Taijiquan as Advanced Rationality

As a development of higher reason, Taijiquan is a distinct activity with a unique philosophy, which is indicative of an advanced rationality. This use of the human mind has developed a set of combat effective physical exercises that are designed to complement the anatomy and physiology of the human body. No movement exists within Taijiquan that has not evolved from the requirement of optimising the inner and outer physical structures of the body.

The Hong Wu Emperor Praises Islam

When the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over-threw the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and chased the Mongolians out of China, the first emperor Hong Wu (1328-1396), instead of attacking the Islamic faith ordered that mosques be constructed so that Chinese Muslims could continue to pray and worship Allah. He also wrote a hundred character poem in praise of Islam – portraying the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as an enlightened sage of the highest order. This is significant as many descendents of Arab tradesmen practice (and preserve) Northern Chinese martial arts that often linked to Long Fist. Both Muslims (and Jews) have lived in China for many centuries.)

Training Through Change

‘The human body is subject to the unstoppable change of aging. This is a forgone conclusion that no known agency can prevent. As time goes by the body changes, this is an important and crucial point that must be acknowledged as martial arts mastery is based entirely upon the aging process.’

How Old Is The Term Taijiquan?

‘The body of Henning’s article may be considered a rehash of the old ‘Wudang’ vs. ‘Shaolin’ mythology, with the facts (where they can be established), presented in a logical, if not meandering fashion; dates, names of emperors and portions of lineages, etc. China’s ‘Self Strengthening’ movement is mentioned near the end, as the final impetus for the association of Zhang Sanfeng with the development of Taijiquan – but oddly enough, Henning (who has written in military journals), does not acknowledge that this movement developed in China as a response to the rampant Western Imperialist aggression typical of the time. Curiously Henning makes no reference to the pre-Song uses of the term ‘Taiji’ which are known to refer to the practice (and usage) of martial arts. It is ironic therefore, that Henning would refer to Chinese myths and legends as ‘ignorance’, when so much of his historical omissions and oversights could well attract a similar criticism.’

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