What Do They Mean By "Energies?"
An Ultimate Fighter's Take on Kung Fu

What Tai Chi Isn't....

nothing mystical about tai chi
Tai Chi is NOT hocus pocus.

Here's an excerpt from a newspaper article about a Tai Chi teacher. I'm sure this teacher is a nice person, and her classes are probably doing people some good from an exercise and calming perspective. But this part of the story surprised me (well, not really). I removed the name of the teacher because this post is aimed at making a point about Tai Chi, not an individual.

Here is a clip from the newspaper story about the Tai Chi teacher:


According to those who practice the exercise, someone has, receives and releases energy that is either positive or negative.

“In Austin, we had a young lady who was going for the high jump in the Olympics,” (the teacher) said. “The master had the young lady’s picture in the envelope, put it into a circle and did some forms sending positive energy her way. She didn’t win a medal, but she did go to the Olympics.”



Positive thinking is a wonderful thing. But this type of practice has nothing to do with Tai Chi. In telling this type of story, we place ourselves in the company of those who believe in things like witchcraft. It implies that if the "master" hadn't done the forms around the photo, the young woman wouldn't have gone to the Olympics.

Tai Chi is not mystical, and if anyone attends a class where the instructor talks this way, please be aware that you're probably not really learning Tai Chi. The instructor might have good intentions, and might be a great and caring person, but there is absolutely no scientific validity to statements like this. I wish more people in the Tai Chi community, especially the martial artists, would become a little more vocal about things like this. We don't have to be mean about it, but as long as we perpetuate the mystical, we're going to continue to keep a large segment of the American public away from our art.

-- by Ken Gullette

If you would like to learn real Tai Chi, Xingyi and Bagua -- the internal arts of Chinese kung-fu -- without the mystical mumbo-jumbo, go to my membership site and try two weeks absolutely free. More than 850 video lessons and downloadable eBooks and pdf documents teaching skills from basic to advanced. Go to www.internalfightingarts.com


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