Hello my name is Dennis Pounall and I have been involved in Taijiquan for a number of years, and practicing martial arts for the last 30 years. I was introduced to martial arts by many teachers and influenced by a few. In my time of study I began to understand that martial arts is both a discipline and an Art Form. Pursuing the discipline, one should acquire a combination of proper instruction, adept understanding, and appropriate application.
These factors along with a wholesome traditional foundation separates modern from traditional martial arts. In today’s society, the most challenging aspect of the arts are the recent drawbacks of modern lifestyle and global attitudes. To most young people today, the reasons for choosing and studying a martial art are quite variable. Some may see it as a way to become famous, the next winner of the ”Ultimate Fighting Championship” commonly known as the ”King of the Octagon”.
Others may pursue another path where they choose the tournament circuit as their arena, and pursue recognition by winning trophies and titles…
If a traditional approach is chosen, their should be some philosophy, some theology and some room for adaption and innovation. This allows both, the art and the artist to maintain its essential principles, yet develop and add to its traditional forte, Thus allowing room for continued growth by keeping it a living tradition and maintaining a vital system. Then the art’s full expression stays dynamic, and the essential discipline and the style never gets lost. Thereafter each generation of practitioners will add a little more to the system, breathing fresh life into the martial art, making it relevant in the time and environment in which it is practiced.
Taijiquan and Taijiboxing is heavily steeped in the artistic expression depending on which family style you practice, and archaic principles founded in a symbiotic relationship between Taoism and Buddhism.
In article written by Gene Ching From, an interview with master Taiji Player Dr. Yang Jwing Ming (Kungfu Taiji Magazine March/April )edition (pages 33-44), he conducts an interview and asks some very poignant question.