Tai Chi, a national intangible cultural heritage, is based on the traditional Chinese Confucian and Taoist philosophy, Tai Chi, yin and yang dialectical concepts as its core ideas, and integrates various functions such as temperament, physical fitness, and combat. It combines the Yin and Yang of Yi learning The changes of the five elements, the meridian of traditional Chinese medicine, the ancient Daoyin technique and the vomiting technique form a traditional Chinese boxing technique that is both internal and external, soft, slow, light and flexible.
After 1949, it was uniformly adopted by the National Sports Commission for gymnastics, performances, and sports competitions for physical fitness. After China's reform and opening up, it was partially restored to its original appearance; thus, it was further divided into Tai Chi for competitions, Tai Chi exercises for gymnastics, and Tai Chi push hands.
There are many traditional Taijiquan schools. Common Taijiquan schools include Chen style, Yang style, Wu style, Wu style, Sun style, and He style. Each school has inherited relationships and learns from each other, and each has its own characteristics. A hundred flowers bloom. Since Tai Chi is a type of boxing formed in modern times with many schools and a broad mass base, it is a very vital group of Chinese martial arts.
In December 2020, the 15th regular session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage will include the "Tai Chi" project on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Origin of the name
Taijiquan belongs to a big boxing system of martial arts. The name Taijiquan was named because of the endless changes in boxing techniques, so the ancient Chinese philosophical theories of "yin and yang" and "taiji" were used to explain the theory of boxing.
The word "Tai Chi" originated from "Zhou Yi·Xi Ci": "Yi has Tai Chi, which is the birth of two Yi." "Tai" means big, and "Ji" means the beginning or the apex. The first sentence of Zhou Dunyi's "Taiji Tushuo" in the Song Dynasty is "Wuji and Taiji". It does not mean that Taiji is born from Wuji, but that "Taiji is the original Wuji", which means that "Tai Chi" is the source of all things, containing the highest, Extreme, absolute, unique meaning. This is the meaning of Tai Chi. Tai Chi Tu is the most primitive world view of the ancients in our country. The combination of boxing and Tai Chi theory has gradually formed Tai Chi.
The term Taijiquan was first seen in "On Taijiquan" signed by Wang Zongyue. According to the literature and oral data, Wang Zongyue’s posthumous work was written by Wu Chengcheng (1880-1884) in Yongnian County (now Yongnian County, Hebei Province), Guangping Prefecture, Zhili, Qing Dynasty. The Jiayandian in Beiwudu Town was around in the second year of Xianfeng in the Qing Dynasty (1852) or sometime later. Due to the existence of Wang Zongyue, researchers are still inconclusive. In the past ten years or so, some people have also proposed that "Tai Chi Lun" is a pseudonym of Wu Yuxiang (1812-1880). Regardless of who is right or wrong in the above discussion, one thing is certain: No one has seen the original of Wang Zongyue's "On Tai Chi".
Wu Yuxiang's elder nephew, Li Yishe (1832-1892), gave Wang Zongyue Wu Yusang's boxing theory and personal experience in the seventh year of Guangxu (1881), handwritten three volumes, commonly known as the "old three books". The cover of the self-collected book is titled "Taijiquan Theory", with a bet "Small preface and five-character tactics attached". This cover is given to Hao He entitled "Wang Zongyue Taijiquan Theory", with a bet "Small preface and five-character tactics attached". This is the earliest theory of Taijiquan discovered so far. The name "Taijiquan" and the theory of boxing by Wang Zongyue and Wu Yuxiang appeared in written records, all of which originated from this manuscript.
The "Manuscript of Qing History" finalized in 1928 was recorded in "Volume Five Hundred Five · Biographies 292 · Art Four": "In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, there was Taijiquan in Hebei, and the method came from Wang Zongyue of Shanxi... to the end of the Qing Dynasty, it was passed down and practiced. It is quite popular.” This is the earliest record of the name of Taijiquan in official history books. It is said that "Hebei has Taijiquan...there are a lot of practitioners", which proves that the martial arts taught by Yongnian Yang Luchan and Wu Yuxiang have been officially named Taijiquan.
Martial arts characteristics
Fundamentals of Boxing
Taijiquan is a martial arts sport, which conforms to the theory of boxing and possesses a martial art. The theory of boxing here means that the movements of Taijiquan conform to the law of offense and defense, have the meaning of offense and defense, and can produce certain offensive and defensive effects. This is not only the basic difference between Taijiquan movement and other sports such as gymnastics, dance, and guidance but also one of the essential differences.
Taijiquan is influenced by the penetration of traditional philosophy, has philosophical rationality and is full of dialectical thoughts. From a philosophical point of view, Tai Chi is known as "Zhe Quan". This is not only because the title of Tai Chi has a strong philosophical meaning, but also because of the profound philosophical meaning of Tai Chi's action essentials, and because of the traditional philosophical thinking about Tai Chi. The full penetration of boxing has formed a unique sports idea, special technical requirements, and outstanding value functions.
Basic Medical Science
Taijiquan absorbs the traditional medical theory of meridians, shu points, qi and blood, Daoyin, and Tibetan elephants. It conforms to medical theory and has a fitness effect.
The basic criteria for judging Taijiquan
From a technical point of view, there are at least three basic characteristics:
First of all, it is a special attack. Taijiquan is fist, not exercise, or dance, so although it does not advocate "wu", it can be "wu", it is "wenquan", and this type of martial arts is different from some martial arts of "hard fight and hard advance". It attaches great importance to "using softness to overcome rigidity". ", stressing "sticking and sticking", "sacrificing oneself and following others", this is a very high level of martial arts.
Second, outstanding philosophical rationality. From the creation of Taijiquan to the specific movements, there are profound philosophies. This philosophical rationality has risen to the level of rational guidance and integrated into specific movements, such as the dialectical philosophy of yin and yang, specifically the virtual reality, opening and closing, movement and static in the boxing. Wait. Some people even claim that knowing that yin and yang can separate the virtual and the real is Taijiquan, so every movement must be exercised under the guidance of this principle. Compared with other sports, it is prominent in the theoretical level and comprehensive degree.
The third feature is obvious fitness. In terms of fitness, Taijiquan’s technical requirements are rooted in traditional medicine and conform to modern science. It shows obvious fitness. Just as the boxing theory says, "If you ask where the intention is, you can live longer and prolong your life." A large number of scientific experiments illustrate this point.
In short, Tai Chi can be considered as Tai Chi if it has special skills, outstanding philosophical rationality, obvious fitness, and at the same time meets the technical requirements of the Tai Chi series. For different practice purposes, you can focus on it, but as a complete Tai Chi technique requirement, the best practice effect should be the organic unity of the three sexes.
Taijiquan technique refers to a method to complete Taijiquan movements sufficiently, reasonably and effectively. Reasonable here refers to the traditional principles of combined philosophy, boxing, and medicine, as well as modern sciences such as physiology, psychology, and biomechanics; effective is to maximize the human body's physical and mental potential and to obtain the greatest fitness and combat effects with minimal effort. Taijiquan is divided into relatively static static (feminine) body type technology and dynamic (masculine) movement technology according to the state of motion and the elements of the action.
The characteristics of Taijiquan, from the perspective of the technical nature of Taijiquan, Taijiquan are based on martial arts movements, and its core is Jin. This creates a skill requirement, a martial art with multiple functions such as martial arts and fitness. From the perspective of sports performance, a softer, slower, more focused, inner-practice boxing technique is a boxing technique that is formed by absorbing various boxing techniques, combining the ancient techniques of guiding, vomiting and navigating, using meridians and yin and yang.
Martial arts principles
Although the various types of Taijiquan differ in the strength, speed, structure, and number of movements, as Taijiquan, there are also things in common, and the principles of exercise that they all abide by.
1. Core Principles of Power
Strength refers to a unique comprehensive quality in Taijiquan. It is based on the loosening of the joints between the joints, the elongation of the ligaments and tendons, and the moderate force of the muscles. It is a kind of strength quality produced by the conscious control of the brain. This kind of strength is extremely flexible and changeable, and it can change with the enemy in terms of strength, direction, point, and speed.
2. The principle of mutual competition between Latin America and China
Looking at the various body skills requirements of Taijiquan, we can find that it actually exerts a force on each part of the body in different directions, such as up and down, front and back, left and right, inside and outside, so that the limbs are extended and the body supports all sides, resulting in Taijiquan. Jin, traditional Taijiquan calls it the elasticity of the whole body, so as to achieve the purpose of martial art and fitness. This is because the muscles have stretchability, elasticity and viscosity.
3. The principle of moving everything
Taijiquan talks about "everything is moving". Tai Chi compares heaven and earth to a big universe, the human body is a small universe, and the body of Tai Chi cannot be moved. This movement is a coordinated movement of the whole body under the control of consciousness, including internal organs, body surface, and limbs. Therefore, Tai Chi movement requires In the process of movement, all moves, the whole body from the thought to the limbs and all parts, participate in the movement as much as possible, and it is a highly coordinated and fine movement, not a partial movement, or separate and disorderly movements. This should be in practice Constantly realize. The mastery of the principle of all-movement is to find the central link of human movement and use it to lead the movement of all joints of the body to achieve all movement.
4. The principle of continuity
This mainly talks about the transmission process of strength. Boxing theory talks about, "Strength starts from the heel, mainly from the waist, forms from the fingers, and originates from the back", "its root is from the feet, originates from the legs, governs the waist, and forms from the fingers. ; From the feet to the legs to the waist, one must be intact." This requires the whole body to be loosened, one loosened to the bottom, and the whole body is one breath. The waist is dominant, and the waist is the pivot of the whole body. The transfer station is also where the largest joint of the human body is located. It conforms to the principle of sports biomechanics that large joints drive small joints. Therefore, Tai Chi also emphasizes the dominating role of the waist, emphasizing the skills required of moving from the waist to every movement.
5. The principle of congruence
Following refers to the consistency in Tai Chi, such as raising the knee and raising the palm, raising the knee and raising the palm, and following each other up and down. Harmony, on the one hand, refers to the correspondence of the appearance of the joint positions, such as hand and foot, elbow and knee, shoulder and hip: on the other hand, it is the fusion of imagination, such as hand, foot, body, and strength. When the force is generated, Yang's knee-and-twist step is to push with the hands, which is in harmony with the body and is completed in unison.
6. The principle of mutual benefit of Yin and Yang
This is a general rule. Tai Chi is inseparable from yin and yang. The movements in boxing are up and down, inside and outside, size, virtual and actual, opening and closing, rigidity and softness, speed, etc. Some people say that “Tai Chi is a dialectic produced by the substance in the human body. Movement; Tai Chi and boxing, that is, the dialectical unity of internal and external forms." So Tai Chi is a dialectical exercise of the body. On the one hand, it requires the separation of yin and yang. On the other hand, there is yang in yin and yin in yang, but It is inseparable, but in the end, it is a relationship of mutual benefit, gradual change, transformation, and complementarity, such as "White Crane Spreads Wings". Although the body sinks when the hand is raised, the body sinks but the head is collared, and the elbow is raised. Drooping, the "left-heavy", "deficiency", bending and stretching, and pitching mentioned in the theory of boxing are all related to the relationship between yin and yang. In short, yin and yang are combined, yin and yang are distinguished, and yin and yang are united.