About Mushin

IMA insights

Foreword

Master Wang Yongquan

A special transmission outside the scriptures; not dependent on words or letters; by direct pointing to the mind of man, seeing into one’s true nature and attaining Buddhahood – Bodhidharma on Zen

There are many lineages of the popular Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. Most of these lineages trace their transmission back to the third generation inheritor, Yang Chengfu.

I have learned different lineages of Yang Tai Chi beginning with the well known style of Cheng Manching before moving on to the styles passed down through the lineages of respectively Nip Chee Fei, Yang Shouchung and Dong Yingjie.

However, the style that made the biggest impact on me in terms of mastery, the one that I continue to practice today is the style that was first made accessible to the public by Grandmaster Wei Shuren.

GM Wei Shuren

The style of GM Wei goes beyond just mere training of the physical. To discover the essence of this unique method of Tai Chi we have to detach ourselves from that which enslaves our body and mind with the mundane.

Mastery of this particular Tai Chi as dictated by the principles of the Tai Chi Classics requires that we seek that which utilizes the mind to train the body to optimize its own movements with minimal outer motions.

The story of GM Wei’s style began when Yang Jianhou transmitted his family’s art to the Wang family (father Wang Conglu, son Wang Yongquan) in the residence of Pu Lun Bei Zi, a Manchurian Prince for whom the elder Wang worked to run the operations of the household.

In later years, Wang Yongquan taught Yang Tai Chi publicly in Beijing. He taught the popular Yang Chengfu version to the disciples that he accepted early in his teaching career. He did not teach the secret art to them.

It was towards the end of his teaching career that old master Wang finally revealed the art that he had learned from Yang Jianhou. It was during this period that a number of new students joined to learn this fascinating art. One of these new students was GM Wei who had been learning Chen style Tai Chi for a long time.

At the time of this writing GM Wei would have passed away for nearly nine years (11 June 2013). He had been instrumental in transmitting the art to 50+ disciples. At the time of his retirement GM Wei formally designated two disciples to transmit the art. Since then, the number of practitioners of this style has grown but remain low by comparison to other Yang styles.

My teacher said that learning this art is easy, but practicing it is challenging. To succeed in the learning you must really want to learn it, want to master it and is prepared to keep practicing it, gnawing away at the learning difficulties until you get through them. There’s a saying, one in a thousand, which means that out of a thousand students learning this art only one will master it.

The information I have written here is to give a better idea of what the art is about. It is not meant to be instructional because there are many subtleties to the art, subtleties that you will only realize when you have put in enough practice to get the basics correct enabling you to go beyond them.

THE TAI CHI JOURNEY

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1. INTRODUCTION

A journey begins with the first step; a practice with the first repetition.

More than four decades after the first foray into the study of Tai Chi it seems that the more I know, the more I do not know.

2. IMPORTANCE OF INSIGHTS

The beauty of the internet is the wealth of knowledge that is available. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing for too much knowledge can confuse even as it enlightens.

Yangstyleintention

In the old days my teachers did not look at my progress by the color of my belt for I had none save a leather belt to hold up my pants. Instead, they were interested in the insights that I had gained from the practice of what they had taught.

3. SOURCE OF INSIGHTS

Insights can come from practice.

Insights can also come from unexpected sources be it during the course of a conversation, of reading a book, of watching a video, of pondering a problem, and so on.

4. USING INSIGHTS

Insights can modify our practice and give rise to a new practice. An insight can be valid until it is not.

Insights are a means to an end. Do not get too hung up on them. Know them, use them and move on.

5. THE JOURNEY SO FAR

Last week I unpublished the 980 odd posts that has been posted on this blog since 2015. This is something I do regularly when I have a change in direction, interest, idea, and so on.

To move forward one must let go of the past. I work for a boss who would freely share knowledge. Customers may be appreciative of this but their appreciation does not result in more business. But then the business is run more on the lines of an interest than on a business.

I once asked the boss why she would do this. Her reply was there is plenty more knowledge where it came from and if one does not let go of existing knowledge then new knowledge cannot come in.

So I have decided to unpublish the old posts, throw open the window and let fresh posts come in. I have also closed some of the other channels of information so if you find that you can no longer access an app you now know why.

6. NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE

Most knowledge are organized. The depth of a subject matter can be such that the more well known, popularly presented knowledge is not doing it full justice. There may be other hidden aspects that we do not know of.

We can simplify knowledge. We can present complex knowledge. It depends on who we are catering to. It also depends on how much we want to inform the reader.

Some knowledge are intuitive, others counter-intuitive. Most of us will only ever scrape the surface of a topic. If we are lucky we might stumble onto a more in-depth version of the topic along the way.

Knowledge is not by nature linear. Knowledge though organized can be chaotic. Knowledge can be obviously linked or indirectly linked.

7. THE REVAMP

Over the years I have written the following eBooks for the general public :-

i) TaijiKinesis Vol 1 : Navigating the Taijiquan Maze
ii) TaijiKinesis Vol 2 : Learning the Taijiquan Form
iii) TaijiKinesis Official Handbook Volume 2 – Background
iv) TaijiKinesis Official Handbook Volume 4 – Learning Pole
v) The Ip Man Questions : Kicks, power & strategies in the martial art of Wing Chun
vi) 2-Dots : Six Learning Steps for Mastering Wing Chun’s Kicking Model

At one point I wanted to write down as much as I could of what I know but it has not gone beyond the planning stage as writing can take up a lot of time.

I am now trying to do this by using this blog to do so. I will not write in a linear fashion, in the order in which I want the information to be presented. Instead of writing an unlimited number of posts I will write a number of major posts with each post supported by minor posts that delve deeper into the main topics.

All the topics will be organized via an Index folder which you will see as a separate tab on this blog.

Some of these posts can be expected to be revised or even re-written over time until I consider it final in which case you will see a FINAL word after the topic name, for example, Insight 123 – Hitch Hikin’ (FINAL).

The only thing I cannot control nor anticipate is the life span of a blog in particular the hosting company, WordPress. If WordPress were to ever close then I will save all the information. Until then I want to keep it as a live book, one that keeps changing with the coming and going of knowledge.

8. SUMMARY

Insights.

Generate your own to move along the progress curve in your learning journey.