What is Wuji stance ?

“The highest martial achievement is the way to peace the world; the intermediate martial achievement brings peace to the mind and body; the lowest martial achievement refines techniques to prevent harm…

Martial arts masters through the ages have regarded Wuji as the gateway to Tai Chi; without entering the Wuji circle, one cannot form the Tai Chi diagram.

Recently, many practitioners have asked about the relationship between Tai Chi and Wuji.

Let me first answer briefly and then discuss in detail:

Wuji is the mother of Tai Chi; Tai Chi is born from Wuji. Wuji is the mother of Yin and Yang and all things.

In the beginning of the universe, when all was void and shapeless, before heaven and earth were separated, and Yin and Yang were formless, both motion and stillness had no beginning—this was the world of Wuji.

To speak of it lacks words; to write of it, there are no characters. Emptiness upon emptiness, chaos upon chaos, without sound, without scent, without end, without form, its image is one word: “stillness.” With stillness, there must inevitably be movement from extreme stillness; stillness is the expression of Wuji, and movement is the birth of Tai Chi. Movement and stillness together symbolize Tai Chi.

Before Tai Chi, there was Wuji, the primordial chaos undivided. Thus, Wuji is the mother of Tai Chi, the predestined mechanism of all things. From the division of two energies, heaven and earth were distinguished, and Tai Chi was formed. The two energies are Yin and Yang: Yin is stillness, Yang is movement; Yin is rest, Yang is birth. Heaven and earth were separated into clear and turbid, the clear ascended, the turbid descended, high and low, Yin and Yang interacted, the clear and the turbid mingled, and thus all things were nurtured.

Human beings, by birth, inherently possess a Wuji, a predestined mechanism. Upon entering the postnatal world, Tai Chi is formed. Thus, all things possess both Wuji and Tai Chi. Human actions involve movement and stillness; extreme stillness begets movement, and through the interplay of movement and stillness, Yin and Yang are divided, forming a unified Tai Chi. Human vitality relies entirely on spirit and energy. The energy ascends and is no different from ascending to heaven; the spirit condenses inwardly and is akin to descending to earth. The interaction of spirit and energy is also a complete Tai Chi.

In Tai Chi Chuan, stillness is as movement, and movement as stillness, with the cycle of movement and stillness unbroken, the two energies intersect, and the image of Tai Chi is formed. Conserve the spirit within, gather energy without. The fist has not arrived, but the intention precedes it; the fist does not reach, yet the intention does. Intention is the messenger of the spirit. Once spirit and energy unite, the position of Tai Chi is established. Once its image is formed and its position fixed, the creation begins, unfolding into the number seventy-two.

The thirteen postures of Tai Chi Chuan are: Ward Off, Roll Back, Press, Push, Pluck, Split, Elbow, Shoulder Strike, Advance, Retreat, Look Right, Look Left, Central Equilibrium, following the generative and overcoming interactions of the Eight Trigrams and Five Elements. The ten essentials of Tai Chi Chuan are: emptiness and agility, containment and extension, loosening the waist, determining solid and void, sinking, using intention and not force, upper and lower follow each other, internal and external unite, continuity without interruption, seeking stillness within movement. These are the sole methods for the learner.

Learning Tai Chi Chuan is the foundation for entering the way; the essence of entering the way is to nurture the mind and stabilize one’s nature, gathering energy and conserving spirit. Thus, practicing this form must follow suit. If the mind cannot be calm, the nature will be disturbed; if energy is not gathered externally, the spirit will be chaotic. If the mind and nature do not connect, the spirit and energy do not interact, then every part of the body, every vein and artery, will be as if dead, and even if one follows the forms, the techniques will be ineffective.

To seek peace of mind and stability of nature, gathering spirit and energy, the practice of meditation is indispensable, and the method of practicing must not be abandoned. The learner must seek the benefits of Tai Chi within movement and stillness, seek the principles of generation and overcoming within the Eight Trigrams and Five Elements, and then blend the seventy-two numbers into Wuji, with mind, nature, spirit, and energy acting in unison, thus achieving peace of mind, stability of nature, gathering of spirit and energy, forming Tai Chi within oneself, the interaction of Yin and Yang, the union of movement and stillness, ensuring the circulation

and smooth flow of energy throughout the body, without obstruction. Thus, one may transmit our method.

The explanations are as follows:

1. Emptiness and agility: When practicing, the whole body must relax, with the chin slightly tucked in, the mouth naturally closed, and the tongue curled up to the upper palate to enhance the secretion of saliva. The Baihui point on the top of the head is gently pressed upward, imagining a line pulling the top of the head to ensure stability. The gaze should follow the body’s movement, looking straight ahead without frowning, glaring, or randomly closing the eyes or being mentally distracted.

2. Containment and extension: This refers to containing the chest and extending the back, meaning to avoid protruding the chest outward excessively during exercise, but not to overly retract it either. Naturally maintain spinal erectness, symmetrical front and back, with the cervical spine pulled upward.

3. Loosening the waist: Refers to relaxing the waist, sinking the hips downward, and slightly bending the knees. This allows the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical vertebrae to loosen segment by segment. As the classic says, “Like nine curves in a pearl, reaching every detail.” Over time, with perseverance, the Qi of the Dantian will penetrate and transmit up and down.

4. Determining solid and void: Practicing Tai Chi Chuan requires the body to turn round, with only one point touching the ground. During practice, it’s like walking, with the center of gravity moving back and forth between the two feet. Tai Chi involves the inseparability of Yin and Yang, and the transformation of solid and void is also integrated.

5. Sinking: Refers to sinking the shoulders and dropping the elbows. Practice has shown that when the shoulders are relaxed during exercise, raising the hand and forearm causes the elbow to drop naturally and relax. Over time, as one’s skill progresses, a feeling of sinking is generated, without affecting the shoulder’s ability to transmit internal force flexibly and fully.

6. Using intention and not force: When moving the limbs, do not use excessive force. For example, if your arm weighs 15 pounds and you use 20 pounds of force, that’s incorrect. Using intention and not force requires using just the right amount of force, controlling the movement of each part of the body with intention.

7. Upper and lower follow each other: The movements of the upper and lower body must coordinate. For example, if the left foot extends to the left, the left hand should also follow, keeping the extended upper and lower limbs consistent. Similarly, in Lazy Tying Clothes, if the right foot steps to the right side, the right hand should also sweep out to the right, maintaining equal distance and angle between the right hand and foot.

8. Internal and external unite: The heart unites with intention, intention with energy, and energy with strength; this is the internal three harmonies. The shoulder unites with the hip, elbow with the knee, hand with the foot; this is the external three harmonies. The internal and external three harmonies are united, meaning the heart, intention, and energy merge into every part of the body.

9. Continuity without interruption: The body’s movements should be continuous like the Yangtze River, driven by Qi and blood, allowing the body to change like flowing clouds and water, formless and void, pervading every part.

10. Seeking stillness within movement: At the beginner level, this refers to achieving relative stillness of the legs, knees, and feet within dynamic movement, practicing high-level listening skills through seeking stillness in movement. At the advanced level, it refers to the upper and lower limbs moving at a uniform speed driven by the Qi of the lower Dantian, allowing the changes of left and right, front and back, solid and void to also move at a uniform speed.

In summary, finding the state of Wuji leads to a fascination with Tai Chi Chuan. Learning Tai Chi Chuan involves finding one’s own energy field to enter the state of Wuji, thereby improving Tai Chi skills. Tai Chi Chuan internalizes the spirit, whereas external martial arts externalize it; this distinction between internal and external martial arts lies herein. Emptiness is the highest level of skill.

The Wuji stance,

Is the common foundation of the three fists,

The mother of all stances, nurturing Qi and strengthening the body, most beneficial!

In this art of life cultivation, there has hardly been a thorough understanding. Only sages can penetrate the art of reversing the natural order, grasping Yin and Yang, seizing creation, turning heaven and earth, twisting the mechanism of Qi, returning to the prenatal from the postnatal, and restoring the original state. Maintaining the great harmony, ultimately not beyond the principles of the postnatal Five Elements and Eight Trigrams, the path of Qi expansion and contraction. Thus, it is said that Wuji can generate the primordial Qi.

Standing in stance is much like planting a tree. You plant the seed, ensure it gets sunlight and water, and the seed will gradually grow into a big tree on its own. This is the true essence of the Wuji stance system! Therefore, in understanding martial arts, I highly recommend the Wuji stance system, hoping that those who are destined to understand will appreciate my sincere efforts and be able to master it!

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