Culture Salon: Taichi Experience Course


On Monday, May 14th, the Yenching Academy held a Taichi Workshop for its students. Around 18 students came to participate and learn about this ancient tradition.

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The lesson began with an introduction from the Taichi master Professor He Zhongkai at Peking University PE Department. He explained to students that Taichi is not just a traditional sport practiced in China, but it also represents core tenets of Chinese thought. For example, one aspect of Taichi asks practitioners to understand the opponent's move before striking. Another aspect of Taichi involves getting the most out of a move while doing the least amount of work. The Master compared this to the Western style of boxing, which he stated is more about power and striking.

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The Master followed the brief introduction on theories in Taichi with a few videos to show scholars what advanced forms of Taichi look like. The scholars were treated to videos of some of the best practitioners of Taichi in the world and told to take note of their movement and style. After this brief introduction, the students went to the space outside for a hands-on lesson.

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During the practice part, Professor He introduced to the scholars three moves of Yang Style Taichi 24 Posture: Commencing form, Part the Wild Horse’s Mane on Both Side, and White Crane Spreads its Wings. Professor He also taught the scholars some general rules for the Yang style Taichi, such as always keep the back straight while have the arms and legs bent. After the scholars learned the moves collectively from Professor He, they started to practice individually under the guidance of the instructor.

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 After this workshop, scholars gained an in-depth understanding of Taichi and Chinese culture. The workshop inspired the scholars’ interests in Taichi and some of them are planning to join the Peking University Taichi Club to continue their Taichi adventure.

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by Alexandria Williams, 黄雪凇