in the embracing gesture.
The thumb of the right hand grasps its middle finger is called Wuzijue. With the thumb of the left hand in the right one and then grasp the Zizijue. This is called Ziwushuangjue. Embrace the right hand is with Yang on the back and Yin under arms. It is on the male’s left and female ‘s right side. Put the hands in the conjunction of two thighs and the belly. Xu ling ding Jin: Look to the bridge of the nose, with the tip of the tongue face against the upper palate. Be sure that do not close eyes tightly or the vitality will be in disorde. While open them too wide, the vitality will go out and cannot come back. Thus one cannot get any effect. It is the best to look at the middle of two eyes.
After the thoughts are dispassionate, pay attention to the eyes, ears and respire of nose. When begin to practise, one needs to let the breath ascend from and descend to Dantian(lower abdomen). After a period of time, all the energy comes to the middle of the body and intelligence ascends. Light of intelligence appears in the two eyes. Dan script says: heart ape is locked on the olive tree and it is true.
It is usually observe that among the 5 elements, the energy gathers naturally. If failed in one aspect, then the energy is motivated. Things will develop to the opposite direction when they become extreme. When the stationary goes to its extreme, the motion will be produced. Then Dantian produces the pure energy, namely, heat is generated. Void room became pale Magic light appears and gradually becomes bright, and it changes from faint to pale. It is also called the light of character.
script says: Look at the middle of the two eyes and brighten the heart to hold Zuqiao, these motions can testify one’s Kung fu. It can cultivate oneself and his heart to the pure character. So the way is called the basic feat.
Annotation: Zuqiao locates in between the two eyebrows; the magic light appears in the very place if one’s character is pure. This is also the source of immortal way.
5. Zhoutian Augmentation
Close the eyes engrossingly and wait calmly until there is enough inner energy in the Dantian and descend the breath naturally, then go out from the valley and go over 3 passes. At last, ascend along Dumai, but after surmounting the three passes, the process becomes very difficult. So respiration should be adjusted and one should control the depth of the respiration. Tunadao yin techniques should be used. When the adjustments are made, energy and breath should be interdependent and contain each other.
When inhale, go out of the valley and surmount the three passes, raise air along Dumai. While exhale, go out from Baihui and cross the bird bridge, then descend for 12 floors along Dumai. Sink the breath to Dantian; this is called Xiaozhoutian way of motion.
When the breath is raising, heat wave will ascend along Dumai. While when the breath sinks, cool wave will descend from Baihui till to Dantian. When one has a hot or numb sense, it is called to pick up the herb medicine and put it to the furnace (script says that raising the breath and picking up the herb medicine while sinking the breath to Dantian is called putting into the furnace)
Meanwhile whenever deep breath exists and air sinks, a cool wave goes downward to all part of the body from Baihui. The feeling is just like to have a shower, so it is called bathing, after which the air goes free and the blood circulate smoothly, the whole body gets warm. This is the success of zhoutian feat.
6. Dadao Argumentation
Like this: practise continually but not too diligent, every air, the root, ling light appears and observe while keep it with the inhaling and exhaling descending and ascending, the energy is motivated. One will have a comfortable and mysterious feeling. During this process, one should have observed the truth. (script says it is like observing emptiness in fact which is not empty) observe not defense (script says, Live but don’t possess is the appearance, all the energy will disappear. The air of respiration gradually dims away till Taixi, when achieve this degree, one feels a sense of trance. In the process, Neixiang can’t come out and waixiang cannot come out, this is called Jingding (tranquility)
All of a sudden, one has a fresh feeling and become energetic, thus the intelligence is produced. This is the good result of turning the inner energy to the spirit. And then one can become immortal.
Afterwards, there is something like pure Yang appearing from it . One can see the heaven and the earth once again and can thoroughly understand it. Achieving this, one gets Dadao and it is not far away to become the immortal.
Tai Chi Regimen Exercises
The 13-style Tai Chi is about 13 routines and 60 postures in all. It is believed to be the authentic Tai Chi Chuan handed down by Master Zhang Sanfeng. Because it contains 5 steps and 8 positions, it is also called Tai Chi Mu Boxing. Wudang Tai Chi Chuan applies the soft to overcome the hard, stillness to restrain movements. It reacts later but take upper hand first, thus it is a good way for body strengthening and self-defense. By practicing it, people can transform strength into inner energy, then into Shen, so that it makes up for weakness and cooperate with the Tao. It combines wushu with health-preservation and can achieve the purpose of gaining a longevity, becoming more intelligent and stronger. The whole practicing process can be classified into 3 stages: Jing practicing; Chi practicing; Shen practicing. The main practicing methods include inhaling and exhaling to regulate breathing, assisting external force to make up for internal force; standing on stakes with coordination strength. The main movements are straight blows, pressing, jostling, picking, arraying, elbowing and so on. Once practiced well, it flows very smoothly by following, connecting, pasting, and striking. To practice it well, it requires peace of mind. Besides,practitioners have to bend the chest but erect the back, relax shoulders and lower elbows. What is more, they also have to be done naturally. Wudang Tai Chi boxing incorporates movements with stillness. The internal work and external work contains each other, thus it is an easy way for health-preservation.
WudangSanfeng Tai Chi Chuan— 108 postures in all. It is the transformation of 13-style TaichiChuan
18-style Wudang Tai Chi—18 postures in all. It is excerpted from 108-style wudangsanfeng Tai Chi Chuan.
28-style Wudang Tai Chi Chuan—28 postures in all. It is excerpted from 108-style WudangSanfeng Tai Chi Chuan.
WudangSanfeng Tai Chi Sword— 65 postures in all. It is heard that this art was founded by master Zhang Sanfeng who incorporated many other sects’ sword play. Tai Chi Sword not only has wushu’s characteristics of overcoming the hard with the soft, restraining motion with stillness, reacting later but taking upper hand first, manipulating the whole with little strength, but also the Taoist health-preservation methods. So it has the function of body strengthening as well as self-defense.
TaiyiWuxingChuan (Taiyi five-element boxing)— 25 routines with about 81 movements in all. As an important school of wudang internal Kung fu, Taiyi School is somewhat similar to that of wudang Tai Chi. It was founded by master Shouxing, who is of Longmen School of Wudang Taoism in Ming Dynasty. It combined the 13 styles of TaiChiChuan, Five-Animal Exercise of HuaTuo (a famous doctor in Han Dynasty) and the Taoist Yoga practice in terms of breathing, regulating, striking and defense. Theoretically, it lays more emphasis on the application of Yin-Yang and Five Elements, so the layout resembles the frame proclaimed by Yin-yang and the five elements in theory.
When in practice, the mind-will is more important than strength, and, transforming to adapt to what is up is more effective than direct resisting. So it requires that the heart-mind and breathing accompanying each other, and that the waist must move in harmonious correspondence with the motion of hipbones.
The body has to act slowly, smoothly and naturally. When practiced well, it looks like worming snake. Yet in fact, it achieves the effect of as forceful as a thick callus, in well attainment of overcoming vigor while flexibility is well preserved.
Crane-style Stakes— one kind of health-preservation exercise. It imitates the movements and stances of white cranes in wildness.
Tai Chi Hunyuan Chuang (Tai Chi mixed-force stake)—strength, internal energy and Shen are the three treasures of human body. Its main focus is to conserve strength and convert it to internal energy first and then to Shen second. Practicing this exercise for a period of time can make one feel more energetic, more intelligent and do others far beyond. The gist of performing this exercise is to master the naturally alternating law of three treasures and finally gain longevity.
ChiranYangshen Gong (Natural health-preservation exercise)—the wise cultivate Yang in spring and summer, and Yin in autumn and winter, so that they follow the law of nature. Otherwise it will bring the detrimental to body and spirit. Therefore, Yin-yang and four seasons represent the alternation pattern of myriad things in movement.
Still-sitting Meditation — life and death depend on each other. And they cannot work without the opposite. The law of innate nature and life force are main focus of regimen and longevity. Innate nature refers to heart in some aspects, which serves as the source of heart, yet the letter (heart) demonstrates itself in intangible form. People’s ha heart are always subject to changes every now and then, just as restless as an ape. In taoism theory there exists one popular terminology as subdue dragon and take captive tiger which, in fact, tells how to calm down the heart to have Chi arise naturally. The ancient sages advocated to cultivate encompassing Chi because corporeal body, heart and true intention can be congealed into one unit–the highest attainment of unifying humans with the nature.