Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | April 9, 2009

Wu Xia and the Tai Chi Code of Ethics

There is a genre of literature in chinese culture called wu xia, which basically is the martial artist as knight errant, traveling through the world, defending the defenseless, saving damsels in distress, and fighting for justice, righting injustices. Modern American versions include David Carridine’s Kung fu series, the Bourne Identity flicks, and countless other movies and tv series. It’s a romantic notion, isn’t it, this King Arthur’s court, Knights going out and doing their thing.

But aside from the fictional romance, there is a code of ethics that is inherent in the tai chi martial artist. Some of them are: Independence, freedom, righteousness, loyalty, honesty, authenticity, a sense of justice, goodness, kindness, perseverence, humility, fairness, equanimity, stalwartness, truth, integrity, loyalty. All these qualities and more can be found in the I Ching, or Book of Changes. Adaptability, creative, spontaneous, intuitive, aware, calm under pressure; in mideival literature, it was known as  non chalance, don’t let them se you sweat, act as if you know even if you don’t. Ha!

And of course, all of this is backed up by some kick ass martial arts skills! And the tai chi attitude–the zen attitude of  not being afraid to die! Ha!

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