Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

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

Re: Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postby Strange on Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:04 am

wayne hansen wrote:I havent seen UNESCO practicing down the park so does he really know the difference between tai chi and chai tea


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Re: Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postby Steve James on Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:54 am

The PRC lobbied to have tjq included on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage/s.

An intangible cultural heritage is a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill considered by Unesco to be part of a place's cultural heritage.


The history of the practice is not really critical. It's the importance of something to "a place's cultural heritage." No matter who invented tjq, the Chen variety has not been the most influential to Chinese culture. The addition of Taoist and other elements is what makes tjq tjq to the majority of people who practice the art. It's not Chen family or Yang family style that defines the way tjq fits into China's "cultural" heritage as it is understood.

That's what distinguishes it from bagua or xingyi. Why aren't they on the list? For whatever reason, tjq (specifically via the cultural concept of taiji) has become the most important representative of Chinese culture in the martial arts. It ain't because it's superior to any other. Shuaijiao is at least as effective (:)) and much older. But, it's not culturally unique --probably because it hasn't been linked to any ancient Chinese philosophy.

Without the "woo woo" stuff, the medicinal qigong claims, and the interference from philosophers and scholars, tjq (or Chen family style CMA) wouldn't be anything special culturally. Buddhism was invented by the followers of Buddha, but that's not what makes it culturally important. Then again, the debate about origins is also something that makes tjq what it is. Anyway, who wants to take credit for tjq's success as a martial art today?
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Re: Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postby yeniseri on Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:52 pm

Steve James wrote:The history of the practice is not really critical. It's the importance of something to "a place's cultural heritage." No matter who invented tjq, the Chen variety has not been the most influential to Chinese culture

The veracity of the history is important in order to place taijiquan in China (specific village-Chen village 8-) vis a vis Japan so Chen style as documented, does provide an historical origin and context despite Yang style being the more popular!

So the medicinal or martial qualities are not even a prerequisite! Only the presence and existance of tjq as documented by investigators, is the modus operandi of the UNESCO acknowledgement. Even the Zhang Sanfeng origin is suspect if that were brought up as part of the history because it is too vague on all counts ;D
Last edited by yeniseri on Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postby Steve James on Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:02 pm

Hey, maybe tjq doesn't belong on the list. Shaolin or shuai jiao would be better choices. Nobody's family could try to take credit.

Anyway, the woo woo, yin yang theory, the philosophy, and the adoption of the art by so many millions of people are what make tjq (not any specific style) an "intangible cultural heritage." In the end, all that means is that UNESCO thinks it's something important to preserve. I agree that it doesn't matter what UNESCO thinks. :)
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Re: Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postby Yeung on Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:59 am

I think with government sponsorship Taijiquan can become a sort of sport. It is good to notice that the National Wushu Association did not give up with Taijiquan Pushing Hands, the following video is based on the latest 2018 rules:

2018年全国太极拳推手比赛
https://www.iqiyi.com/v_19rr4whaq4.html

The noticeable changes to the old rule is that the arena is smaller, 400 cm in diameter.
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