Taijiquan (太極拳) is a Chinese fitness system based on relaxed body alignment and smooth flow of energy. It is also a moving meditation based on the philosophy of Laozi, a legendary sage of pre-Han China who taught about the virtues of remaining calm, unassertive, and yielding to circumstances. Traditionally it is said that Taiji is three things: Qigong, Quan, and Dao-De.
Qigong (氣功) means energy practice. It is a method of circulating energy through the body to promote health and well-being. Taiji is an excellent system of Qigong. The basic theory is that if we relax everything into a stable base and move and breathe naturally, our energy will flow well and gradually improve its quality.
Quan (拳) means fist, which represents martial art. Taiji is not only for promoting health but also for preventing harm, a system of self-defense. The theory of Taiji martial art is that soft overcomes hard – by remaining calm and relaxed, yielding to oncoming force, we can respond spontaneously and remain unharmed.
Dao (道) means path – the way. The way of nature, the way of life, etc. De (德) means to encounter and embody the way. Taiji is not only for health and self-defense, but as a meditation it also invites us to a direct experience of our original nature, which we come to see is no different than nature itself.
Taiji training involves steeping ourselves in Laozi's philosophy and learning Taiji fundamentals, form, and partner practice. After a period of basic training, as we continue our practice we find that our experience becomes more profound and satisfying the more we practice.
I offer group classes and individual instruction, and my own original translation of Laozi's text, the Dao De Jing, is available to committed students. I am happy to teach anyone with sincere interest in improving their health, developing Taiji self-defense skills, or exploring Daoist philosophy and practice.
Contact Old Oak:
Please contact me if you are interested in learning Taijiquan or if you would like to discuss Daoist philosophy and practice.
Phone: (707) 280-9801 (leave message please)
The old oak rests in stillness and tranquility
Effortlessly gathering water and absorbing sunlight
Within, water and fire spontaneously commingle
The trunk is firm and solid, the leaves soft and supple