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Understanding Tai Chi Lineage and Tradition

August 2, 2015

Traditional Tai Chi Practice has been passed through many generations from the teacher to the student, firmly embedded in principle, and strongly dedicated to the preservation of its origin.

More modern practices of Tai Chi form have developed for health or other reasons, with little no connection to, or awareness of, its family lineage and the ancient traditions.

Traditional Tai Chi is grounded in respect for self, respect for others, and respect for the Master teacher.  Students of traditional Tai Chi are keenly aware of their bridge role between the Tai Chi Grandmasters of the past, and the preservation of tradition and protocol in future Tai Chi practice.

It is somewhat of a mystery how this traditional Tai Chi heritage has come to us through the generations with the core intact.  Master Pao Peter Lee explained it to me this way when I was committing to the responsibilities of a Sifu teacher.

"The teacher does not teach Tai Chi form.   The teacher teaches Tai Chi principle.

The teacher is not to be judged by how well the students practice Tai Chi form.  The teacher is to be judged by how consistently students demonstrate and incorporate principle in their learning and practice Tai Chi form.

A teacher cannot assure the survival of the Tai Chi form, the Tai Chi tradition, or the school of Tai Chi learning. 

The Tai Chi form survives to the degree the student respects the teacher and embodies the internal and external principles.

Tai Chi tradition survives to the degree the student respects the lineage and models the protocols. 

The Tai Chi school survives to the degree the student is loyal to the source of learning."

Are you a student of traditional Tai Chi practice?  Do you know your lineage?