Metamorphosis

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The metamorphosis of a Taiji player to a Taiji boxer is a subtle but enlightening shift in both perspective and potential. It could be assimilated as the pupae and the butterfly; all the essential ingredients are consolidated within. However, only with clear intention and mindful attention, will this subtle change occur.

This transition requires patience, persistence, acceptance of pain and perseverance of the disciple, a road less traveled by the majority of Taiji players.  Most Taiji players practice the form (the form or set of 108 movements) with little attention to its martial roots or its philosophical heritage. It requires adept tutelage, natural ability and, above all, patience, in order for the miraculous conception to take place. This is the mystery of the metamorphosis from Taiji player to Taijiboxer.

If we examine ourselves daily with mindful meditations and mental alertness, checking our thoughts, motivations, and their external manifestations in our behavior, it may be possible to occasionally catch a glimpse of the secret change in process. Looking too hard will most certainly evade your awareness. There lies the beauty of the Taiji symbol and the wisdom of the ages.

If you spend your life and energy to focus only on the inward journey, (the Taiji sequence or set) it is like staring at your fingers pointing to the moon. Do not concentrate only on your fingers. Then you will miss all the heavenly glory of the Taiji boxer’s journey. Form without function is a functionless form. The movement without the meaning is mindless movement. Therefore, the Taiji form without the boxing is incomplete, like a bicycle without gears. You never reap the maximum benefit of the bicycle with all its innate potential. With diligent practice you will grow to understand that stillness is the foundation, and action is the use. Action then becomes the fulfillment of stillness, known as the spirit of vitality. Such blending of stillness and motion is a foundational part of the change related to the Taoist principles of yin and yang.

Another part of the subtle change is the rule of the hard becoming soft and the secret of cotton and steel. It is an important transition that all Taiji boxers understand softness overcoming hardness.

Hard things become brittle, and brittle things break. Too soft can be too weak, therefore I believe “Be soft and sensitive on the outside and strong and supple on the inside” just like cotton over steel. The practice of silk reeling and bone marrow washing and tendon changing skills helps this part of the transformation.

The integration of the thirteen powers, as well as practice and applications of the push hands theory, helps to solidify the “quiet skills”{ Chi Na ,Shuai Jiao, Fa Jin, Kicking skill, and striking techniques}.

The Taiji boxer’s martial skills round out and solidify with the addition of weapons’ training and Qui Kung techniques.

With this basic formula combined with a minimum of 15 years of dedication and diligent practice, the disciple will be on his way to the completion of their metamorphosis.

In the stillness and motion of our daily lives, the Tao of being enhanced with martial discipline and clarity of the Buddhist mind is essential to living a compassionate and vital life.

These treasures, discovered by the ancient Taoist sages, are as relevant now as they’ve ever been. All we need to do is apply them. This may be the reason for Taijiquan to be known as the supreme ultimate fist.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I believe that partaking and sharing our knowledge is the way to achieve our own individual vault of immortality.

Sifu Dennis Pounall

Sifu Dennis Pounall lives and works in Elliot Lake, Northern Ontario as a Paramedic  and has been practicing martial arts for over 28 years. He has studies in Okinawa Karate, Pang GI Noon Gung Fu, Kali Jujitsu, Kook Sol Won , Korean martial arts and Traditional Yang combat style Taiji Quan.  He competes nationally and internationally, and is available for workshops and Seminars.

Subscrive to his youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/dpounall

He can be contacted at dennis_pounall@yahoo.ca

Website: www.vitfitklub.com

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