T'ai-Chi for the Masses--and Others... Written by Edward Orem
Kuang Ping was T'ai-chi set favored by Yang Lu-Chan, man who brought forward "Yang" style in mid-1800's, now so popular throughout world. Kuang Ping is what man trained with himself. The popular "Yang" set was/is something for masses--not for aficinado, athlete, martial artist.
I learned Kuang Ping from Kuo Lien Ying, third generation student of Yang Lu Chan. I was already an accomplished runner and martial artist when I started training (1970), so it was difficult to please me in arena of athletics--but 75 yr-old Kuo was definitely impressive! Eventually I studied five T'ai-chi sets, but his was/is definitely most dynamic and challenging.
I teach two sets currently: a short Yang style (for beginners and unfit) and Kuang Ping. They are both available on tape.
T’AI-CHI CH’UAN: A Few Words
This soft or "internal" art is, in all aspects, a psycho-physical exercise, a boxing system, and a meditation method. Most of tens of millions of practitioners are into it for health and meditation, so they move very slowly during training. But what most people don’t realize is that since art is founded on using principles of change, you can—and should—move body and mind according to need of moment.
This wondrous exercise can be used by anyone, male and female, old and young. A five year-old child and a person of 90 years or more are both able to practice T’ai-chi Ch’uan. The complete form can be learned within three months; pretty good acquaintance can be obtained with a year’s practice; and a student training perseveringly for about five years can have significant integration of mind and body, intuition and knowledge. There are delicate details of T’ai-chi, keys to its marvels which are understood only with faithful practice. Traditionally, a person is required to train seven years before qualifying as a teacher.
Martial Training as a Timeless PortalWritten by Edward Orem
Thanks to several centuries of enlightened teachings by extraordinary men in martial disciplines, we don’t have to be restricted to lives of getting and spending, waiting in quiet desperation for pain to cease.
Most of us in Arts focus on tasks in front of our noses (the correct hand forms/kicks/body alignments), forgetting our option to consciously evolve along way to physical perfection.
Words are easy, but we can avoid just blowing mouth-wind here by listing some timeless guides for self-growth, followed by training suggestions:
[ The physical and cerebral functions die, while spirit continues to grow. This is a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many clubs are satisfied with learning only to kick butt. What’s left when full contact is a thing of your matured past, with only knee pains to jolt a dim memory? Lots of ways to answer that one—and it’s better to cultivate chi and meditation practices now.
[ Assume you know nothing—then Superior Man will appear. The most formidable opponent is your own ego. In training, first learn to listen and watch carefully, then proceed with selfless attention and caution. Your higher functions will then operate without impediments.
[ No authority exists outside of your Self. The successful student-master relationship is necessarily a symbiotic one. Each needs other in order to bring task at hand to fruition. Many modern followers of martial arts have forgotten that grading system produces no absolute ranks. The system is circular: student must decide by what criteria he wishes to be graded, and then he finds an acceptable person to confer content of desired curriculum. Similarly, teacher must decide qualities of a potentially desirable student, then contract with that candidate. Both are dipping from same well, both are reflections of a Being offering meta-cultural sustenance.
[ Nature points Way. It is not possible to express in words what is most real, sublime, and ultimate. Recognizing limitations of intellect, martial training traditions guide with lamp of direct experience. The fool wastes energy talking, while Master gets on with work—usually outside.