Written by: Scott Liu
“Feel your Qi in your stomach, and concentrate it on your fist.” From our coach, Zhu Xiangqian.
There is a new Taiji ECA at school this year, mainly focus on teaching basic Taiji sets of movements
and some real life applications of self-defending. The class was taught in the main hall in every Thursday. It is a rewarding experience increasing both our strength and flexibility. We will keep holding this ECA next year if we have enough members.
A Misunderstood Legacy
“So, what exactly is Taiji?” A common question always been asked by others. Well, for the majority of Chinese people, Taiji is mostly seen as a martial art focused on self-relaxing or performing. However, Taiji was never intended to be that way.
In fact, when Taiji was invented thousands of years ago, it was a combat technique for the leaders of the ancient tribes teach their followers. Until now, the ideas in those skills are still very similar to modern CQC.
The reason of the misunderstanding being all the moves in Taiji are shown as slow and fluent. This is for practising the stability and accuracy of the movements. Taiji is fast only when engaging with enemies.
The Taiji we learn is a simplified version of the original 72 Chen-Shi Taiji. The move set has been reduced to 13, but each of them has their unique applications for different situations we might come across in real life.
Of course, learning a new skill needs hard works, but more importantly, a good coach. Thanks to Peihang, we were able to invite the 12th successor of Chen-Shi Taiji, Zhu Xiangqian. He was born in Henan 1972 and has been coaching Taiji oversea, especially in south-east Asia, since 1997.
With a bit of dialect, having his Taiji class was always fun and rewarding. Each Thursday we have class in the hall. Firstly we do a short stretching warm-up with him. Then go on to daily high kicking exercise. After that, our coach will recap the movement we learnt last time and teach us some new. Meanwhile, he also explains the uses of those moves and sometimes tells us some lore of Taiji.
Learning Taiji was never easy, we usually feel our muscles and hamstrings aching both during and after each lesson. But after all, it is always worth doing. We can visually see the increase of our strength and flexibility by being able to squat longer and touch the ground while standing. If you are looking for this type of exercise and don’t want to run a marathon per week, Taiji is perfect for you.
Open for new members
We keep the ECA and welcome new member in the continuing year. Don’t worry if you are completely new to Taiji! In fact, most of us are new to Taiji as well. Our class will spend time for newcomers to catch up. So feel free to come at any time!