Ancient Chinese Kung Fu and Its Influence on Tai Chi

Ancient Chinese kung fu and Its Influence on tai chi

Chinese ancient Wushu has been developing in thousands of years of simple weapon age on the basis of the philosophy of “One Yin and one Yang forms Dao”. In the middle age of Ming dynasty, the ancient Wushu reached its peak, yet still adhering to the principle of “To exercise in accordance with Yin and Yang”. This appeared in works of Qi Jiguang (1528-1587) and Yu Dayou (? -1580) of Ming dynasty who were canonized by people at that time and by Wushu practioners ever since.

Qi Jiguang wrote about application of rules of Yin and Yang’s transformation in “Shortly Utilize Excellent Weapons” and “Fully Utilize Short Weapons” of “Ji Xiao New book”, he dissertated about mutual utilization of shortage and privilege. Yu Dayou disclosed methods of transforming corresponding factors like hardness to softness, movement serenity leading to backward. He suggested principles of methods to succeed with attacking and protecting, like “Utilize the trend of other people and borrow other people’s strength”, “Act when the counterpart was in situation that lightly over last strength and haven’t come new strength”, “Move with serenity and work with leisure”. His theories have been deemed as excellent know-how by aftertime Tai Chi practioners.

In summary, “Ji Xiao New Book” of Qi Jiguang and “Swordplay Scriptures” of Yu Dayou represent ancient Wushu’s development into a new peak along the principle of “To exercise in accordance with Yin and Yang”. Viewing from the theory of “Yi has Tai Chi, it generates Two Elements”, meaning that the Two Elements are referred as Yin and Yang, we may deem concepts of Wushu of Qi Jiguang and Yu Dayou as early Tai Chi Movement Concept. Whereas more correctly, it was only counted as Yin and Yang Movement Concept. Until in the Ming and Qing dynasties appeared Tai Chi, which gradually inosculated phase, number and theory of natural viewpoint of Tai Chi. (Written by Edward Chen)

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