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 Mind/Body Tools for Peak Performance: Clarity in the Words: Languaging the Chinese Arts of Self Healing and Personal Vitality Enhancement  

Kung =

European, Wade-Giles for practice, exercise, refine, cultivate

Tai =

Pin Yin for big, huge, grand, immense, supreme

T'ai =

Wade-Giles for big, huge, grand, immense, supreme

Dao =

Pin Yin for The Way, as in Daoism, Dao De Jing

Tao =

Wade Giles for The Way, as in Taoism, Tao Te Ching

Taiji =

Pin Yin for Supreme Ultimate, Immense Absolute or Big Pure

T'ai Chi =

Wade-Giles for Supreme Ultimate, Immense Absolute or Big Pure

Qigong =

Chinese, Pin Yin, for cultivation or refining of energy or vitality

Ch'i Kung =

European, Wade - Giles, for cultivation or refining of energy or vitality

As you can see the word Taiji (T'ai Chi) doesn't suggest either martial arts or health improvement. It is an all-encompassing philosophical concept. When one brings this concept to either fighting or healing it is profoundly enriching. This is one of the beautiful features of Chinese culture. It makes philosophical poetry out of the fighting arts and the healing arts.

Taijiquan or T'ai Chi Chuan is one of the most famous of all Chinese health enhancing exercise systems. It has strong links to the martial arts as well. Taijiquan includes 108 movements in the long form or between 20 and 40 movements in the short forms. There are dozens of kinds of Taiji. The Yang style is the most broadly practiced in China, however the Wu style and the Chen style are very popular also. All of the styles of Taiji may be considered as varieties of Qigong (Ch'i Kung).

If your goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the words please continue. However, if your goal is to look at the practical applications of Taiji of Qigong you may want to go on to the next page.

These two words, Tai Qi or T'ai Ch'i, sound like Taiji (T'ai Chi) but they are not. Neither, you will be surprised to find, are names for any typical exercise or self healing system. These words describe big vitality, supreme energy or radiant health. Tai Qi is not the same as Taiji nor is T'ai Ch'i the same as Tai Chi. This has been very confusing to many. Someone who has big health or grand energy (Tai Qi or T'ai Ch'i) probably does health enhancing methods on a regular basis. It is very likely that whoever has Tai Qi or T'ai Ch'i does Taiji or T'ai Chi every day, with perseverance. They may also do some other form of Qigong (Ch'i Kung).

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 About The Author
Roger Jahnke OMDRoger Jahnke has been in the health field since 1967 beginning with body therapies, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation. He turned his attention seriously to Oriental medicine in 1972 with study at the North......more
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