The Tai Ji Quan & China Culture

The Chinese culture has always been characterized by a “circular” vision of synthesis, by which the study of life and nature phenomena is not sectorial, but every single aspect of knowledge is part of a totality. Philosophy, literature, calligraphy, medicine, martial arts, are someway always connected, and have always some or many aspects in common.Especially the Tai Ji Quan has been very influenced, and it has influenced in its turn with its development, both the Taoist philosophy and the traditional Chinese medicine.

The essential concepts that are the grounds of the Tai Ji Quan study, that are the “Qi” ( translatable as “vital breath” “breath”, “energy”) and the continuous alternation of “Yin” (female principle, passive, receptive, soft, comfortable, obscure, negative) and the “Yang” (male principle, active, strong, luminous, shining, positive) in life and movement, come from the Taoism and are the cornerstones of the traditional Chinese medicine.

According to these two principles (Qi and Yin-Yiang) the existence and the health of every living being comes from the state of his “Qi”, from the manner in which one’s energy flows, that depends in its turn from a right equilibrium and from the integration of the two energy poles of Yin and Yang inside one’s body.

The Chinese have always dedicated a good part of their existence and made a number of efforts trying to improve their life and make it longer. Though they had a very fatalistic vision of destiny and events, they always  nourished the dream of reaching the immortality,  so that in the past many of the most famous Taoists  searched the famous “Immortality pill”, the alchemic formula, the secret hidden in the soul of  world and nature that would allow an everlasting life without aging.

Many thought that it could be possible to make the body immortal and let it last forever, others tried to make the spirit everlasting through the elevation of consciousness and the union with the Tao, the mysterious and silent mother of the Universe.

Obviously this aspect of the Chinese culture has affected their medicine, where the energy inside the body is studied with great attention, also in its relationship with the environment where we live. This led, over the centuries, to the birth of many practices, including physical, postural and respiratory exercises, such as the Qi Gong (Chi Kung) and the Tai Ji Quan, that above all can help to improve our state of vital energy and teach us how to keep its stream under control.