ChiDragon

The Basic Concept Tai Ji Quan

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Now, we all know what Tai Ji means the "supreme ultimate"; "Ultimate extreme"; "Yin-Yang".

In Tai Ji Quan, the are two things that one wants to go to the ultimate extreme. They are the breathing and the physical body. Breathing is soft with the Yin attribute, the body is hard or solid with the Yang attribute. The goal in Tai Ji was to fine tune the respiratory system to its ultimate extreme(the most Yang state) and transform the body to a tip-top shape.

 

We always hear the common phrase in Tai Ji, 以柔克刚, "the softness dominates the hardness."

In this case with Tai Ji, it is the breath dominates the body. We know breathing controls the body, otherwise, without breathing the body will die. Hence, we want to dominate the breathing by fine tuning it to its ultimate extreme. In the same fashion, we want the body to have the ultimate strength. Fortunately, the ancients had found an ultimate method to accomplish the two. This method is called Tai Ji Quan.

 

Tai Ji Quan involves slow movements and slow breathing. The slow Tai Ji movements will force the body to go through all different positions as it normally should be capable of. While, doing the movement, the breath was going down deeper and deeper into the Dan Tian while breathing. Thus having the breath to reach the Dan Tian was the ultimate goal in Tai Ji or Chi Kung. The ultimate breathing method is, now, known as the "abdominal breathing" method. It was because the Dan Tian was located below the navel at the abdomen.

 

For simplicity, let's say that there two levels in Tai Ji, the primary and secondary. The primary level is for those who had not been exercising or with chronic illnesses, especially with a breathing problem. Without exercising, the muscles are stiff and may not be able to move at any position. The reason that Tai Ji practice begins with the slow movements was to adjust the muscles gradually for getting use to the different stresses which was being applied.

 

The improvement of the breathing was being done spontaneously while performing the slow movements. After a prolong practice continuously day-by-day, the muscle were fine tuned to have better tones. The breath are going down deeper and deeper. Finally, the breath had reached down to the Dan Tian. This breathing state has being called 氣沉丹田, "Sunken the breath to the Dan Tian", throughout the last two centuries. Many people are mistakenly interpret this character 氣(Chi) as energy; and mistranslated the phrase as "move the energy to the Dan Tian".

 

With the notion of "move the energy to the Dan Tian", most people were misled that breathing has nothing to Chi Kung. That was why some people advanced quicker and some was not improving at all.

 

At the secondary level, all the muscles were transformed to fast twitch type and they are ready for action. The breathing has been able to do abdominal breathing. Hence, the practitioner at this level was capable to control the breathing to assist all the muscles to Fa Jin(發勁). It is very important that one can control the breathing. How deep the breath was will determine the amount of Jin or body strength that can be exerted to the muscles. Another word, if one wants to exert 25% of the Jin, one will control the breath to go down 25% inside the body, so to speak.

 

In order to Fa Jin, the muscle must be contracted and the breathing has to be controlled by the depth. An experienced Tai Ji practitioner will never hold the breath but always breathe smoothly in and out without a pause. Thus that will keep the lungs to exchange gas at a constantly rate.

 

PS....

Your comments are welcome....!!! :)

Edited by ChiDragon

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Does the term taiji come from Zhuxi? Isn't that concept form Neo-Confucian metaphysics that introduced the idea of a
prime mover or "supreme ultimate" (tai-ji), which not only generated the cosmic forces of yin and yang but also served as the source (and sum) of the ideal forms or "principles" (li) around which material force (qi) coalesced to form all things. But by Ch'ing times and even earlier, interest in the notion of t 'ai-chi had waned considerably. Wing-Tsit Chan indicates, for example, that even among the followers of Chu Hsi, who made the "supreme ultimate" a central feature of his elaborate metaphysical system, many downplayed the subject or virtually ignored it. "The difference between the early Ming and Ch'ing Neo-Confucianists," writes Chan, "is that the earlier philosophers turned away from the Great Ultimate (t'ai-chi) to internal cultivation, whereas the Ch'ing Neo-Confucianists turned away
from the Great Ultimate to everyday affairs."

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1 hour ago, Mig said:

Does the term taiji come from Zhuxi? Isn't that concept form Neo-Confucian metaphysics that introduced the idea of a
prime mover or "supreme ultimate" (tai-ji), which not only generated the cosmic forces of yin and yang but also served as the source (and sum) of the ideal forms or "principles" (li) around which material force (qi) coalesced to form all things. But by Ch'ing times and even earlier, interest in the notion of t 'ai-chi had waned considerably. Wing-Tsit Chan indicates, for example, that even among the followers of Chu Hsi, who made the "supreme ultimate" a central feature of his elaborate metaphysical system, many downplayed the subject or virtually ignored it. "The difference between the early Ming and Ch'ing Neo-Confucianists," writes Chan, "is that the earlier philosophers turned away from the Great Ultimate (t'ai-chi) to internal cultivation, whereas the Ch'ing Neo-Confucianists turned away
from the Great Ultimate to everyday affairs."


The term “Taiji” originates in the Yijing. It was Zhou Dunyi, who briefly taught the Cheng brothers, who elaborated on the concept in his explanation of the Taiji diagram (which probably came from Daoism). Other Neo-Confucian philosophers like Zhang Zai had differing conceptions of the Taiji.
 

Calling Taiji “prime mover” is a probably inappropriate imposition of an Aristotelian concept that doesn’t quite fit with any of the Confucian cosmologies that I’ve seen.

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I believe it said, "From change emerges Taiji, hence the two poles resulted".

If you look at the characters Tai means like "Bigger than Big". Ji meant the top of the main pillar holding up the roof, meaning the highest point. So TaiJi is like the "vast limitless nature of the universe".
 

To my knowledge the legend goes that Chen Tuan passed down his "Illustrate of Wuji" which was then later elaborated by Zhou Dunyi in his "Illustrated TaiJi". According to Chen's illustrate "From Wuji (无极) emerges TaiJi (太极)". The basic philosophy is something along the lines of originally the universe was in a chaotic state, an ultimate void, knows as an environment of "Fundamental Qi" (真气, pronounced ZhenQi). Yang begins to emerge when motions are activated in the qi. When motion reaches its full capacity, qi settles down to form the Yin. Then all things are created through an interaction if Yin(阴) and Yang(阳) Qi.

So that is to say specifically that TaiJi is the state when WuJi begins to divide into Yin and Yang, therefor the state of TaiJi is the origin of all things.

E. S. A.
The Wanderer

wujitaiji.png

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Posted (edited)
On 11/11/2020 at 11:17 PM, E. S. A. said:

I believe it said, "From change emerges Taiji, hence the two poles resulted".

If you look at the characters Tai means like "Bigger than Big". Ji meant the top of the main pillar holding up the roof, meaning the highest point. So TaiJi is like the "vast limitless nature of the universe".
 

To my knowledge the legend goes that Chen Tuan passed down his "Illustrate of Wuji" which was then later elaborated by Zhou Dunyi in his "Illustrated TaiJi". According to Chen's illustrate "From Wuji (无极) emerges TaiJi (太极)". The basic philosophy is something along the lines of originally the universe was in a chaotic state, an ultimate void, knows as an environment of "Fundamental Qi" (真气, pronounced ZhenQi). Yang begins to emerge when motions are activated in the qi. When motion reaches its full capacity, qi settles down to form the Yin. Then all things are created through an interaction if Yin(阴) and Yang(阳) Qi.

So that is to say specifically that TaiJi is the state when WuJi begins to divide into Yin and Yang, therefor the state of TaiJi is the origin of all things.

E. S. A.
The Wanderer

wujitaiji.png

Was Wuji by any chance called Moji at any point? There might be a connect to this interesting writing system, if it’s not an elaborate hoax https://okunomichi.wordpress.com/tag/moji/

 

For one thing Wuji was a Chinese name of Moji people in present day Mongolia who probably lived in Japan as well. 
 

This Wiki Taijijuan post is a bit confusing, but there is an interesting guess about Poles in Etymology https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji_(philosophy)

 

Something new to me, if you look at Polarity, North Pole might actually be positively charged, and the South Pole is negatively charged, or on getting it wrong?

 

“All magnets have two poles, where the lines of magnetic flux enter and emerge. By analogy with Earth's magnetic field, these are called the magnet's "north" and "south" poles. The convention in early compasses was to call the end of the needle pointing to Earth's North Magnetic Pole the "north pole" (or "north-seeking pole") and the other end the "south pole" (the names are often abbreviated to "N" and "S"). Because opposite poles attract, this definition means that Earth's North Magnetic Pole is actually a magnetic south pole and Earth's South Magnetic Pole is a magnetic north pole.[9][10]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Magnetic_Pole

 

Ancient Shumerians called their primary gods Anu and Ki (Anunaki), identified as a male god of the north Anu, and a goddess of the south Ki.

Edited by Blue

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