Masters Make the Legends or is it Legends that Make the Masters? Unraveling fact from Fiction
September 4, 2023
Whether these tales appear orally from student-to-student, on the big or small screen, or in the form of the written word, they remain a key element of martial culture.
Importance of Regulating the Emotional Mind in Taijiquan
August 28, 2023
In the last seven centuries many songs and poems have been composed about Tàijíquán. These have played a major role in preserving the knowledge and wisdom of the masters, although in many cases the identity of the authors and the dates of origin have been lost. From these songs and poems, Tàijíquán practitioners have had a guideline or a map which continues to lead them to the correct path of practice. Most of these documents were considered secrets in every Tàijíquán style. It was not until the last few decades that these secrets were gradually revealed to the general public. In the last twenty years, Dr. Yang has translated and made commentary on many of these documents.
Meet the Author: Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming Discusses Training Tai Chi as a Teen with his Master Kao, Tao (高濤) (video)
September 14, 2022
Enjoy this special video excerpt from a Tai Chi Theory seminar event in which Dr. Yang, Jwìng-Mǐng (楊俊敏博士) discusses his experience of training Tai Chi Chuan with Grandmaster Kao, Tao (高濤) beginning at age 16 in Taiwan. Master Yang reunited with Kao, Tao in October 2008 and was able to talk as an adult for the first time with him about the details of their Tai Chi Chuan lineage.
Is it Tai Chi or Taiji?
April 25, 2022
Tai chi is one of the most practiced martial arts in the world today. Countless practitioners recite these time-honored movements for health, self-defense, and peace of mind all around the world. However, as tai chi continues to spread globally, how to spell it is absurdly frustrating.
2022 The Year of the Tiger
January 31, 2022
This year, 2022, marks the Year of the Tiger in the Lunar calendar. Revered for its power and ferocity, tiger figures prominently as a symbol in the martial arts and qigong. In celebration of the new year, YMAA Publication Center staff writer Gene Ching explores some of the connections of tigers to the martial arts.
On Practicing Taijiquan—The Five Mindsets - June 29, 2015
Many people are aware that taijiquan is beneficial, but to obtain those benefits one needs "samutpada" (arousal of earnest intention) and one has to pay the price. Everyone can afford it, but most people are reluctant to pay. Whenever I run into taijiquan enthusiasts who want to practice taijiquan with me, what I first say is, "If you want to learn taijiquan you need to pay the price.
Mind Approach in Practicing Taijiquan - June 22, 2015
The Mind Approach in Practicing Taijiquan. The mind approach is a way of practicing with one's heart (mind and intent) as the guidance. It used to have no fixed patterns or rules; however, the mind approach I present has its principle based on the following six points.
What's It All About? Tai Chi - May 25, 2015
Each day, millions of men and women worldwide practice the Chinese martial art Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan), which has been known for centuries to promote deep relaxation, excellent health, and to prevent injuries and illness. This gentle moving meditation teaches you to find balance between strength and flexibility, increases bone density, while involving all of the various soft tissues in your body: muscles, tendons, ligaments, fasciae, and skin.
One World, One Breath: An Interview with Bill Douglas, founder of World Tai Chi Day & Qigong Day—Part 2 - April 20, 2015
I recently spoke to Bill Douglas, founder of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, about his experience with this amazing global event. Here is Part 2 of the interview. See April 13, 2015 for Part 1.
One World, One Breath: An Interview with Bill Douglas, founder of World Tai Chi Day & Qigong Day—Part 1 - April 13, 2015
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQD) will be celebrated on April 25, 2015 at 10 a.m. in every time zone around the world. You can participate in this global day of peace by yourself or with your local tai chi group by simply practicing at 10 a.m. As the day passes, a wave of energy will encircle the globe through the hearts and minds of practitioners on every continent.
Power Training for Tai Chi Sword - April 6, 2015
According to Chinese martial Qigong, the power is ﬁrst generated from the mind. From the mind, the Qi is led to the physical body to manifest it as power. Therefore, we can see that the Qi is the energy, while the physical body is like the machine. A detailed explanation of Qigong can be found in the YMAA book The Essence of Shaolin White Crane.
About Pushing Hands—Part 2 - March 30, 2015
An (Press or Push Down) means to settle the wrist. It is executed by using the base of the palm, either one palm or both palms can press and push. An can be divided into offensive An and defensive An. In offensive An, the base of the palm is used to push upward to the chin to destroy the opponent's central equilibrium; to the throat to seal the opponent's breath; to push forward to Xinkan (Jiuwei) (i.e., solar plexus area) to seal the breath as well as destroy the opponent's central equilibrium or shock his heart; to push downward to the abdominal area to destroy the stability of the lower part of his body or to seal his breath.
About Pushing Hands—Part 1 - March 23, 2015
Practicing Methods of the Four Directions and Four Corners (Eight Doors, Eight Trigrams). What are the four directions and four corners? They are the eight doors. It is also the theory of Eight Trigrams in Taijiquan. What are the four directions?
Basic Taiji Theory - March 16, 2015
If we desire to understand taiji theory, then we must first trace back to its origins and roots. Only then will we know how and where it came from. Although a great proportion of Chinese martial arts history is vague, we can still trace it with some accuracy and in some detail.
Four Applications of Taiji Ball Qigong (太極球氣功之應用) - December 15, 2014
At this stage, you should be able to practice the circling, rotation, and wrap-coiling patterns smoothly. You should also be able to perform each of these patterns comfortably while stationary, rocking, stepping, and bagua stepping.
What is Qin Na? - November 17, 2014
Taijiquan (太極拳) was originally developed for combat in ancient times. Its fighting theory is to use the soft against the hard, and to use the round to neutralize the straight or square. In order to achieve this goal, the body must be soft and the movements must be smooth and natural. Taijiquan also emphasizes the cultivation of qi (氣), or internal energy.
The Sword Way - October 20, 2014
In ancient China, the way of the sword was widely respected. This was so not just because sword techniques and skills were difficult to learn. The main reason was that moral and spiritual qualities were required in order to attain the highest levels of its art.
The Art in Martial Arts - July 28, 2014
For many practitioners, the phrase “martial arts” doesn’t do a particularly good job of encompassing the complexity of the systems we study. There is also a certain oxymoronic tension between things martial and things arty and serious trainees often prefer to emphasize the physical efficacy of these systems.
Improving Quality of Qi's Manifestation - July 21, 2014
Here we will discuss how the quality of qi's circulation or manifestation can be improved. First, we should recognize that from Chinese martial art history, it was not until the fifth century that Chinese internal styles were developed, recognized, and practiced.
Guidelines for Taijiquan Practice - May 12, 2014
To successfully learn taijiquan (tai chi chuan), you will need to understand some of the principles and guidelines that have accumulated over the centuries by masters of this ancient art. These principles and guidelines are the foundation of taijiquan.
Historical Survey of Chinese Martial Arts - Part 2 - May 7, 2014
During the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1278) the monks of the Shaolin Temple continued to gather more martial skills from outside sources. They blended these arts into the Shaolin training. During this period, one of the most famous Shaolin martial monks, Jueyuan, traveled around the country in order to learn and absorb high levels of martial skill into Shaolin training.
Historical Survey of Chinese Martial Arts - Part 1 - April 30, 2014
Chinese martial arts probably started long before history was recorded. Martial techniques were discovered or created during the long epoch of continuous conflict between humans and animals or between different tribes of humans themselves. From these battles, experiences were accumulated and techniques discovered that were passed down from generation to generation.
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day April 26, 2014 - April 23, 2014
Celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTC&Q Day) on Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. all over the world. Beginning in New Zealand, this event will spread time zone by time zone across the globe, and will include hundreds of cities spanning 80 countries. Massive tai chi and qigong exhibitions will be held in public places such as parks, community centers, and tai chi schools across six continents. It's a time for people to come together, to breathe together, providing a healing vision for our world.
Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan - April 7, 2014
How Many Techniques in Taijiquan? In the traditional bare hand sequence, the apparent number of techniques vary between 81 and 150, depending on the method used to count and group the forms. Some instructors and writers, for example, will not count repeated forms. But basically, you may judge whether a taijiquan sequence is complete by comparing the arrangement of the names given to the techniques.
Empty and Full Moon Breathing Exercise for Abdominal Muscles - March 17, 2014
For this exercise, we will focus on the physical muscles surrounding the lower energy center area. This skill, coordinating the movement of the abdominal and back muscles with the movement of the lungs and diaphragm, should be practiced and emphasized on its own. This exercise is one of those pillar principles that should eventually be incorporated into every mind/body prescription throughout the Sunset Tai Chi program. It is ultimately used with every breath you take.