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Tai Chi & Health
   

 


The origin legend of keeping healthy


Wudang Kung Fu emerges as the demand of health in Taoism.
Adopting realistic attitude towards life, extremely devoting much attention to this life, and pursuing happiness, wealth, longevity and living forever, which are held in esteem in Taoism. Besides, it is thought in Taoism that the ordinary persons are likely to become celestial being in the contemporary age rather than in the posthumous time. The aim of becoming celestial being can be achieved through the cultivation of the spirit and flesh.
In Taoism, cultivating to be supernatural being demands the practice of vital energy that needs breathing exercises. Then, practicing shadowboxing is in need. The motions of Wushu are led into the practice of breathing that is also permeated in the process of shadowboxing, thus forming the Kung Fu mechanism: Gongfu excising inside and shadowboxing outside, combing inside and outside but taking inside as the dominant factor. Gradually the complete system of Wudang Kung Fu comes into being.
The thinking-way of Taoism is to attach importance to intuition and comprehension. Grasp the features of objects by mental perception in order to understand the essence profoundly, which is the basic characteristic of the thinking of Wudang Kung Fu. Movements, offence and defence of Wudang Kung Fu can be imparted, viewed and learned. However, the different mood, charm, internal temperament and vigor are comprehended deeply in the repeatedly practice and ponderousness after perceived by intuition. This thorough process is penetrated with hardworking, studying with concentration and proficiency. Only after accumulative experience can the charm be captured. Meanwhile, the entry to a certain mood is the key to true essence of the occult. The way through intuition and practice reflects the profound influence that Wudang Kung Fu exerts on the flesh, spirit, thought and ethics, and represents the social purpose of effect and cultivation.
Wudang Boxing, a unity of internal and outside kung fu, contains the social function of self-defence. The offence and defence at all times and all countries advocate the force, tempo, intensity, bigness winning smallness, quickness winning slowness, and strongness winning weakness. But only in Wudang boxing are bigness, smallness, quickness, slowness, strongness and weakness looked at dialectically. The saying of
"Four teals lifting a thousand jin" and the moving mode: conquering toughness by gentleness, defeating strongness by weakness, subduing quickness by slowness---have enriched the theory and practice in the
East and West and have contributed to the world culture. The strategic characteristics and their social efficacy coincide with the purpose of preserving health, which is the fundamental differentiation between Wudang Boxing and other genres, and is the essential dynamic factor in expanding function of improving health.
In the theory of Wudang Kung Fu, the cultivation of essence, energy, spirit and their relationship are held significantly. It is thought that essence is the root, providing the basic substance for the body growth, that energy is the carrier to essence, which is circulating through the whole body by the form of energy and supplies the energy to physiology continuously, and that spirit is the manifestation and result of the endless energy, which can maintain the thought and other activities. A system of requirements result in this principle. On the one hand, the potentiality of self-defence is tapped; on the other hand, make use of motions of offence and defence to harmonize the vital energy and blood, to mitigate the collateral channels, and to incorporate Wushu and health, by means of which the vitality is reinforced to accomplish the aim of longevity. The theory of preserving health, developed and perfected, is the result of combining the strong desire for living and pleasure-seeking.

 

The orbit theory of round movement


The arc movement is taken as the motion requirement and moving orbit in Wudang Kung Fu, which is the expansion of philosophical thought of Taoism.
Laozi said, "All the things come from something, something from nothing".The Classic of the Virtue of the Tao by Laozi, the seventieth chapter.Thus, a transformable circle is formed. As for Diagram of the Taiji, it is a circle of transformation between Yin and Yang. Since the relation between the creation in the universe and Taoism is manifested in a mutually transformable circle, moving orbit is the best diagram of the infinitude. Naturally, Wudang Kung Fu chooses this optimizing pattern having great vitality to preserve the health, which is also the root cause for attaching importance to the circle.
In view of the aim? Concerning the effect and pursuit of the shadowboxing, Wudang Boxing devotes much attention to the circle and arc in the permutations and combinations of motions and moving orbit, such as Eight-diagram Palm laying on circle. The moving orbit is that a big circle contains a small one and then there is no circle in form; however, the circle still exists in the mind. Circle or arc is permeated in each motion: directing palm, rising legs, walking, posing feet, even practising strength by thought, and so on. In this case, the Eight-diagram Palm is called circle-interlocking palm.
The Diagram of Taiji, applied to the boxing by the founder of Chinese boxing, has become the badge of Taiji Boxing. Accordingly, the mode and route are the arc? Most of them are curve and circle. There are three-circle rhymes in the Form-and-will Boxing: the chest should be round and sinking, the back round like a monkey, and fist round like a triangle, which are three normative requirements and show the significance of the circle.
Taiji Boxing, Form-and-will Boxing, and Eight-diagram Palm are based on arc, which is not only manifested in the route and pose, but also in the feature of body movement. So, the movement going around about the waist taken as an axis is penetrated with circle and arc. With the change of motions, all kinds of arc movements, in other words, a big arc containing a small one, a big circle containing a small one, the flat circle, the standing circle, the octant, are formed. It is reasonable to say the rule of those is a circle.
The explosive force of Wudang Boxing is related to the arc. Taiji Boxing shows spiral force, Form-and-will Boxing drilling force, and the Eight-diagram Palm twinning force. All that makes the strength bold and vigorous, which is the special requirement of conquering toughness by gentleness.
Concerning the attack and defence in the shadowboxing, the force is steadier going in the spinning approach and it is not easy to be caught by the opponent. In the defence, the application of the circle and arc can augment the enduring area of the strength and prolong the functionary time nicely up to the realm of "four taels lifting a thousand Jin".
In one word, the orbit of arc movement is the foundation of the boxing, weapon, pattern and standard.

 

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