Daoist teachings are based upon balance and the philosophy of Yin and Yang. To the Daoists, the study of combat and the study of health are intrinsically linked. To a Western mind this may seem strange but after some time practicing Taijiquan it is easy to see how the internal energies of medicine and martial arts are one and the same. Indeed, in ancient times the greatest healers were also often the greatest warriors.
The internal martial art of Taijiquan is based upon developing a still mind and a fully awakened energy system. This enables forces known as Jins to be manifested by the practitioner in partner practices such as Tui-Shou (pushing hands). In modern times these teachings have almost died out and now very few teachers of Taijiquan in either the East or the West understand the theory or practice of internal force.
The slow gentle movements of Yang family Taijiquan help to open up the body which promotes blood and internal energy flow through the joints and more importantly the Qi Men or Energy Gates. This begins to clear stagnation from the body which in Chinese medicine is the cause for most ailments. The rejuvenating effects of Taijiquan have understandably made it one of the most popular Daoist arts across the world.
The form demonstrated below by LNG teacher Roni Edlund is the first form taught in LNG’s Yang style syllabus:
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