What is Tai Chi Quan?

With much gratitude to Peter Stephen Williamson, a tai qi coach at the University of Cape Town, who wrote the following article. He explains Tai Chi in a different way. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

What is Tai Qi Quan ?
It originated as a Martial Art a long, long time ago, but has now become an art in which one learns to overcome one’s ultimate enemy – the ego-centric self.
Sometimes called “Moving Mediation”, Tai Chi Quan encourages one to slow the mind and the body to, ultimately, connect to the Universal Rhythm, the Pulse of the Universe.
In this endeavour we discover a great deal about our selves and, in the long run, become healthier, more tranquil, more tolerant, and this change is usually remarked upon by our friends or “outsiders”.

What is the purpose of Tai Qi Quan ?
The purpose is to connect to the Universe, find and develop the Qi within us, to slow down in all that we think and do, and to become a ‘better’ person in thought, word and deed.
The Principles or Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan are compatible with all “religions” and areas of thought and do not discriminate between them, ever. You, the individual, carry the Heavenly Qi (energy) within you and learn to use it for the betterment of the self and of the world.

Is it religious ?
No! It is a non-discriminatory philosophy that is inherent in all religions. There is a “spiritual” aspect which is touched on when we talk about “heavenly Qi” and “the Universe”, and the “Qi” or “spirit” that is within us all. If we “attach” to words then we discriminate and differentiate. ALL Creation comes from One Creator, known by many names, but which is the source of all life and existence.
Although terms may appear “physical” and “forceful” we endeavour to perceive our “push” as projecting love, compassion, benevolence, tolerance and acceptance to all beings. Our “punch” becomes a rejection or pushing away of OUR desires and egos – our self focusing “self”.

Peter Stephen Williamson,
Tai Qi Coach at University of Cape Town