Wen Zhang

Physical Practice

The material on this page explores the physical practice of Taiji Quan and the Chinese internal arts.


Consciousness of Movement PDF Download - this paper looks at how the traditional Chinese notions used to describe the relationship between mind and body in movement relate to ideas from Western cognitive science. Although the language used is very different in the two approaches there are strong conceptual similarities, and understanding the relationship between the two descriptions can help to deepen one's movement practice in the context of Chinese internal arts.

Great Polar Fist and the Book of Change PDF Download - this paper originally appeared in print in the Spring 2004 edition of Tai Chi Chuan & Internal Arts, the journal of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, pp14-17. It looks at the connections between the martial art Taijiquan, which is based on the use of yin and yang in the domain of physical movement and self-defence, and the Yi Jing, which explores yin and yang in terms of cosmology and situational analysis.  The basic conclusion is that there are connections, but these connections exist at the deep levels of the two practices, rather than at their superficial levels.

In addition there are two short notes from a workshop exploring alternative connections between the symbols of Change and the physical jin 勁 of Taiji. I don't know it they make much sense without having attended the workshops, but...


I use a number of handouts for students on my short courses to provide background information and to help them remember the basics. You can find copies of these handouts here:

The Philosophical Basis of Taiji PDF Download - a brief introduction to the ideas of wuji and yin and yang discussed on these pages.

Posture PDF Download - a description of some of the basic points of posture. More details can be found in the section describing foundation practice.

Breathing PDF Download - a very simple breathing exercise that I use in most of my classes.