Tai Ji is originated from Infinity. It is the basis for all movement and stillness. It is the originator of the Two Extremes (Yin and Yang).
Tai Ji was formed from Infinity by separating Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are the equal and opposite pair. Sometimes Yin stands for female and Yang stands for male. In Tai Ji, Yin represents stillness and Yang represents movement. The workings of the universe is based upon Yin and Yang.
In Tai Ji, there is stillness in movement and movement in stillness. The two are interconnected and should not be separated. Internal power is through control of the mind. Concentration of mind moves the internal energy prior to any external movement.
Tai Ji Quan is not simply the exercise for elderly, which is perhaps what is known to Westerners. It is in fact a combination of Yin and Yang, Tai Ji and Infinity. It is an art requiring perfect control of mind. It integrates stillness and movement, from external to internal, from movement to stillness, from elementary to advanced, and merging stillness with movement. Tai Ji Quan not only directs internal power to external movements, it combines the mind with breathing, resulting in good health and an art of combat applications.
There are 13 postures (8 hand/arm movements and 5 body movements) in Tai Ji. The 8 hand/arm movements: Beng, Lu, Ji, An, Zai, Lie, Zhou, and Gao. In simplified terms, they mean: ward off, pull back, push, press, oblique turning, twist, elbow strike, and shoulder strike. The 5 body movements are directional. They are: advance, retreat, shift to the left, shift to the right and stable equilibrium. The 13 postures are based on the 8 trigrams and 5 elements. Requirements include relaxing, body coordination, concentration of mind, and stillness in movement.
Tai Ji is a stepping-stone to Daoism. In Daoism, one has to train one’s behavior and mind. It is important to keep a peaceful mind. Through meditation, combining Yin and Yang, and stillness in movement, the internal power will flow through the whole body achieving the ultimate aim.