Taijiquan biomechanics? I’m sure the mere mention of those words would draw blank stares from most people, especially tai chi practitioners. We’ve all
had the experience in life when we’re out shopping, where we know in our minds what we want, but we have no idea what the thing we want is called,
making it almost impossible to find. Well, a tai chi biomechanics workshop is one of those things. Hearing the name alone might not create an association
with ... read more
WǔDé (武德) – Martial Morality, should be the first thing we focus on as martial arts practitioners and should be the benchmark of what we consider a great
practitioner to be. If we don’t understand the philosophy behind what we are trying to accomplish, and focus purely on the physical act of martial
mechanics, then all we learn as students of the art is empty of meaning.
WǔDé is a combination of actions and thoughts. We have looked at the ... read more
We are now looking at the last of the 5 Important Actions of WǔDé (武德) – Martial Morality, which defines a Truly Great Martial Arts Practitioner, and this
Trust (信 – Xìn)
Who do you trust? Do people trust you? Trust works on the basis that a person is of good character and one who will seek to fulfil promises, uphold
ethical values and be law abiding.
When you encounter a fellow martial arts practitioner do you trust ... read more
So far, in The Definition of a Truly Great Martial Arts Practitioner we have looked at Humility, Loyalty and Respect. We now continue with the fourth of
the 5 Important Actions, Morality.
Morality (义 – Yì)
The Oxford dictionary defines “morality” as “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour”, and so too,
should we apply the same definition to the martial arts and WǔDé.
The life of a wushu practitioner is not one lived ... read more
The definition of a true martial arts practitioner continues in this segment as we look at the third of the five Important Actions; Respect.
Respect (礼 – Lǐ)Respect is defined as having due regard for the feelings, wishes and rights of others and of ourselves. In living
a respectful life we must balance our own needs with those of the people around us, and in so doing, every individual will have a sense of place and
self-worth. Respect starts from ... read more
We continue our understanding of what WǔDé (Martial Morality) is and why it is so fundamental to differentiating truly great martial arts practitioners
from the not-so-great. Our first instalment looked at the first of the 5 Important Actions, being Humility. Here we look at the next one, Loyalty:
Loyalty (忠 - Zhōng)This is a very traditional concept both in Eastern and Western culture, but for some, it is seen as almost obsolete
thinking in the 21st Century. However, loyalty still ... read more
We all spend an enormous amount of time looking at videos, demonstrations and competitive performances of Chinese Martial Arts practitioners. We think
we see whether they are “good” or not; whether they display the correct techniques, whether we can see “quality in their movements”, “power and harmony”,
“coordination”, “spirit, rhythm and style” but the fundamental thing we are not seeing and what truly defines whether they are masters of their craft
or not is WǔDé (武德) – Martial Morality.
WǔDé ... read more
The Fúchén (拂尘 as spelt in Wudang Wushu or 佛尘 as spelt for Taiji), also known as the Horsetail Whisk, Fly Whisk or Dust Brush, is one of Chinese Martial
Arts’ most unorthodox and paradoxical weapons. It has been steeped in mystery for centuries but ironically, has gained great popularity with Western
practitioners in the 21st Century.
What is a Fúchén?
The Fúchén (Fu-chen, Fu Chen, Fochen) is essentially a whisk or brush made by binding the hair from a ... read more
Pattern language was defined by the widely influential architect and design theorist, Emeritus Professor Christopher Alexander,
and first brought to light in his book “A Pattern Language”, and subsequently in his
famous work “The Nature of Order”. To give you a feel for Alexander’s thought processes
one of his statements was “No one can be close to others, without also having frequent opportunities to be alone”.
Essentially, Pattern Language is the way of describing good design or patterns of useful ... read more
Want to feel like a beginner again? Go and train in China.
Remember that night back when you started your Taiji journey? For most of us it happens somewhere around the fourth lesson. You finish a class feeling
like it’s all too much, you’re legs are aching, and a little voice in the back of your head is saying “maybe this isn’t for you”, but you push on because
you are going to crack this thing, no matter how ... read more