What Is Tai Chi Play?

Shifu Ward’s student, Zhen Rathbun, plays Tai Chi on a majestic evening in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In the Tai Chi & More World, we say Tai Chi "Play" for all our Tai Chi activities.

We do not say workout, practice, study, and other traditional words or terms associated with physical fitness and mental conditioning.

Tai Chi is a "soft power" way of being. A fundamental aspect of Tai Chi is Ying/Yang, which means -- soft/hard; water/rock; push/pull; up/down and the like.

It also means heaven/earth, woman/man, water/fire, and the like.

Early in my Tai Chi play with Master Yang in Beijing, China, he said to me, "Even the mighty oak tree falls with the strongest win - but bamboo never falls." He went on to "say one cannot be defeated if no resistance is offered."

Then he said these profound words to me, "The best fight to win is the one you never have."

Over the years, I found that I had to listen to the words and philosophies of Master Yang from new and open listening. I had to look - not from a western "straight forward" mentality - but rather a circular flow that has no beginning and no end.

You see, Tai Chi is more than physical movement -- it is body structural alignment, balance, and energy flow.

Tai Chi is more than mind focus, mental discipline, and mind control. Tai Chi is releasing mental restrictions and opening new pathways to self-empowerment via relaxation and calmness, letting go of limitations, and accessing more of our innate and immense natural power.

Tai Chi is more than internal calmness and peace within -- it helps us bring our “inner life force” more present in our everyday lives in ways to face and explore every new day with confidence and a positive outlook.

In Tai Chi & More, we play Tai Chi and open our body, mind, and spiritual energy to the ways of the Masters over more than a thousand years.

This is Tai Chi Play.

Shifu Ward

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