Wuji Taiji

“Taoist practice is not a magic elixir… well, actually, it is, but it’s an elixir you create yourself.”

Bruce Kumar Frantzis may have said this
North to East Cycle

Theme: “Love Throughout the World” Where the Fun Starts Early in the Day ~ Banzai Republic

Wuji Taiji or Primordial Taiji is, as the name implies, a simple and profound form suitable for any level of practitioner. The beginner benefits because all the principles of taiji: the slow, rhythmic movements, the alternation of yin & yang, weight distribution, the alignments, all are contained within a simple, memorizable framework. The more advanced practitioner benefits because the healing nature of the form is cumulative and works on the three bodies of the taoist medicinal system: the physical body, the qi body and the spirit body.

The teacher who gave me this form is the scholarly and prolific Sifu Michael Winn who lives and teaches in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. He was given it by his teacher, Dr. Zhu Hui. Master Zhu told my teacher that this form has been transmitted from master to student in an unbroken line going back to the legendary founder of taiji in the Southern Song Dynasty in the 12th Century, Zhang Sanfeng.

Legend has it the form was given to Zhang Sanfeng by the Goddess of the Western Heaven, Taiyi Yuanjun. I can’t verify that yet, but in a broader context, the movements of taijiquan suggest an equally tantalizing and romantic beginning. According to the forensic movement analysis undertaken by my own lineage teacher, Sat Chuen Hon, the taiji and qi gong forms speak of their beginning from the merging of sacred dance from the west and shamanic animal movements from the east, meeting somewhere along the great trade routes that wind from Asia to Europe, known collectively as the Silk Route.

Feel free to take my story with a grain of salt. And if you find it hard to swallow that there is alchemical medicine in this form, and despite that you find yourself drawn to the movements, you perhaps can derive some mental comfort from the fact that waving your arms and legs in the air is very good for you, considering a major component of our health, the lymphatic system, doesn’t have its own pump but relies on the expansion and contraction of muscles, sinews and fascia.

The attached video is a quarter of the entire form, edited a little, and each of the four cycles are identical to the first, except that they cycle through the cardinal points. I hope you enjoy this taste of Wuji Taiji—or, as I like to think of it, dancing to the Goddess to welcome her back from her 5,000 year retreat to the inner planet. Although—fair warning—she is pretty pissed off at what we’ve done to the place while she was out so she is kicking ass and taking names.