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A Beginner's Perspective of Taiji Quan

by Huang Bao Hua

For me to take up Taiji Quan is totally unexpected. When I looked back now, I see it as a blessing from God. Why do I say that? At an age as young as 27 when one was supposed to be at oneís prime, I started to have pain in my knee and back. I found it difficult to accept and when things didnít improve, I started looking out for treatment. After rounds of specialist consultation and X-ray scan, nothing seems to work. Three years later, I got to know a friend who practices Taiji Quan. I was quite surprised when I first learnt about it as he was kind of too young to be doing Taiji Quan, a sport that I often associate with old people. Under his encouragement, I decided to give Taiji Quan a try. I remembered that during my first official lesson, when Master Chong came over to explain some basic principles behind Taiji Quan, the thought that it was going to be some complicated and difficult to comprehend staff flashed across my mind. Well, it was actually not the case. Master Chong explained the importance of maintaining a balanced body, from maintaining the right posture to keeping the body at a relax state. The warming up exercise at the start of each section helped me greatly in improving my flexibility, strengthening muscles that are important but often neglected in our daily routine, loosening up my ligaments and tendons and preparing me for the Taiji Quan moves later on. One would be wrong to think that the warming up exercise is just slow and easy movements. It is actually very comparable to doing one hour of aerobic exercise. This is because though it was slow, a lot more effort is in building up internal strength and muscle endurance. After a few months, I started to feel the improvement in my knee and back pain. What a wonderful outcome. I got healed without using medication and now I get to do my favorite sports which I was told to abstain by my specialist. Now, I apply all these basic principles of Taiji Quan in all areas of my life, from walking, sitting to sports like swimming and running. I found that I am able to carry out all these activities with less effort and with better performance. The one thing about Taiji Quan is that it is a life time learning sport with no end. A sport that is beneficial to everyone regardless of race, gender or age.



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