In my youth, I was an avid martial artist. I excelled in South Korean Tai Kwan Do, which I learned at the Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tai Kwan Do. Years after I stopped learning about hard style (external) martial arts, I became interested in soft style (internal martial arts). Part of this was a fascination with the manipulation of chi (or qi) energy, which stemmed from watching quite a few martial arts movies (most of them badly dubbed with english). Also, when games like Street Fighter came out (I mean, of course the original in 1987), I learned about this hadouken move and began to believe it was possible. Again, this was perpetuated when I started to watch Dragonball Z in the early 2000s.
Today, I don’t strive to learn how to throw a chi fireball at anyone (although I still do have dreams in which can perform a hadouken).
After my near death experience, the need for this type of practice became more pressing. I was able to find an entire worldwide society that teaches Tai Chi with a minimum of effort.
Taoist Tai Chi Society™
The society was formed by Master Moy Lin Shin, who brought it from China to Canada. It has spread throughout the world, since its creation.
You can learn about the society here: http://www.taoist.org/
You can watch a video of Master Moy Lin Shin performing an entire set in this video.
I joined a beginner class in January of 2013 and slowly began to learn the set of 108 moves. I was surprised at how familiar the movements were, since I had practiced a martial arts form for years in Tai Kwan Do. I found more benefits to Taoist Tai chi than I thought I would find.
- Improved Balance
- Increased Muscular Strength
- A quieter mind
As I continue to practice Tai Chi, I am learning about the practice of Taoism. The society has a mix of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucianist beliefs. Check out a picture of one of our semi-annual open houses.
The Eight Virtues
Here’s a summary of the 8 virtues (and their corresponding Wiki links):
The basic aims and objectives are in line with Taoist practice. I try my best to live this way. Here is an excerpt from the taoist.org website.
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Aims and Objectives
• To make the Taoist Tai Chi™ arts available to all.
We are dedicated to bringing these arts to every community, so that their many benefits are available to all who wish to experience them.
• To promote the health-improving qualities of the Taoist Tai Chi™ arts.
Practiced diligently, these arts cultivate both body and mind to restore and/or maintain good health. Our efforts are directed at making these benefits better known and understood, in order to promote physical, mental and spiritual well being in the community.
• To promote cultural exchange
Through these arts and through other activities, we endeavour to make the richness of Chinese culture more accessible, and thereby to promote greater understanding and respect among people.
• To help others Our foundation is compassion.
Our underlying charitable orientation is in keeping with the Taoist values of selflessness and service to others.