Tai-chi ch'uan, although it defies categorization, may be succinctly defined as the spirit of Chinese metaphysics, meditation, and medicine in the body of a martial art.

Douglas Wile

Tai Ji Quan

Taiji Quan

In the following pages I discuss the Chinese martial art of Taiji Quan in more detail, leading to an exploration of its connections to the symbolic language of the Yijing. As already discussed, both systems are expressions of the theory of Yin and Yang - in the case of Taiji Quan, this expression is physical, in the case of the Yijing, the expression is philosophical.

Traditional Background

The traditional lineage of practice is of vital importance because it provides the material for each personal exploration of individual practice. This is the context from which I start.

Traditional Syllabus - it is important to have a solid grounding in the practical aspects of the art before the philosophical implications can be properly investigated. In addition to Transforming Energies, I practice and teach a complete traditional syllabus from the Wu-Cheng lineage.

Personal History - because Taiji Quan is a practical, physical art, there is no substitute for extensive training and practice. My personal history describes the details of my study.

Additional Material

Physical practice combined with symbolic interpretation creates a reflective/reflexive process which drives the inner transformation. This is the resulting development from the traditional context.

Foundation Practice - starting from the metaphysical progression from Wuji, through Taiji to Yin and Yang, a sequence of exercises naturally emerges which express the ideas directly in physical terms.

Taiji: Quan and Yi - the symbols of change provide both a framework for organising the practice and a language for making sense of the process of personal transformation.

Repetition and Persistence - these are the necessary attributes for a successful practice, here they are expressed succinctly in terms of the symbols of change.

You can also find some articles and handouts about Taiji and the physical practice here.