Living Taiji & Qigong Dragon Spring Taiji

FAQ

What is Taiji?

And is it T’ai Chi or Taiji? The Western way of romanising T’ai Chi has been in common use for many years. Over the past 20 years or so, it has become more common to use the Chinese system of romanisation (Taiji), after all, it is their language and is more accurate in its sound. The main problem with the Western system is its mis-use. Rarely do you see it correctly written as it was intended with the full punctuation - T’ai Chi Ch’uan  Commonly known in the West as ‘Taiji’, this is short for Taijiquan 太極拳 (T’ai Chi Ch’uan). Taijiquan, is a way of exercise for health, a form of meditation in movement, a martial art and a means of personal development. What does Taiji mean? The term “Taiji” literally translates as “Supreme Ultimate”, meaning undifferentiated potentiality, or un-polarised energy, and first appears in the Yi Jing, (I Ching, Book of Changes) which dates back over 4000 years. Here it describes the two qualities contained within it: a hill with one side in shade (yin ), the other in sunshine (yang ).                            Taijitu This symbol represents yin and yang, indeed many people know it as the Yin/Yang symbol which has become very familiar all over the world. The white half represents Yang, the black half represents Yin, but the whole symbol is call Taijitu or the Taiji diagram which should be seen as moving/revolving, in constant change from white to black / black to white. As one reaches its extreme it becomes its opposite. Yin and Yang are complimentary opposites that create each other and are interdependent: one cannot exist without the other. Each contains the seed of the other which represents the possibility or change – nothing is ever 100%. The art of Taijiquan is so called because of this symbol. There is constant flow between apparent opposites: activity and stillness; opening and closing; full and empty - the list is endless.

What is Qigong?

Qi (Ch’i) = Energy Gong (Kung) = Method or Work Qigong = Energy Work, a way of Cultivating energy, or Energy Cultivation.

Do I need special clothing for Taiji or Qigong?

Clothing should be loose and comfortable: tracksuit, t-shirt, sweatshirt; something that allows the body to move freely. Footware should be soft and flexible with little or no heel. Are there gradings or coloured belts? We don't wear uniforms and there is no grading, so no coloured belts or sashes. Do I need previous experience? No previous experience is necessary to join the beginners Taiji or Qigong courses. How fit do I need to be? The sequences we teach in the beginners classes are suitable for all levels of fitness (or unfitness!). If you can walk there is no reason you cannot learn these movements. In fact elsewhere on this site you can find video to lead you through a seated set of movements. Which Taiji Form is most suitable for beginners? The Short Form is the best place to start. Which Qigong set is most suitable for beginners? Most beginners of average fitness can start with any set, but if you have an injury or are recovering from an illness or condition that means you tire easily, it would be better to avoid Qigong Stick (Taiji Yang Sheng Zhang)  and Yi Jin Jing until you are stronger. These two sets are a little more physically demanding so it would be better to build up to those.
© Dragon Spring Taiji School 2016 - All Rights Reserved

FAQ

What is Taiji?

And is it T’ai Chi or Taiji? The Western way of romanising T’ai Chi has been in common use for many years. Over the past 20 years or so, it has become more common to use the Chinese system of romanisation (Taiji), after all, it is their language and is more accurate in its sound. The main problem with the Western system is its mis-use. Rarely do you see it correctly written as it was intended with the full punctuation - T’ai Chi Ch’uan  Commonly known in the West as ‘Taiji’, this is short for Taijiquan 極拳 (T’ai Chi Ch’uan). Taijiquan, is a way of exercise for health, a form of meditation in movement, a martial art and a means of personal development. What does Taiji mean? The term “Taiji” literally translates as “Supreme Ultimate”, meaning undifferentiated potentiality, or un-polarised energy, and first appears in the Yi Jing, (I Ching, Book of Changes) which dates back over 4000 years. Here it describes the two qualities contained within it: a hill with one side in shade (yin ), the other in sunshine (yang ).                            Taijitu This symbol represents yin and yang, indeed many people know it as the Yin/Yang symbol which has become very familiar all over the world. The white half represents Yang, the black half represents Yin, but the whole symbol is call Taijitu or the Taiji diagram which should be seen as moving/revolving, in constant change from white to black / black to white. As one reaches its extreme it becomes its opposite. Yin and Yang are complimentary opposites that create each other and are interdependent: one cannot exist without the other. Each contains the seed of the other which represents the possibility or change – nothing is ever 100%. The art of Taijiquan is so called because of this symbol. There is constant flow between apparent opposites: activity and stillness; opening and closing; full and empty - the list is endless.

What is Qigong?

Qi (Ch’i) = Energy Gong (Kung) = Method or Work Qigong = Energy Work, a way of Cultivating energy, or Energy Cultivation.

Do I need special clothing for Taiji or Qigong?

Clothing should be loose and comfortable: tracksuit, t-shirt, sweatshirt; something that allows the body to move freely. Footware should be soft and flexible with little or no heel. Are there gradings or coloured belts? We don't wear uniforms and there is no grading, so no coloured belts or sashes. Do I need previous experience? No previous experience is necessary to join the beginners Taiji or Qigong courses. How fit do I need to be? The sequences we teach in the beginners classes are suitable for all levels of fitness (or unfitness!). If you can walk there is no reason you cannot learn these movements. In fact elsewhere on this site you can find video to lead you through a seated set of movements. Which Taiji Form is most suitable for beginners? The Short Form is the best place to start. Which Qigong set is most suitable for beginners? Most beginners of average fitness can start with any set, but if you have an injury or are recovering from an illness or condition that means you tire easily, it would be better to avoid Qigong Stick (Taiji Yang Sheng Zhang)  and Yi Jin Jing until you are stronger. These two sets are a little more physically demanding so it would be better to build up to those.

Dragon Spring Taiji

© Dragon Spring Taiji School 2016 - All Rights Reserved