In the latest tai chi video that Susan A. Matthews and I produced, my teacher Master George Xu talks about what he calls “universal yin yang,” the irreducible principle found everywhere. Wherever you examine how a thing works you will find yin-yang. This is a mystery for even those who accept the notion. You can’t really explain how it works, you can only accept that it does . . . . and that you can apply it in life; tai chi practice being an excellent way to do so.
I don’t talk about my videos much on this blog because I like talking about ideas, concepts and understandings. My teacher does, too. He talks in metaphors since he comes from Chinese traditions. It is useful to him, however, to rearticulate his knowledge in new metaphors for our benefit that reflect his understandings and our more contemporary minds. They present differently in English in contrast to Mandarin or Shanghaiese, as well.
The new video, entitled The Universal Principle of Yin-Yang in the Practice of Qigong, Baguazhang, and Xingyi Basics, is a 2-DVD set in three parts. Master Xu leads our group in many qigong sets, single drills, Bagua Dragon Palm (never before shared), and a comprehensive set of Xing-Yi single animal forms and variations. Even a beginner could get started by following along with the sets at home. You can use each as a standalone training video if you are a teacher, too.
Between practice sessions, Master Xu delineates practical applications of the yin-yang principle. Many concepts he had not publicized before and in several cases articulates them even more precisely than he had in past sessions. Master Xu explains yin-yang principles as they apply in dantian, qigong, spiral force, predator force, and earth power. The interplay between yin and yang applies to physical and energy, including Heavy/Light, Soft/Hard, Full/Empty, Inward/Outward, Left/Right, Up/Down, Front/Back, Feminine/Masculine, and so on. At the same time, yin is always infinitely contained within yang and yang within yin, and the resulting combined force that is created is superior power.
The yin-yang universal principle applies to all forms of martial arts in China, Master Xu explains. He says that of an estimated 300 styles of martial arts in China, all of their disciples are searching for the secrets. Many claim that theirs is the “best,” and Master Xu says that for him the taijiquan principle of yin-yang is the one concept that unites them all. The thread that weaves through all internal martial arts is that of yin-yang. If you understand this then you have the answer that many have sought for ages.