Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 5, 2009

Independence and Self -Reliance in Tai Chi

All paradigms and frameworks aside, all theories of the nature of the universe aside, the practice of tai chi chuan kung fu requires independence, self-reliance, and freedom. My teacher, Master Leungh Shum of Ying Jow Pai Eagle Claw, wrote in one of his books that he believed in himself, and that was enough. I agree, We cannot hinder ourselves by buying into one system or another. We have to be free to choose, free to explore on our own, and able to make those choices when we want to. This comes from developing good gong fu in whatever we choose to do, not just martial arts. The majority of people in the world are content to be sheep. Overwhelmed by the way of things, they are more than happy to have someone tell them what to do, how to live, how to make a living, how to behave. In a benevolent matrix, this is ok for them and they go through life with eyes closed. But for a select few, this is not ok. The tai chi person asserts his self, his identity, his uniqueness, his right to choose, within proper principles of course, his own way. If you develop the martial prowess of a true tai chi practitiioner, it gives you the courage, the stamina, the ability to be independent and free.

I am often caught between these two worlds, trying to succeed in the given matrix, trying to extricate myself from it and go my own way. And it’s important to realize that it is not just outside forces exerting behavioral control on us, but it is also our own attachments, ambitions, addictions, and desires that keep us from striking out on our own.

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