Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Bao on Sun May 06, 2018 8:32 am

Trick wrote:
warriorprincess wrote:The Taoist connection I heard, again from my friend, was encouraged by the hippies in the 60's & 70's.
...DaLiu and Zheng Manqing as I understand referred to the I-Ching and the Tao(Taoism?) in their writing and teaching of Tai Chi...


Da Liu studied I Ching and had a great interest in it. Just about everyone who wrote about Tai Chi and IMA from the very beginning of the 20th century connected their teachings to Daoism. The older Tai Chi classics also has a clear relationship to Daoism.

warriorprincess wrote:Isn't Tai Chi as most people know it (slow form, meditative) only about 100 years old? The story I heard was that Tai Chi masters were asked to teach the general public as there were not many doctors. They took out the jumping and stamping (Chen excepted) and slowed the martial forms down. This is mainly from a Wu style friend of mine but I can't imagine that all other forms of TC were already slow.


The original Chen small frame was not very athletic, so not everything called Chen boxing was very strenuous. Yang Luchan created his own medium/large frame to introduce to officials and literati. The upper class never did anything that could make them sweat. Most of them would never practice hard kung fu and they looked down on "boxers." So Yang Luchan needed to teach it mainly as a health art and make the movements more visually appealing to attract the clientele.

Yang style was probably not taught extremely slow. Probably it was YCF who slowed it down and made it even more bigger because he taught very big classes with a lot of people who should be able to see and follow what happened. It's only some of the YCF and CMC schools that emphasise the ultra slow practice, the rest of them don't. Wu style had originally only the fast form, but introduced the slow and square versions only because Yang style had became popular.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby wayne hansen on Sun May 06, 2018 11:48 am

The Wu school I came from sometimes took over an hour to do the 108
Their fast form was the yang ban Hao form
I think there is a theory that Ma made up the story of The Wu form being fast originally to sell his fast form.
I have heard he made up the fast form from the original art he studied
Not being around at the time I don't if it's true but you don't see that form in any other lineages
I like da lui his tai chi and have all his books but I find his theory of tai chi and I Ching a little fancifull
I learnt the chi circulation follows the application not the Taoist circulation
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby lazyboxer on Sun May 06, 2018 4:33 pm

The compartmentalised thinking leading to such questions is typical of the Western mindset. I have several photos of the little Catholic shrine behind Wu Yuxiang's mansion in Guangfu, so perhaps I should now consider whether his TJQ was based on Christian theology. Maybe even a form of natural birth control? (Pause for ribald laughter).

Very few old school boxers had any interest in philosophy, generally confining themselves to more practical matters such as not getting killed, having lots of babies and hiding their opium stash.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Ozguorui on Sun May 06, 2018 7:01 pm

Erle:

"Back in 1981 I trained with the great grandson of the founder of Tai Chi, Yang Sau-chung in Causeway Bay Hong Kong. Yang had moved there in 1949 to escape the Cultural Revolution. his great grandfather, Yang Lu-ch'an invented the now famous Yang Style of Tai Chi.
The first thing that I noticed when I walked into Yang Sau-chung's flat was a huge wooden cross on his wall! They were all devout Catholics!"


http://www.taijiworld.com/tai_chi_not_a_religion.html
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby edededed on Sun May 06, 2018 9:42 pm

Dang - that is interesting, I wonder when the Yangs became Catholic?
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Trick on Mon May 07, 2018 1:37 am

Christianity has been around for quite some time in China, even back during the Mongolian rule it flourished. Today House-Churches are many here, mostly in the form of Protestantism.....Maybe because of its "easiness"(no need for many rituals and prayers), and still get good feel of the belief.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Yeung on Mon May 07, 2018 2:39 am

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF DAO DE JING AND THE BIBLE
By Zhou Peiyi, Guilin Institute of Tourism (2004)

https://web.uri.edu/iaics/files/06-Zhou-Peiyi.pdf

Please note that there is a difference between Taoism as an organized religion and the teaching of Dao De Jing.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby edededed on Mon May 07, 2018 7:43 am

I would guess that Yang Shouzhong was first to become a Catholic in his family, though? At least, I've not heard of any other Yang family members being so (that doesn't rule it out, though).

I remember Zheng Manqing's daughter became a born-again Christian or something when she studied abroad.

The seven star praying mantis folk seem to have a lot of Christians (at least they were Christians) back in the day.

Christianity is fairly "easy," but most religions tend to become easier through time (or else they shrivel away, as few want to join). But the tithe is a fairly high cost.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Steve James on Mon May 07, 2018 7:59 am

Beliefs are not necessarily exclusive. Most people who are Christian retain loads of pagan and folk practices as part of and apart from their religious practice. Christmas trees, for ex, have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity except that Christians use them on Christmas. It's very much the same with Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism in China. The average Chinese person incorporates some aspect of all of those religions (?) or religious practices into the daily lives.

It's not a contradiction for a Chinese family to be Christian. Not that it matters, but some of the ardent Christians in the modern age were in Japan and Korea, where they were once persecuted. What may be the most unusual thing about the Yangs being Christian is that their Christianity survived Mao and the Cultural Revolution.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby lazyboxer on Mon May 07, 2018 10:00 am

There's a village in Hebei we visited several years ago during our bapanzhang research period to meet Ren Zhicheng's last student. The entire village turned out to be Catholic.

There's always been a lot of yin and yang in relations between Christianity and the Chinese state apparatus, from the huge success of the Nestorian Church of the East during the Tang dynasty to Jesuit missions in the Ming and Qing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesuit_China_missions and the nearly successful attempt to convert the whole nation by force of arms during the Taiping Civil War.

The decentralisation of the fast-growing independent Protestant church movement is, I think, of far more concern to Beijing than the relatively monolithic and hierarchical Roman Catholic Church, which has always been ready to cut a deal with Chinese governments.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby wayne hansen on Mon May 07, 2018 12:18 pm

Is there any proof the Yangs were Christian other than one statement by one person
Where were the Yangs during the boxer uprising,wasn't it partly an anti Christian thing
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Steve James on Mon May 07, 2018 1:56 pm

Afaik, the Boxer's were anti-foreigner and anti-foreign control. Most of the foreigners happened to be Christian, but they were anti-Japanese, too --which didn't make them anti-Shinto.
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby wayne hansen on Mon May 07, 2018 4:18 pm

This doco I watched the other day might of caused me to think that

https://youtu.be/TFjHff-zaKY
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby Ozguorui on Mon May 07, 2018 6:00 pm

Boxer Rebellion was big in Shandong. Yang's not from there (or Chen's either...)
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Re: Is Tai Chi Taoist?

Postby taiwandeutscher on Mon May 07, 2018 6:42 pm

Chinese Christians can be rather hardcore (most of the academics at my university, lol), but then, when the sh*t hits the fan, they can easily switch back to where ever they come from, or do believe in several sets of religious practices altogether., simultaneously, very practical!

For TJQ, as it is a long time development, it surely carries traces of different philosophical/medical/religious teachings.

In Daoism, the One separates in 2, in 3, in 9, in 81 .....
In Confucianism the One separates in 2, in 4, in 8, in 64 ....
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