Taiji 37 (also called Nanpai or Southern School Taiji)
is a series of Taijiquan techniques which, as customary in Chinese tradition, were usually passed on only from father to son. Nearly lost when many of the Southern School Masters were killed in the Sino-Japanese war, this knowledge was recovered by Dr. Shen Hongxun.
Poetry of the Nanpai School of Taiji evokes a mysterious and enigmatic image, of being invisible and without form, meaning that really there is no Taiji Form as such, only standing postures and stances that naturally flow from one to another through spontaneous movement.
Invisible, without form
your whole body transparent and empty
Surrender yourself to nature,
as a giant rock suspended
in midair on the Western Mountain does.
Like a howling monkey, a roaring tiger,
still water, a quiet stream
Overturning rivers and seas,
turn yourself around
and stand in a new life....
Each Posture has its own specific spontaneous movement, which manifests as a result of the appropriate mental attitude, the right level of concentration and a correct posture. When practised in this way the postures stretch and open different energy channels and activate the three qi-circulations, helping to expel pathogenic factors (BinQi) from the body. With further exercise, the spontaneous movement becomes more refined and internalised. Students learn to control and guide this spontaneous movement force through the cultivation of strong mental force.
The function of these Taiji 37 techniques is to awaken and activate the Dantian (energy centre) and thus cultivate Taijijin (Taiji Forces), primary of which are Vibration Force, Spontaneous Movement Force, and Mental Force.
These forces are innate to everyone
but in most people they are dormant.
Many practitioners of Taijiquan have
never experienced the sensation of movement
of their inner energy and do not know how
to discover and develop these Taijijin.
Traditionally, the prerequisite foundation for studying Taijiquan was to develop Taiji forces through these standing postures.
Originally, Taiji was created as a martial art and used for combat. Fighters practised to activate their Dantian, then, when Dantian force flowed freely through their energy channels, skilled fighters could project this force out of their bodies and use them to fight opponents, even at a distance.
Today, Taijiquan has shifted towards a more health-orientated purpose, but the forces used for health and healing are exactly the same. With training these Taiji Forces can be used for self-healing and for the treatment of others.
Most people (supported by the results of numerous medical research projects) think that Taijiquan has a healing effect. Many practitioners believe that it improves their health because it activates the qi circulation; this is in part true, but the main reason is because the outward stretching and direction of concentration force and Qi expels negative, stale, stagnant and potentially illness causing factors (BinQi).
Taiji Forces increase the volume and force of the Qi flowing through the meridians and push the BinQi out of the body, removing blockages in the energy channels, optimising the circulation of the internal vital energy or life force, allowing the Qi to circulate freely again and thus helping to correct and regulate all bodily functions and thereby improve health and wellbeing.
For these reasons Taiji 37 is a swift and direct route to better health and to a higher level of understanding of Taiji Forces and the practice of Taijiquan
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