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Mankind's wisdom gained from personal experience

 

Taiji, together with bagua und xingyi, belongs to the three classic Taoist systems, which originated in the Wudang Mountains and is now the most well known of these three martial art forms in the West. Right up to today, it stands for the way to discover the truth within us and to follow it until we become wise and the laws of Nature are revealed to us.

 

In the 12th and 13th century, the Chinese society had achieved by means of its high culture a degree of luxury that already revealed the characteristics of a decadent affluent society. The warlike Tartars and Mongols were therefore able to assert themselves against the Chinese relatively easily. Due to the political turmoil that prevailed at the time, the famous hermit, Zhang San Feng withdrew back to nature, in order to seek and experience the origin of the essence of life. The legend states that he observed a fight between a snake and a crane and from this developed the movements of taiji. His training methods stemmed from traditions of energy exercises and forms of meditation, the origins of which were even then centuries old.

 

By observing wild animals and the forces of nature, Zhang San Feng found his way back to the real riches of human existence. In the movements of the snake, the wildcat or the crane, he discovered the many and diverse manifestations of universal force and developed from these the path of taiji. For him and his pupils, this became the facility for withdrawing from the degenerate development of civilization, for finding their way into the original essence of nature and for moving in harmony with the 'flow of vital energy'.

 

 
What Andy found fascinating in taiji was the intensive experience enabled by the linking of physical exercise and philosophy. The body becomes a veritable 'dojo', an actual training space. It is the place where we can find the inner path. Expressed in graphic terms, our development can be compared with trekking across a high mountain. We bring the dojo to this mountain, where the atmosphere is beneficial and where we can enjoy a wide panoramic view and free our thoughts of our everyday problems. We discover wisdom using our instinct and not by learning specialist knowledge. In the last years of his life, Andy used to practise taiji at the end of a hard day's training, in order to regenerate and harmonize his inner self.
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