quotes (16)

Strong on the inside

Tai Chi Chuan, the great ultimate, strengthens the weak, raises the sick, invigorates the debilitated, and encourages the timid
– Cheng Man-ch’ing

In case you don’t know it yet, I love Tai Chi.

This looks like a contradiction because I hate fighting and war. If someone wants to start an aggressive discussion with me, I am gone.

And in case you don’t know it yet, Tai Chi is a very old Chinese martial art. Tai Chi means great ultimate and Chuan means fist.

If you hear the words martial art you think of fighting, kicking, punching, trying to hurt the enemy before he can hurt you, mainly to protect yourself from harm.

I know, sometimes it is really necessary to fight to protect yourself or a loved one, but why does the other guy want to hurt you? Why can’t people live next to each other in total peace?

When you look at Tai Chi you can recognize these mostly aggressive moves easily. Only they don’t look aggressive in Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a series of slow, smooth movements so it looks very nice, kind, soft and relaxing. No aggression at all.

However, though it doesn’t look so strong on the outside, it is very strong on the inside. Or perhaps I should say ‘very effective’.

You could say that Tai Chi is fighting against the enemies in your body and mind. Those enemies are, for instance, weakness, illness, debilitation and timidity, as Cheng Man-Ch’ing says in his quote. But also stress, chronic pain, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, etc.

Research has proven that Tai Chi helps with many issues. You can read more about that in this article, if you want.

So why is Tai Chi so effective? Because it yields.

So imagine someone attacks me. I hate fighting so I am not good at it. If I tried to hit him, I would probably get knocked out in no time. But if I yield in the moment he wants to punch me, he hits the air, I am not there anymore. So what happens then?

Because he put all his power into the punch, he will lose his balance (physically and psychologically) and perhaps even fall. And then I have the time and the space to call my friends/the police to get rid of him.

The same happens when you feel the flu coming on. Just yield, slow down, relax. In this state of relaxation your body and mind together have the time and the space to get rid of it, to fight the  enemy.

Another reason is prevention. You can prevent yourself from being attacked by choosing a safer neighborhood. If you live for a while in one city, you know where it is safe and where not. You are living your whole life in your body, you should know where it is safe or not. You should know what is good for you and what not.

  • Everybody knows that stress is not good for you
  • Everybody knows that immobility is not good for you
  • Everybody knows that some kinds of food are not good for you

So stay away from all this and go for the opposite.

  • Go for relaxation
  • Go for movement
  • Go for healthier food

The result will be that you are more relaxed, you are healthier and you feel happier.

The relaxation and the movement you will find in Tai Chi. The weird thing is that if you relax and move more you eat healthier too. You don’t need junk food to feel happier because you feel good already.

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