In Cape Town, under the guidance of Grand Master Feng-Ciao Lin, we are practicing, promoting and defining what we refer to as Self Nature Tai Chi.
Why develop this new form of Tai Chi?
In ancient China science was not as developed as it is today, and positivism was used to confirm any theory. The body was often utilized as a ‘laboratory’ to prove or reject various ideas or concepts. Many of the philosophies, understanding and concepts in Tai Chi Chuan developed from Taoist philosophy over the past (±) eight hundred years. This descriptive language comes from another age and culture which is fairly incomprehensible to contemporary students and scholars. This has led to incorrect translation, understanding and practice of Tai Chi over the last few decades. Tai Chi Chuan, as a form of exercise, has increased in popularity at a remarkable rate, but the essential skill and understanding of it seems to be decreasing at the same rate. The “dumbing down” of training may be helping fast absorption in our current culture, but it will eventually backfire when there is no one left that understands the true principles behind Tai Chi. Students and scientist alike will become disillusioned and start claiming that Tai Chi “does not work as advertised”. In our opinion this is already happening. A quick scan of the internet or YouTube will confirm that people have started doing “structure Tai Chi”, i.e. trying to do Tai Chi according to a particular visual structure but having no awareness of what gives rise to the structure and form in the first place. Their explanations are equally vague and incorrect. For example, almost all use the term “chi” to describe either energy or sensation they experience, both of which are incorrect. The creator of World Tai Chi Day mentioned that practitioners should not argue about which style is correct or best as it there is room for everyone. This may be true, but at least the underlying principles should be correct and intact or there will be nothing left of value for future generations.
Mathematics and Physics are universal languages and their principles mostly accepted by the average person. We aim to place the understanding of Tai Chi in the framework of concepts found in these fields. Our society has also adopted digital technology on a large scale which can enable one to explain many of the concepts and principles within Tai Chi.
Apart from updating the language of Tai Chi we also need to upgrade the actual practice and philosophy beyond the original Taoist understanding and principles. Taoist philosophy does not go beyond the eternal functions of Consciousness; Yin and Yang and endless re-incarnation. i.e. “To be or not to be..” as Shakespeare would say. This is however not our original and inherent state of being. We need to go even “further and beyond” Consciousness to discover our original Self. Isolating oneself from society on a mountain top for years on end is not practical (or advisable) in our current society. Tai Chi Chuan training can however be easily integrated into a busy urban lifestyle. It is therefore the perfect training vehicle for discovering Self Nature while still being able to function within society.
Self Nature Tai Chi has been adapted to be beneficial to our current lifestyle, society and environment. Humans are experiencing an incredible shift in the amount of electromagnetic equipment we are exposed to on a daily level. This is leading to EMF syndrome and in future is likely to become one of the main contributing factors to illness. It does not take a specialist to observe that people become a lot more stressed, anxious and cranky when they’ve spent too much time on their phone, computer, Wii etc. Self Nature Tai Chi is designed to re-align the person’s central nervous system. As the central nervous system control most body function and is the function most effected by EMF, Self Nature Tai Chi Chuan will be the best way to mitigate it’s effects.
Anyone that has done Tai Chi will know that it is impossible to learn from a book or DVD. Those are merely aids to learning and understanding. To learn Tai Chi properly you need a skilled teacher. We encourage instructors, students, scientists and medical practitioners to come to Cape Town to learn. The main principle behind Self Nature Tai Chi is that the practitioner needs to reflect and prove their Self Nature (original inherent state of being) to themselves through direct experience. Everyone argues over big bangs, creationism, “god particles”, strings, religion and materialism, yet how many make the effort to find the nature of reality first hand? If you’re a scientist you don’t need a Large Hadron Collider and if you’re religious you don’t need “blind” faith. Your Mind and body are the only tools required to solve the mysteries that plague an enquiring mind.