Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tai-Chi and Purpose of Life

[Path to Mastery 2/16/10 – Wk23 D2 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Sang’s World

Why do I want to teach Tai-Chi to others?  

I have been asking this question often lately.  The reason I started teaching Tai-Chi is so that people can find their purpose in life.  You are probably thinking, “Practice Tai-Chi to find purpose in life?  What do those have to do with each other???”     

The reason is because of Tai-Chi’s incredible transformational power.  Practicing Tai-Chi has transformed my life in incredible ways.  To mention a few, before I started practicing Tai-chi, I had no endurance.  I was in other martial arts before, and when I would spar, I would get tired within 2 or 3 minutes.  Now I can spar for over 2 hours and still not be tired.  But I don’t do any kind of endurance exercise.  I used to have problems with balance.  Now I can squat on one leg all the way down and all the way up without loosing my balance without much effort.  I used to have a lot of anxiety and fear and now I feel emotionally free and high spirited.  I used to have a problem with discipline and now effortless discipline is a way of life.  My mind used to be scattered and now I can focus my mind.  It is fun to meet old friends because they tell me how I have completely changed.          

Once you have succeeded transforming in one area of life, it becomes contagious.  You start having hope that you can indeed change and you start hoping again.  You start recognizing there are principles to transformation and that it is not a fluke or luck.  This builds confidence and this confidence allows you to dream again.  The kind of dreams we gave up because we got beat up one to many times.     

I have experienced this transformation and found much joy in my life.  I also find there is much power in sharing these kinds of transformational experiences with others.  What I want for people is for them to discover their hidden power, their hidden potential, and start seeing really how awesome they are.  I want people to get addicted to growing from this experience and make self growth their passion in life.  I believe this hunger and passion for their journey of constant growth in pursuit of their heart’s deepest desire is a person’s purpose in life.

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

So far, we have covered the following:

8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11)
San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)

Today, we will be covering Ba-Gua.

Ba-Gua Part 1:
Ba-Gua is short for Ba-Gua-Jang, and it means Eight Trigram Palm.  

Ba-Gua is strictly speaking not Tai-Chi and it is a separate martial art of its own.  However, the principles that govern Tai-Chi and Ba-Gua are the same even though their manifestation is very different.  It is like having the same building blocks as a kid, but coming up with very different designs.  

Tai-Chi could be analogous to being a sphere.  Ba-Gua would be analogous to being the circumference of that sphere.  

When you practice Tai-Chi, you practice being an in-boxer.  You practice as if you are at the center of a sphere.  In Ba-Gua you practice being an out-boxer.  You practice as if you are the outside shell of a sphere.  This analogy is over-simplified, since both systems are very complex and complete on its own, but sometimes over-simplification helps with understanding.  

By practicing both Ba-Gua and Tai-Chi, your understanding of Tai-Chi deepens by the contrast.  As you practice the fast-paced sweeping movements of Ba-Gua, your understanding of the different kinds of movements that can be made is broadened. You start to solidify your understanding that the Tai-Chi system is one way of understanding the principles.   


  1. Well I can personally attest to the health benefits of Tai Chi. I also seem to have an edge at work and grad school, which I am thankful for. Most importantly in light of recent events this blog message today serves as one of the best reasons I have encountered for the continued practice of Tai Chi.

    Ba Gua, the "cousin" to Tai Chi. I am reminded of your previous blog, you have seen various martial arts form around the world and they all come down to the same principle in making the body move in a way that is natural, seems powerful. But here the extra closeness of origin provides extra awareness for both. I would love to see what happens to awareness if Xing Yi was added on.

  2. The most valuable part of Tai Chi for me is that it is training me to seek the truth in a healthy way. You really can't do it properly without getting intimate with yourself. I find it both humbling and inspiring. I am learning to know that when not doing Tai Chi as well as I thought I was, I can either use that as a stepping stone to new awareness, or I can allow my ego to get upset. It is my choice. That is the valuable practice that carries into everything else I do.