So what is Taiji all about? In this day and age there is so much crap out there that no one seems to know. There is confusion because everyone wants to think that Taijiquan is some sort of healthy dance that old people and new age weirdos do so that they can live longer and commune with the universe on some sort of cool ethereal plane --- balderdash!
Taiji is first about combat and at it's higher, advanced levels it is about healing. It's not about doing some pretty, slow, movements for 5 minutes/day and feeling good about yourself. Taijiquan is first and foremost a deadly martial art. One of the founders of this art, Yang Lu Ch'an was considered to be one of, if not the most deadly fighter of his day. Once you learn all about the violence of Taijiquan you then are able to begin learning about the healing of Taijiquan, how to heal yourself and others but there is so much more to it then simply doing a series of movements for a little bit once per week. To be quite honest if that's all you're doing take up walking, you'll pay less economically and get the same benefits.
Taijiquan is based on the internal structure of the spirit and the internal energy known as qi. To become internally focused takes years of training and to become internally focused for healing purposes takes even more years of training.
Taiji is about trusting one's self, faith in the path and the commitment to follow that path; the commitment to become that path. There is something indescribable about the art of Taijiquan and this is the internalness of the system.
I currently call what I teach "Internal Combat Concepts" for the very reasons stated above; Taijiquan has become the most abused and confusing art of the centrury and currently has a very poor image and I don't want to be associated with the Taijiquan of current popularity. My system, I believe, is what Taijiquan and in effect internal training should attempt to achieve: competent, powerful fighters who walk a path of peace in order to heal those around them --- not people who know how to do a bunch of choreographed moves in a fluid, pretty manner, who believe they are being internal and getting all of this great healing and all of this wonderful connection to the universe --- phooey!! Take a walk in the woods, breath fresh air and read Thoreau and you can find that.
Taijiquan is about violence, peace, combat, healing, trust, and faith and my challenge is for all of those instructors out there who claim to be teach "real" taijiquan to prove it and for those of you who want to train in Taijiquan because it's trendy or faddish; I challenge you to evaluate what you really want and then act on it and don't dirty what was at one time a pure, powerful, brutal art with your new age trivialities.