Tai chi breathing

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disciple

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I just wanna know...do you guys incorporate the breathing exercise while practicing tai chi forms? I am just wondering because a lot of my classmates don't. They say the forms are hard enough to remember :D. So while I am drenched in sweat after a while of practicing, they are still fresh. :eek:

salute

:asian:
 

Dronak

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Well, I would think that if you've learned a breathing pattern you should be including it in your practice. That's still a part of the form, right? Our teacher told us just to breathe naturally for now while we're learning the form. I suspect that once we get through the whole thing and know all the moves, he'll start introducing things like the breathing pattern. But when you're just beginning, thinking about too much at once can mean you don't get any of it right. In that case it is easier to ignore the breathing in favor of learning how to do the moves. But once you get that part down, other things should be added to it such as breathing or maybe making sure everything flows at a nice, smooth, constant rate. Personally, I think I already have a feel for the general breathing pattern, so I usually try to add it in to the practice, but I don't worry if I mess it up or need some extra breaths or something. Since I'm still in the learning the moves stage, breathing isn't at the top of my list of things to concentrate on doing right at the moment.
 

old_sempai

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:asian:

Locate a copy of a book entitled: "The Science of Breath." I got mine through Bugei in California. It was written in 1905 by a Yoga and contains information on various types of breathing, including one called: "Revitalizing Breath," a type of breathing exercise similar to one used in Go Ju Karate [and the book was written long before Go Ju came into existence]. The breathing exercise I use [when I find time to do Tai chi] is Deep Abdominal Breathing. I find this type breathing permits "keeping up with the instructor " while staying relaxed. I also use it whenever I'm doing "Self-defense drills" in Nihon Goshin Aikido, it gives me one h..ll of a Kiai as well, and I never "run out of breath." And hey, I'm 61 this year [yuck - you had to make me say that didn't you?] Oh well!

All in all a very, very good book, and certainly worth the money.

Regards

:asian:
 

Keith Kirkendall

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Breaths of taijiquan. Cleansing breath(in through nose-out through mouth, tip of tongue touching where top teeth and roof of mouth meet; this connects the GV and CV...REN MAI and DU MAI). Tonifying breath(in through mouth-out through nose, tongue touching the same). Natural breath(in and out through nose, tongue touching the same). Reverse breath(in through nose-out through mouth, tongue touching the same...when you breathe in, your diaphragm should be contracting; when you breathe out, your diaphragm should be expanding). Tortoise breath(breathe in through nose-out through mouth, tongue touching then same...in tortoise breath, you breathe in and hold for about a minute, then breathe out and hold for about a minute...this takes practice to get up to a minute for in and out breaths).
 

cwalker

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One of my favorite books on Chi Gung described the awareness you need to bring to your breathing as "Imagine you are inhaling a delicate silk thread and if you breathe too harshly, quickly, or spasmodically, it will break". It's a fantastic image for me and one I've tried to keep in mind when connecting my breathing with my movements in Tai Chi. It's not easy but it does bring an incredible focus to the moment.
 

Xue Sheng

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I see this is posts origin is quite old (2002) but breathing and taiji.

To quote my sifu and his sifu when asked about breathing Yes you should

Breathing should not be of concern when starting Taiji. Breathing will develop naturally, just give it time.
 

East Winds

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When you are able to develop and issue Jin within your form, then breathing becomes important. Until then, breath as and when you need to.

Very best wishes
 

marlon

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the breathing that TT Liang describes in his book is the breathing that i teach in kempo and that i was taught by my original kempo teacher.

respectfully,
Marlon
 

Bob Klein

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One of the points of disagreement in Tai-chi is whether to breathe in for a striking motion or breathe out. In my line of training, we breathe in for the exerting movement. The reasoning is as follows:
In Tai-chi, the basic force is not muscle tension but internal energy which goes along with the expansion of the body. This expansion originates with the breath in the center of the body and expands spherically, both pressing into the ground and into the person you are striking. It is like an air bag in the car with expands to keep you pressed into your seat and away from the dashboard and windshield.
It is important to expand equally in all directions to that you are really expanding from the ground and not from the back or shoulders. When you relax and sink back, you breathe out.
It is also important to keep the center of your attention within the center of the breath at the tan-tien and not keep the center of attention in the head. Your attention also expands spherically out from your center.
The dynamics of attention and breath are probably the hardest part of the training and come after you have learned the form well. But I prefer to mention these issues even to beginners so they have a perspective of what they are learning.
The pace of the breath must match the pace of the movement so that you turn, sink, rise and shift weight at the same pace as you breathe. That pace should, of course, be as slow as possible in your slow forms (as opposed to animal and weapons forms which can be faster even in Tai-chi. Many people do not know there are faster forms in Tai-chi).
Bringing these breathing principles into Push Hands is very important. There is such a tendency to use physical force in Push Hands. When the student uses proper breathing he or she feels that he didn't do anything and yet the partner is thrown a great distance. The greater the push, the more the student feels he didn't do anything. This is because the force comes from the proper alignment of breath with body mechanics and this requires very little outward physical activity.
Proper breathing has to become part of the efforlessness of Tai-chi.
Bob
 

Kwanslove

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Taiji is breath. Any teacher not teaching breath is not a true master.

Taiji is Dao Yin or Inner Alchemy and comes from Wudang Mountain.

Secular Taiji comes from Chen Village. If you're still convinced Taiji comes from Chen Villiage then you'll never ever come to know real Taiji.

Wudang has many differents styles of Taiji all hundreds of years old. Most of them incorporate breath into every movement. Inhaling is yin. Exhaling is Yang. Movements toward the body are inhales and from the body exhales. Downward movements are inhales. Upward movements are exhales. Fast movements are quick breaths of alternating inhales and exhales.

You can't do the breathing with Chen because Chen is too hard. Chen has too many fast explosive movements and some of the movements block qi. Wudang was designed to allow qi flow through every movement so you can breath in the correct pattern.
 

Xue Sheng

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Taiji is breath. Any teacher not teaching breath is not a true master.

Taiji is Dao Yin or Inner Alchemy and comes from Wudang Mountain.

Secular Taiji comes from Chen Village. If you're still convinced Taiji comes from Chen Villiage then you'll never ever come to know real Taiji.

Wudang has many differents styles of Taiji all hundreds of years old. Most of them incorporate breath into every movement. Inhaling is yin. Exhaling is Yang. Movements toward the body are inhales and from the body exhales. Downward movements are inhales. Upward movements are exhales. Fast movements are quick breaths of alternating inhales and exhales.

You can't do the breathing with Chen because Chen is too hard. Chen has too many fast explosive movements and some of the movements block qi. Wudang was designed to allow qi flow through every movement so you can breath in the correct pattern.

Chen fast movements are based in fajin which is not hard and it is necessary to NOT block any flow of Qi for fajin to work properly. Yang style Taiji removed many of the obvious Fajin moves but do not let that fool you they are still there

And if you are referring to Taiji coming from Wudang via Zhang Shanfeng it would then be from the Yuan Dynasty and be from somewhere between 1271 to 1368 or 736 to 639 years ago and Chen origin is form Chen Wangting who lived from I believe form 1600 to 1680. OR the end of the Ming Dynasty to the beginning of Qing Dynasty, or 407 to 327 years ago, so both are hundreds of years old.

And Taiji is not Daoyin, Qigong is Daoyin. The terminology Qigong is fairly new, prior to that it was called Daoyin. Qigong or Daoyin is part of Taijiquan but it is not Taijiquan
 

Kwanslove

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The Chinese Language translated over into english is what's confusing you. There's different levels of the Chinese language kungfu, qi-gong, TCM and accuncture belong to the scholarly and scientific level but when it's translated into english it's translated into simple everyday english instead of it's counter part of scientific english. External, Internal, Hard and Soft are confusing terms and don't totally describe all of the essence of what is going on in Chinese meaning for these terms. Ask any Chinese scientific educated person he or she will tell you the same that that language is saying much more than we're getting in english from these simplified translations. Many Kungfu experts some them being uneducated just keep on using these terms too and they don't have complete knowledge of the body, kinesiology, musculouskeletal systems and scienitific analyses of the arts. Which is why Grand Master Wang Gong Xi instructed his students and other Chinese masters to learn Western sciences of the human body and sports sciences.

External styles are anaerobic meaning you can only do hard and explosive movements in secssions about 15 to 20's seconds before your body goes into fatique with the exception of elite high level practioners who can go a little longer. This is the reason Japanese Katas which are very powerful moves in secssion are not effective for long endurance fighting.

Internal styles are aerobic meaning they allow the body to suppy oxygen/qi to the muscles and allow for long periods of exercise. There is more in air than just oxygen but let's keep this discussion simple.

Taiji was designed By Zhang San Feng from a template of Liu He Ba Fa created by Chen Tuan based upon other Taoists martial arts that incorporated Lao Tzu's water principles as the foundation of their styles.

ZSF used mostly Shaolin's Crane and Snake style then added it with Water Style to create Taiji. Water Style which was a smaller set was redesigned by Lee Dong Feng Chen's Tuan's cheif disciple to add Xingyi and Bagua into it and thus made it longer. Let's not go any further with this history for now.

Breath is the most important part of Taiji as well as softness. The movements are not abriature movements were selected from other kung fu styles based upon accupuncture. The point is certain movements allowed the qi to flow more fleely to all points of the body. Qi is oxygen so oxygen is always presents to provide energy for every cell within the body including the muscles. Also slowing up the breath to complete the movement raised the kundalini spirit which leads to enlightenment and opens the door to true Taoism. (A note: Qi Gong and all along with Lao Tzu and DaMo come from India and India Yoga and the concern with enlightment and longevity was always the chief purpose). Taiji is just the begining level of Taosist practice and a very good starting point. Taiji is qi-gong just like Dao yin although the two are sperate both if performed correctly both do the same thing and complement each other. Wudang Taiji 13 is the most brilliant of all the styles is a wonderful creation and pure genesis.

The agurment about Chen's some uneducated farmer creating Taiji is more of a hope for poor people than making any practical sense. True most hermits, Taoists, Monks and priest were poor but most of them sought enlightment which is knowledge. They gave up their want for material things and sought supreme knowledge of the natural world. Let's see Taoists had the great Chen Tuan, Hou Long, Lao Tzu, Zhang San Feng, Lee Dong Feng and many knowledgable priests, royal family and a collective that gave birth to the whole Internal system while Chen Village only had the great ancestor Chen. Which is more a myth? It is more believable that a group of people with higher education although poor created an art as sophistacted as Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, Baquaquan and Liu He Ba Fa than some uneducated poor farmers used by the government to fight for whatever regime at the time. It's more patriotic to say that Farmers who fought patrioticly created Taiji although there's no evidence that they even had any knowledge of accupuncture, qi-gong, inner alchemy or any of the components that make up the sophisticated art of Taijiquan. It would do better if we do research and approach this with an open mind then emotionally attach ourselves to a belief because that's what traditionally believed. In conclusion, Taiji is Inner Alchemy and Dao Yin combined with kung fu although not explicially kung fu it just utilizes kung fu movements to circulate qi within moving qi gong.
 

Xue Sheng

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The Chinese Language translated over into english is what's confusing you. There's different levels of the Chinese language kungfu, qi-gong, TCM and accuncture belong to the scholarly and scientific level but when it's translated into english it's translated into simple everyday english instead of it's counter part of scientific english. External, Internal, Hard and Soft are confusing terms and don't totally describe all of the essence of what is going on in Chinese meaning for these terms. Ask any Chinese scientific educated person he or she will tell you the same that that language is saying much more than we're getting in english from these simplified translations. Many Kungfu experts some them being uneducated just keep on using these terms too and they don't have complete knowledge of the body, kinesiology, musculouskeletal systems and scienitific analyses of the arts. Which is why Grand Master Wang Gong Xi instructed his students and other Chinese masters to learn Western sciences of the human body and sports sciences.

External styles are anaerobic meaning you can only do hard and explosive movements in secssions about 15 to 20's seconds before your body goes into fatique with the exception of elite high level practioners who can go a little longer. This is the reason Japanese Katas which are very powerful moves in secssion are not effective for long endurance fighting.

Internal styles are aerobic meaning they allow the body to suppy oxygen/qi to the muscles and allow for long periods of exercise. There is more in air than just oxygen but let's keep this discussion simple.

Taiji was designed By Zhang San Feng from a template of Liu He Ba Fa created by Chen Tuan based upon other Taoists martial arts that incorporated Lao Tzu's water principles as the foundation of their styles.

ZSF used mostly Shaolin's Crane and Snake style then added it with Water Style to create Taiji. Water Style which was a smaller set was redesigned by Lee Dong Feng Chen's Tuan's cheif disciple to add Xingyi and Bagua into it and thus made it longer. Let's not go any further with this history for now.

Breath is the most important part of Taiji as well as softness. The movements are not abriature movements were selected from other kung fu styles based upon accupuncture. The point is certain movements allowed the qi to flow more fleely to all points of the body. Qi is oxygen so oxygen is always presents to provide energy for every cell within the body including the muscles. Also slowing up the breath to complete the movement raised the kundalini spirit which leads to enlightenment and opens the door to true Taoism. (A note: Qi Gong and all along with Lao Tzu and DaMo come from India and India Yoga and the concern with enlightment and longevity was always the chief purpose). Taiji is just the begining level of Taosist practice and a very good starting point. Taiji is qi-gong just like Dao yin although the two are sperate both if performed correctly both do the same thing and complement each other. Wudang Taiji 13 is the most brilliant of all the styles is a wonderful creation and pure genesis.

The agurment about Chen's some uneducated farmer creating Taiji is more of a hope for poor people than making any practical sense. True most hermits, Taoists, Monks and priest were poor but most of them sought enlightment which is knowledge. They gave up their want for material things and sought supreme knowledge of the natural world. Let's see Taoists had the great Chen Tuan, Hou Long, Lao Tzu, Zhang San Feng, Lee Dong Feng and many knowledgable priests, royal family and a collective that gave birth to the whole Internal system while Chen Village only had the great ancestor Chen. Which is more a myth? It is more believable that a group of people with higher education although poor created an art as sophistacted as Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, Baquaquan and Liu He Ba Fa than some uneducated poor farmers used by the government to fight for whatever regime at the time. It's more patriotic to say that Farmers who fought patrioticly created Taiji although there's no evidence that they even had any knowledge of accupuncture, qi-gong, inner alchemy or any of the components that make up the sophisticated art of Taijiquan. It would do better if we do research and approach this with an open mind then emotionally attach ourselves to a belief because that's what traditionally believed. In conclusion, Taiji is Inner Alchemy and Dao Yin combined with kung fu although not explicially kung fu it just utilizes kung fu movements to circulate qi within moving qi gong.

Your post has told me all I need to know about you and please do not go any further into the history I am not sure I can take much more of that.

Your post is also rather pompous and presumptuous since you know nothing of my background in CMA, and things Chinese.

There is a great article on Taiji origin in the latest issue of Journal of Martial arts; you may want to read it

Later.
 

Kwanslove

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Who you are? Should it matter? Truth has no bearing upon personage. No one man can claim to know it all.

This idea that you have that you're somebody because of your background is pompous. It's the same idea that allows many to believe that one man created Taijiquan instead of a collective which I described above. No art as sophisticated as Taijiquan appears out of the blue. There had to be precursors to the art. Chinese History shows there were plenty of theories floating around. 7 of the ten principles of Taijiquan were already written down by Lee Dong Feng in his book on Liu He Ba Fa. Coincidence? I think not and to think these kungfu experts just wrote them down and then sat around just thinking about them but never developed forms to demostrate these Taiji principles that's preponderous!

I know the Chinese way not to challenge hardened ideas but that's not how it is in the West. Here you have to prove your theories and demostrate them and show they are proven. This is why Bruce Lee was so successful in gaining a world wide audience because he demostrated his theories. Taiji was never created to be a fighting art per see although it can be used for self defense. Taiji was created to be a spiritual opener to Taoism by it's founder Zhang San Feng. There were many such qi-gongs forms stringed together but ZSF's formed was more appealing because had Shaolin kung fu added to it. Shaolin has had an influence on all of Chinese martial arts. The Chen Villiage people took the Shaolin Red Fist and were practicing it for hundreds of years before Taiji came to their villiage. Chen people modified Taiji and made it more explosive and used hard training to make the body more indestructible. But nevertheless they didn't create Taiji and Yang Lu Chan said it was the Wudang Priests who created it and the Yang family continues to say it. The Communist regime is gone, History! It's persecution against free thinking Taoists and people who didn't conform to the it's doctrine are gone with it.

I will post an article written about Taiji and Breath. It goes into the some of the intricate details about how Taiji without regulation of breath isn't Taiji. It's true people are going around promoting Taiji as a marital art and now even as a healing exercise. When the history of Taiji lies with those who created it wanted to seek enlightment. The science of breath says not only does controlling the breath leads to good health but also enlightment if learned from an qualified teacher. General Lee the great master called "King of the sword" modified Wudang Taiji to include Xingyi and Baqua because in battle you need more than Taiji to win. Taiji is an advanced level art if used for fighting it was not designed to teach people who don't have fighting experience to fight against good fighters. This is why Yang Lu Chan only taught people who know how to fight already. Yang himself knew how to fight before learning Taiji. You must learn some hard, fast explosive training before you go into battle against other styles like Bak Mei, Hung Gar, MMA and Wing Chun. You get your azzkicked if you go against these styles just only knowing Taiji. This proves that Taiji was created to not be a martial art but only utilized martial art movements to move qi throughout the body while moving about. The Chen's modification is probably the best when it comes making Taiji into a marital art because they used a very powerful Shaolin style called Red Fists to make Taiji hard and explosive. Soft skills are highly important to mature martial artists who know you can easily defeat fire with water and hurt yourself and maybe lose the fight if you try to use fire against fire. But Taiji is not the only soft style there are Xingyi, Bagua, Cotton Fists and a few others not as known. To further illustrate the theory of using hard explosive training and having success in fighting look at Liu He Xingyi Quan which uses hard explosive energy combine with soft skill and has a record for being very destructive martial art. Also Bak Mei using a 50/50 formula and most of Emei and they martial arts are almost unmatched in battle real battle situations. Again Taiji isn't a martial art it is designed for spiritual purposes and breathing is an essential component without it there is no Taiji.
 

Xue Sheng

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Who you are? Should it matter? Truth has no bearing upon personage. No one man can claim to know it all.

This idea that you have that you're somebody because of your background is pompous. It's the same idea that allows many to believe that one man created Taijiquan instead of a collective which I described above. No art as sophisticated as Taijiquan appears out of the blue. There had to be precursors to the art. Chinese History shows there were plenty of theories floating around. 7 of the ten principles of Taijiquan were already written down by Lee Dong Feng in his book on Liu He Ba Fa. Coincidence? I think not and to think these kungfu experts just wrote them down and then sat around just thinking about them but never developed forms to demostrate these Taiji principles that's preponderous!

I know the Chinese way not to challenge hardened ideas but that's not how it is in the West. Here you have to prove your theories and demostrate them and show they are proven. This is why Bruce Lee was so successful in gaining a world wide audience because he demostrated his theories. Taiji was never created to be a fighting art per see although it can be used for self defense. Taiji was created to be a spiritual opener to Taoism by it's founder Zhang San Feng. There were many such qi-gongs forms stringed together but ZSF's formed was more appealing because had Shaolin kung fu added to it. Shaolin has had an influence on all of Chinese martial arts. The Chen Villiage people took the Shaolin Red Fist and were practicing it for hundreds of years before Taiji came to their villiage. Chen people modified Taiji and made it more explosive and used hard training to make the body more indestructible. But nevertheless they didn't create Taiji and Yang Lu Chan said it was the Wudang Priests who created it and the Yang family continues to say it. The Communist regime is gone, History! It's persecution against free thinking Taoists and people who didn't conform to the it's doctrine are gone with it.

I will post an article written about Taiji and Breath. It goes into the some of the intricate details about how Taiji without regulation of breath isn't Taiji. It's true people are going around promoting Taiji as a marital art and now even as a healing exercise. When the history of Taiji lies with those who created it wanted to seek enlightment. The science of breath says not only does controlling the breath leads to good health but also enlightment if learned from an qualified teacher. General Lee the great master called "King of the sword" modified Wudang Taiji to include Xingyi and Baqua because in battle you need more than Taiji to win. Taiji is an advanced level art if used for fighting it was not designed to teach people who don't have fighting experience to fight against good fighters. This is why Yang Lu Chan only taught people who know how to fight already. Yang himself knew how to fight before learning Taiji. You must learn some hard, fast explosive training before you go into battle against other styles like Bak Mei, Hung Gar, MMA and Wing Chun. You get your azzkicked if you go against these styles just only knowing Taiji. This proves that Taiji was created to not be a martial art but only utilized martial art movements to move qi throughout the body while moving about. The Chen's modification is probably the best when it comes making Taiji into a marital art because they used a very powerful Shaolin style called Red Fists to make Taiji hard and explosive. Soft skills are highly important to mature martial artists who know you can easily defeat fire with water and hurt yourself and maybe lose the fight if you try to use fire against fire. But Taiji is not the only soft style there are Xingyi, Bagua, Cotton Fists and a few others not as known. To further illustrate the theory of using hard explosive training and having success in fighting look at Liu He Xingyi Quan which uses hard explosive energy combine with soft skill and has a record for being very destructive martial art. Also Bak Mei using a 50/50 formula and most of Emei and they martial arts are almost unmatched in battle real battle situations. Again Taiji isn't a martial art it is designed for spiritual purposes and breathing is an essential component without it there is no Taiji.

Intersting view on Yang history and Yang Luchan there although I don't think the Yang family would agree, but it appears you feel you know more than them anyway but just a point

Yang Lu Chan only taught people who know how to fight already

So who taught Jainhou and Banhou before Yang Luchan taught his sons?

More on this post of your later but first let me get to this

I never made any mention to knowing who I am and I got to tell you your post is all over the map here. I did say your post has told me all I need to know about you.

But what I find interesting here is that you are talking about the Chen family history as if I made any statement to its validity and I never said I thought the origin of Taijiquan was exclusively from the Chen family. Frankly I think there is a bit of story telling and mythology there as well. Not as much as surrounding, Zhang Sanfeng, but still a bit of myth.

Also I need to correct you view of the Chen family since it is well, incorrect. Although they are farmers referingg to them as uneducated and calling them farmers
Chen's some uneducated farmer creating Taiji
is well, wrong.

The member of the Chen family that is credited with inventing Taiji is Chen Wangting (1600-1680) who was not a farmer but a Ming Dynasty officer who was a warrior and a scholar. Not uneducated and not unfamiliar with martial arts and fighting, farming came later and after him his family are mainly farmers and Chen taijiquan practitioners.

And now this point

(A note: Qi Gong and all along with Lao Tzu and DaMo come from India and India Yoga and the concern with enlightment and longevity was always the chief purpose).

Qigong coming from India; actually the terminology Qigong was not used until the 1960s so I doubt it came from India but regardless, possible some but not all.

Da Mo; IF he existed he most certainly came from India, but again I doubt much of the Da Mo story as well. Particularly the whole cave bit of the story

Lao Tzu; nope, not from India he was, if he existed, Chinese. Actually there are a few Chinese historians that live and work in China that think they may actually have figured out who Lao Tzu was and again he was Chinese born and raised.

Also any thing Taoist is said to be from China, not external to China therefore not from India and there are some rather old Taoist qigong (daoyin) practices. Taoism is Chinas indigenous religion.

And now to the point of the story; Zhang Sanfeng

Taiji was designed By Zhang San Feng from a template of Liu He Ba Fa created by Chen Tuan based upon other Taoists martial arts that incorporated Lao Tzu's water principles as the foundation of their styles.
ZSF used mostly Shaolin's Crane and Snake style then added it with Water Style to create Taiji. Water Style which was a smaller set was redesigned by Lee Dong Feng Chen's Tuan's chief disciple to add Xingyi and Bagua into it and thus made it longer. Let's not go any further with this history for now.

I am going to just ignore the Liu He Ba Fa stuff since its true origin is pretty vague and once again referring to a cave but this time with wall carvings.

You claim Zhang Sanfeng created taijiquan; ok which one?

Zhang Sanfeng is not mentioned throughout Chinese history until the 1650s in the Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan written by Huang Zongxi (1610-1695) [note: Chen Wangting 1600-1680] and he is mentioned there Wang Zhengnan is the only living successor to the martial arts lineage of neijia of which Zhang Sanfeng is the founder. He refers to Zhang Sanfeng as a Taoist alchemist and says that Zhang Sanfeng revised Shaolin style to emphasis offense and defense using softness and not relying on hardness. However it is not called taiji it is called Baiji by Wangs son and it has little in common with taijiquan with no internal training and it is big on pressure point techniques. But it is a soft style like taiji.

But to the reference to Zhang Sanfeng in the Epitaph; it is believed it is more of a political move than a historical reference. A bit of take that you foreign Manchu oppressors kind of thing.

And now back to which Zhang Sanfeng?

The one I previously mentioned from the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) as stated by Sun Lutang
or the ones that were mentioned by Xu Yusheng who associated the name Zhang Sanfeng with at lest 10 different people but ultimately puts Zhang Sanfeng in the Sung Dynasty (969-1126) and who had hundreds of disciples in Shaanxi. And of course there is the Zhang Sanfeng born in 1247 during the Southern Sung Dynasty (1127-1279) and there is another reference to him by another author that puts him in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

In China since 1650 Zhang Sanfeng has been called a Taoist, a Shaolin Master, a Warrior and a Confucian by various rather well trained and reputable Chinese writers that were writing the facts about Zhang Sanfengbased on hear say and myth.

And it has also been said since 1650 that Zhang Sanfeng created taiji by watching a snake and a bird fight. And of course back to a cave; by being lead by a mysterious light into a cave (Martial arts founders like caves apparently) where he found 2 golden snakes and a book that gave him the idea for taijiquan. and it is also said that he took from the Yellow Emperor and Lao Tzu to devise taiji.

There is a rather long list of reputable authors since 1650 that have written histories of taijiquan that have linked it to Zhang Sanfeng in various ways but few have ever given any biographical information about him beyond myth. So far the only ones that completely ignore Zhang Senfeng is the Chen family and they have good reason to since it does not align with their taiji creation story.

This is part of my problem with the whole Zhang Sanfeng issue and the history you are posting; it is mostly based on myth.

There are a number of Chinese historians in China researching Chinese martial arts and their origins and so far none have come up with any proof that someone names Zhang Senfeng created taiji or created anything for that matter because they can find no record that he even existed and I doubt they are having any problem with translating Chinese.

You see Chinese history is punctuated with myth. A good example Yue Fei (1103-1142) although a real person and military officer is credited with the founding of several martial arts styles when if fact he nothing to do with most or any of them. It is an attempt at legitimacy or outright salesmanship by the person teaching the art. Yue Fei was a great warrior but he was not as prolific (in his short life) at developing martial arts styles as he is given credit for.

I am at a point where I believe that someone somewhere was a martial artists and did a lot of study of the "I Ching" and possibly daoyin (qigong) and you end up with taiji was it the Chen family? Could be. Could be that someone did develop something akin to the 13 postures and the melded that with a type of Qi training which was later picked up by the Chen family and melded with Paoqui (this has been put forth as a possibility by a couple of Chinese historians but the way) Could be that it originated with a Taoist on Wudang mountain, could be it was a Shaolin Master that converted to Taoism and came up with it could be any number of possible combinations of things but I do not know and the people that are trying to figure this out in China do not know either.

But you seem to be pretty convinced so maybe you better contact a few of the larger Chinese Universities and tell them what you know and how you know this. I can give you a couple of names to contact if you like maybe you can set them straight.

As to your article I would need to know who wrote it as well but it is nice to see that you are telling everyone that many of the excepted Taiji masters of the past are completely wrong when it comes to breathing. Also if your posting anything that is alleged to be written by Zhang Sanfeng I will tell you now I will not take it as any sort of legitimate document, just reread my post if you want to know why I would say that.

Also if you dont mind, exactly how long have you trained taiji and who was your teacher or your teachers teacher
 

oxy

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It's the same idea that allows many to believe that one man created Taijiquan instead of a collective which I described above. No art as sophisticated as Taijiquan appears out of the blue. There had to be precursors to the art. Chinese History shows there were plenty of theories floating around. 7 of the ten principles of Taijiquan were already written down by Lee Dong Feng in his book on Liu He Ba Fa. Coincidence? I think not and to think these kungfu experts just wrote them down and then sat around just thinking about them but never developed forms to demostrate these Taiji principles that's preponderous!

There are many fallacies and strawman assumptions here.

No one said that Chen completely invented Taiji. Of course there were precursors. The mistake that most people make when they read the word "create" is they assume "make from scratch". As far as Chen Taiji is concerned

There are similarities between LHBF and Taiji, but that does not imply that they're related in the way you imply. You have to understand that the Chinese Classics, Yi Jing and others, have the biggest impact on Chinese culture and philosophy. The Yi Jing is so pervasive that many sayings, figure of speech and phrases in modern Chinese comes from the Yi Jing. That LHBF and Taiji expresses similar ideas only points to the fact that the Yi Jing is pervasive. Nothing else.
 

Xue Sheng

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Oxy

Thank You :asian:

XS

Now let me get this over with

Chen's modification is probably the best when it comes making Taiji into
a marital art because they used a very powerful Shaolin style called Red Fists to make Taiji hard
and explosive

Actually they used a Shaolin style called "Cannon fist" or "Paochui" not "red fist" which would I believe be "h籀ngchui"

Soft skills are highly important to mature martial artists who know you can easily defeat fire with water and hurt yourself and maybe lose the fight if you try to use fire against fire.

Just as a point of interest here Wood creates fire, fire creates earth, and earth creates metal, metal creates water, water creates wood

Wood conquers Earth, Earth conquers water, water conquers fire, fire conquers metal, and metal conquers wood

This is Xingyiquan philosophy of fighting not taijiquan philosophy of fighting they are quite different actually

Cotton Fists

is allegedly what Yang Luchan first called Yang Taijiquan

And for the record Yang Luchan studied some Changchuan prior to training Chen. At about 21 he started studying Chen, or trying to, because he was so impressed by what he saw a Chen practitioner do in a fight.

Taiji isn't a martial art it is designed for spiritual purposes and breathing is an essential component without it there is no Taiji.

And that is pure rubbish.

You remind me of a guy I did Taiji Sanshou with once that was horrible at it he said the following to me while I was talking to him afterwards about taiji and martial arts "

he said
"I do not DO martial arts.... I DO taiji"

who in the context of the moment was saying he and his skills were superior to all other martial artist because of that simple fact. I looked at him smiled turned and walked away because someone with that attitude does not belong in martial arts or taiji they are fooling themselves about their level of skill and knowledge of the style and to be honest I sincerely hope he never has to find out the truth, the hard way. I hope you never have to find this out either, I honestly wish you all the best but I truly believe further discussion with you on this topic is a complete waste of my time. You already believe yourself to be a high level master when in fact all your posts have shown is you still have a lot to learn.

And when you answer, if you do, please do not forget my post previous to this as well, especially the part about how much taiji have you studied and what is the lineage.
 

Kwanslove

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There are many fallacies and strawman assumptions here.

No one said that Chen completely invented Taiji. Of course there were precursors. The mistake that most people make when they read the word "create" is they assume "make from scratch". As far as Chen Taiji is concerned

There are similarities between LHBF and Taiji, but that does not imply that they're related in the way you imply. You have to understand that the Chinese Classics, Yi Jing and others, have the biggest impact on Chinese culture and philosophy. The Yi Jing is so pervasive that many sayings, figure of speech and phrases in modern Chinese comes from the Yi Jing. That LHBF and Taiji expresses similar ideas only points to the fact that the Yi Jing is pervasive. Nothing else.


Oh! So you're one of these multi-genesis theorists? I have a teacher who is a great Taiji player. He's Chinese and a Scholar and has been studying Taiji since he was 5 years old. He's right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. He does'nt believe that Taiji comes from Wudang that Chen created it. But after much discussion with him about Liu He Ba Fa history he's sort of retracted a bit into this multi-genesis theory. Since he can't prove that Chen created Taiji..founded Taiji, established Taiji or whatever word you want to use, he jumps to this he believes Taiji maybe have been invented at the same time in different places. He has utterly no proof of this mind you! Yet he of all the years he's studied Taiji and mastered all the five major known styles, Chen, Wu, Wu/Hao, Sun and Yang yet he's never visited Wudang. He doesn't even know any Wudang movements and he's never even seen any of the forms. He's never spoken to any Wudang Master's or Priests to get their side of the story or any Liu He Ba Fa Master's and got their side of the story yet he's convinced of his multi-genesis theory. Mind you that when I first meet him he believed Taiji came only from Chen.

This half investigation into the facts and omitting some because they may come from unacceptable sources is the root of the problem. Also the arrogance in refusing to hear all sides. Most of the people coming from China now are indoctrinated by the Cultrual Revolution. To disagree with the established Communists regime was punishable by death, imprisonment, toture and the ruining of your kungfu career at the public level. The Communists did this to you if you supported beliefs and philosophies that threatened their ideas of foward progress. Many of the great Kungfu lineage holders of Wudang and Liu He Ba Fa all Taoists scattered out to other Asians countries or remained hidden in China due to this Communists threat. If you just speak to some of them you will hear them tell of their long history of internal martial arts also their spiritual view upon these arts.

And Xue Sheng,

You lean to hard upon your accomplishments and take too much pride in your progress to have an open mind. Just because you know how to fight using Taiji doesn't mean anything. Just because you've studied with a Who's Who of Taiji doesn't mean nothing either. Truth has no bearing upon status and heirarchies. Just like the Taiji teacher I've meet above you may have been privellenged to studied under some great names and get a solid foundation in techniques that doesn't make you the final authority. Truth is the final authority. Taiji like any soft skills combined with some hard training and good technique is very superior to many other approaches in fighting. My personal belief and encounters with different styles and seeing them in action no external style or internal styles is better than the other but a combination of both is superior. Such styles like Bak Mei which using virtually attack as defense and using external and internal prinicples is the most superior in fighting. Yang did have some hard fighting behind him and just because he was only 21 doesn't mean he wasn't a competent fighter. At that age in Ancient China where fighting with fists was upmost many young people could fight very well at the age. And Yang had to know some fighting in order to grasp Chen style better than anyone in the village and beat all of them. What kind of logic are you using? Are saying that just because you who you are that makes you right? Are you saying this matter of the origin of Taiji is closed because Xue Sheng has a great background and is right?

The origin of Taiji important to getting to understand why breathing is essential. Essential means to fully get the intended benefit of Taiji you have to get qi/oxygen in the lungs, blood and to all of the cells. The intake of oxygen combined with the movements push the oxygen through qi blockages into the ligaments and connective tissue. Also the breathing has the ability to slow the thoughts and bring the mind into serenity. This is what is meant by the rising of Shen or spirit also the kundalini spirit in Yogic traditions. The Yi or mind intent directs the qi/oxygen to go to places in the body not normally traveled to remove blockages and also create an inner alchemy that transforms the body from the lungs, heart, arteries, connective tissues and also physcoloigical well being. The intake of breath done properly calms the mind and relaxes the body all over. You recieve a feeling of warm tingling all over the body from the root to the all the extremeties and even in the brain. The qi penetrates the central nervous system and goes to the brain that sends information to the pancreas that creates hormones for relaxation and peacefulness. Many have not ever practiced this Temple style of Taiji only the secular Taiji that used mainly for fighting and health. Secular Taiji totally disregards the spiritual origins of not only Taiji but also Baqua which descended from circle walking meditation. Secular structures owe their whole foundation to the spiritual gurus who sacrificed their personal lives and ambitions to pursue the supernatural then harness that power, cultivate it and transmit it to the rest of mankind. This happened not only in China but India, Africa, Greece, North America and all over the world were Shamanistic/Esoteric people took the knowledge of the unknown and developed the spiritual side of man and thus elevated us from a slouched over primate into an upright intelligent creature.
 

East Winds

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Kwanslove,

From reading the posts in this thread, it is very clear to me who the fantasist is!!

Very best wishes
 

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