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Tai Chi Thought’s Influence on Chinese Wushu or Martial Arts

The word Tai Chi firstly appeared in “Zhou Yi or I Ching”, which was deemed as the best sutra by Chinese academia.

Zhou Yi and Xi Ci Shang” stated that: “Yi has Tai Chi, it generates Two Elements, the Two Elements generate Four Phases, and the Four Phases generate Bagua, the Eight Diagrams”. Among which, the Two Elements are Yin and Yang, the Four phases refer to four seasons or Gold, Wood, Water and Fire, the Eight Diagrams represent eight kinds of matters which are endlessly generating and developing. In this deriving procedure, the “Tai Chi” centering contents of Yin and Yang was the origin generating all things; the reason to generate and develop endlessly was Yin and Yang’s dependence on each other and everlasting transformation of Yin and Yang.

Ancient philosophers considered that the natural rule embodied in this deriving procedure was a universal rule in matter’s transformation. So “Zhou Yi and Xi Ci Shang” said that: “One Yin and one Yang forms Dao(Tao)”. “Lao Zi” said that: “All things are composed of Yin and Yang” (from Charter Forty Two of Lao Zi). So Tai Chi was composed of one Yin and one Yang, and everything was composed of Tai Chi, “All things in the universe can be explained with Tai Chi” (Charter Ninety Four of “Zhu Zi Yu Lei” written by Zhu Xi). When they probed into the theory of Tai Chi, there also appeared “Tai Chi Diagrams” to interpretate “Yi has Tai Chi and generates Two Elements”. These diagrams include: Diagram of Hollow Circle (Figure 1), Diagram of Water and Fire (Figure 2), Diagram of Yi with Tai Chi (Figure 3), Diagram of Zhou’s Tai Chi (Figure 4), Diagrams of Tai Chi Yin and Yang Fishes (Figures totally five.

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