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Tai Chi and Martial Art  
martial arts and the application of combat tai chi


YIELDING The skill, discipline and philosophy of Tai Chi is to yield.
This is also sometimes called "the action of non-action".

Tai Chi teaching advises that a person should never attempt to meet an attack with brute force or sheer physical strength. The teaching advises that if this 'non-action' policy is practiced correctly then the object that approaches intent on impact will find nothing to relieve itself upon.
The clever Tai Chi person gets out of the way of threat.
The wise Tai Chi person both gets out of the way and helps the threat further on its way.

calligraphyThe wisest Tai Chi person does all this and then puts as great a distance between themselves and the threat as possible.
After some basic training any student can successfully learn some basic though effective self-defense techniques. I can teach you now.
Lesson 1. Walk away. Lesson 2. Walk further away. Lesson 3. Run. Learn this well and the odds of you not getting hurt are getting better.
Sun Zi phrased this more aggressively in the book "The Art of War" when he said:
"If a battle can be won, fight it, if not, depart."

There are no attacking moves in Tai Chi, which is not to suggest that there are no strikes. There are such actions but they are only made when the actions of yielding and retaliation (in the form of "helping on its way") have been attempted and or exhausted.
Should this become so the 'strike' becomes inevitable.
Be prepared to execute it then immediately and effectively.

If you knew nothing about self defense and you were attacked you recourse might be to use a weapon to defend yourself. This is an ignorance that indicates that the less you know about yourself the more you rely upon physical violence. However, if you were trained an able to use your own flexibility, all weapons of violence that inevitably inflict injury are rendered unnecessary.
Therefore, be prepared, practice every day (if you can) but never make a show of any skill that you have acquired. To do so can lead to envy or fear in others. This in turn could actually invite attack from any of those that may wish to 'test' you or prove something to themselves. Your first line of defense is your modesty.

monkeysAll practitioners of any martial art (and this includes Tai Chi) should respect their own mind and body and maintain discipline.
Unfortunately at times of extreme stress or confusion in a person (because we are human) this is not always the case. Inside the dojo there is no confusion. Levels of skill are respected and the ego is left outside. In the troubled mind this unfortunately can be picked up again and maybe even enlarged on the way out! An inflated ego can easy oust discipline and replace it with destructive emotions such as resentment, anger, pride, self-pity etc. etc. etc.

No matter how 'good' you think you are I can assure you that somewhere out there - there is someone who has more of whatever it is that you think you have a lot of! Accept this without question and concede also the higher ego to others. There is no need to put it to the test.


Practice yielding everyday. Aim to perfect your skill, discipline and philosophy. Accept your limitations and improve your flexibility. You can be living proof that an attacker's emotion of anger, violence or harmful intent can be that whole beings physical (or spiritual) downfall. Your flexibility and above all your ability to yield can be your strength and route to victory, if not safety.
The better you understand the above, the more prepared you are. The more prepared you are the less likely you are to need more. The Tai Chi Way "needs" nothing.
Dedicated (01.12.97) to the person who said: "The person I fear the most is me".


A unique (in Martial Art terms) aspect of Tai Chi is that it promotes only non-aggression. It's first central and last principle is to Yield. This does not mean that one should accept negatively the idea of 'defeat', be beaten, or to loose. Yet on occasions, yes - it is prudent to seek to gain ground even to strike; because this way less eventual or permanent harm will come to all involved.

Tai Chi is "a way of doing things" - be that going forward or backward.
The first, central and last principle of Tai Chi is that all of these can be done without aggression.

The Tao Te Ching says, in not so many (and not the same) words:
"If you want to change or improve the world, first change or improve anything in your own mind, body and spirit that might benefit from such improvement.
If or when your mind, body or spirit requires no improving or changing; perhaps the world needs no improving or changing?"

Correct and incorrect action begins close to the home.
Most apparent and closest to home for a Human Being is The Body.
Perhaps a little closer still is our minds and spirits, for these - in essence are "US".
Despite its considerable size, smell and sound, we - as human beings, often neglect or don't properly notice our own and personal bodies. What chance then our mind and spirit, which are, by their very nature formless and silent?This is the unique approach of the Martial Art called Tai Chi. It is far reaching.
Your roots and its source are as close to home as a human can get. "Internal".


When the mind and spirit are calm, the body is relaxed.
When the body is relaxed, it moves in harmony with the way.
When the mind, body and spirit move in harmony with the way, The Way is manifest.

What is with The Way flourishes. What is not with The Way decays and dies.


yin yang opposites

Opposites cannot be separated.
In Tai Chi thinking, good and bad is not separated.
You cannot reject one and accept the other because the two are joined. Anything judged as good or bad depends entirely upon your relationship to that thing. You judge things according to your desires, which are in themselves dictated by personal or societal ideas and value systems.
Tai Chi advises to accept things as they are without judging.

Seeing things as they are is vital to the life of a Tai Chi person because those that judge or criticise others sooner or later judge themselves .
and then the 'problems' begin!
Those that except only "perfection" eventually judge themselves as bad students, or a teacher as a bad teacher.
Sooner or later one or the other become discouraged and quit.
Conversely, students who find things easy may judge themselves as 'good', and often develop other ego problems. This is the same thing, the other side of the coin - and it has the same effect.
Someone, sooner or later quits.
No definition of best or worse should ever be made in Tai Chi for it is known that he/she who has the greatest ego has the greatest burden.
You should wish this neither on yourself or others.

In Tai Chi you are who you are; that's it!
There is only one of you in the Universe,
Thus everything is individual and unique and, like you,
Cannot be productively compared to anything or anyone else.

A unique (in Martial Art terms) aspect of Tai Chi is that it promotes only non-aggression. It's first central and last principle is to Yield. This does not mean that one should accept negatively the idea of 'defeat', be beaten, or to loose. Yet on occasions, yes - it is prudent to seek to gain ground even to strike; because this way less eventual or permanent harm will come to all involved.
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