Does one need to learn of Daoism to understand Tai Chi Quan fully?

FluidSound

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I'm actually very curious about this. I've read a lot that in order to fully understand Tai Chi Quan and get it's fullest experience, you must understand it's philosophies and principles. Does that mean I must learn of Daoism? Most of Tai Chi's philosophies, if not all of them, are based on Daoist ideas and philosophies. Or do they mean something else when they say learning of it's philosophies?

What is everyone's opinion on this?
 

Uncle

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If you want to nderstand the martial art side of it, no. It would be like saying you have to understand omoto kyo to undstand aikido. If you want the philosophical side, then yes.
 
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FluidSound

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If you want to nderstand the martial art side of it, no. It would be like saying you have to understand omoto kyo to undstand aikido. If you want the philosophical side, then yes.

I see. I don't get it myself honestly. But I suppose to be a master, I should probably know it's philosophy better as well. Like, Master Wong said something though. He was like "In order to understand and get along with me, you have to be at the same wavelength as me. You have to have the same mindset as me when it comes to Tai Chi or else, you and I won't get along. You won't understand me."
 

sicko

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I don't think you NEED to learn it.
All you need to know about Dao can be learned practicing taijiquan. But if you want to implement Tai Chi in your everyday life and if you seek balance may be good to understand the philosophical part as well.
I don't get it too much as well. I own a Tao Te Ching book from Lao Tsu, witch I read time to time and try to understand it. But a great book that talks about Tai Chi in everyday life is:
The Middle Path of Tai Chi - Peter Newton
http://www.indiaclub.com/shop/SearchResults.asp?prodstock=24126

Maybe will help you to understand better your need to understand the Dao.
 
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FluidSound

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Thanks Sicko... I guess, I should also rephrase my question a bit.

What are the benefits of learning the philosophies and healthy side of Tai Chi Quan?
 

Xue Sheng

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You do not need to learn Taoism to understand Taijiquan. The Chen family are not Taoists the Yang family are not the Wu family the Sun, the Hao family are not, Zhaobao people are not. My Sifu is not and his sifu Tung Sigung, was not either. You would get more out of reading the books by the Chen family or Yang family or their students. My sifu red his teachers book and his Sigung's book but did not study Taoism. I am not sure if it was Yang Chengfu, Tung Ying Chieh, Fu Zhongwen or one of the Chen family, or all of them, but you are better off spending more time in practicing the form then reading about it

Taiji was not based on Taoism but it does have some connection to the Tao De Ching.... which is (one of many) Taoist book... but it is not the Taoism it is what the book is saying and not worrying about the Taoism of it. There are a lot of books and philosophy and beliefs that are Taoist that have nothing to do with Taijiquan
 

Xue Sheng

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Taoism isn't really something you learn.
More a state of mind.
Anyone interested could do worse than looking at the
Tao Bums
online-forum.
http://thetaobums.com/

Great Website
icon14.png
 

oaktree

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Hi FluidSound, Daoism has a lot of different branches so depends on what area of concentration or school.
The best way to learn and understand Taijiquan philosophies and principles is to study and practice Taijiquan philosophies and principles.
Listening to your teacher on how to practice Taijiquan will help you more then Zhuang Zi talking about finding the Dao in excrement.

The Dao De Jing has this quote verse 78
That the yielding conquers the resistant and the soft conquers the hard is a fact known by all men, yet utilized by none.
I think learning yielding in push hands illustrates the point better after you see your opponent loose his balance.

Many people who do Baguazhang read the Yijing to understand the trigrams and they say it helps their Baguazhang. I think walking circle and doing the figure 8 step makes your Baguazhang better.

I guess it could be worse you could be reading a smut magazine to improve your Taijiquan.:uhyeah:
 

GrandmasterP

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I had a go at golf. Was OK.
Decided to take some lessons from the club pro.
After that I was useless, too much thinking.
Pakua was what I did, now I'm old I don't do it, I teach QiGong.
Same as with golf the more I think about the abstract 'theory' the less good the actual practical playing becomes.
Taoism is interesting and that TTB forum is a blast but anyone seriously intending on cultivating a MA would be better advised to sticking to what their teacher teaches and leave the philosophising inside the myriad books and DVDs on offer.
 

Quotheraving

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Daoist philosophy isn't essential to the practice of Taiji.
However if you are of a philosophical disposition then you may well find that the two are mutually supportive. I guess it is a bit like a train enthusiast getting a certain extra kick from riding on a vintage train.

The natural state of mind however (which is the aim of Daoism) is immensely beneficial.
 

pete

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Does one NEED?
I guess you can learn tai chi without an understanding of the taoist philosophies, but meditating on them does support and add meaning to the art.
I guess you can also learn tai chi without the underlying qigong practices, but developing the energetic component does support and add meaning to the art.
I guess you can also learn tai chi without practicing the martial applications, but fighting and self defense skills will also support and add meaning to the art.
I guess you can also learn tai chi without practicing a form, but the form provides a physical structure and catalog of movements that will support and add meaning to the art.
I guess you can pick and choose from the tai chi menu and learn various pieces of tai chi that capture your interest, but tai chi becomes more meaningful as a whole.

pete.
 

Xue Sheng

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Want to learn Daoism...start with the Neiye and Daozang because there is much more to Daoism than the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching/Dao De Jing), However Taijiquan is in part based on the Daodejing so it may help to read the Daodejing
 

mograph

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Happy new year, everyone. In my opinion, the connection between Taoism and Taijiquan can be summed up this way:

To succeed, sometimes you make things happen, and sometimes you let things happen.

That's not the end, of course, but it may be a beginning of sorts.
 

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