View Full Version : Tai Chi Inspiration

01-01-2005, 01:30 PM
In the 70's one of my favorite TV programmes was Kung Fu, I am still a huge fan and was lucky enough to get Series 2 on DVD for Christmas.

Since starting Tai Chi in particular, and martial arts in general, I am watching Kung Fu with new eyes. In its day it was (and still is) a great seires, and was in part the inspiration for me starting Tai Chi.

Now I can see how all the moves fit together, and how they were set uo, even the falls, no real cowboy would fall like that.

Moving along one of my favorite films is Once Upon a Time in China, and my favorite scene is when the militia are training on the beach.

Apart from this site, what are everyone else's tai Chi Inspirations?

01-01-2005, 11:07 PM
ever see "iron and silk"?
give it a shot,you'll like. C.(avail.amazon but only on vhs;i think).
"pushing hands" by ang lee
good too but a bit depressing,(i thought)

01-02-2005, 09:56 AM
I haven't seen either, but as soon as my credit card has recovered from Christmas I will set about getting them. My teenage son (who is more sensible than me) has put my card away and wont give it back untill at least March or April!

01-05-2005, 04:26 PM
Hi Everyone:

I love the early Jet Li movies.

01-05-2005, 06:07 PM
Crouching tiger, hidden dragon. Martial scenes interesting but somehow unrealistic. Still fun. Like the philosophy and deeper meaning, like Michelle Yeoh speaking Mandarin(doesn't speak it in real life). LIke Michelle playing the spoiled lady who actually trained at Wudang. Like the settinig and scenery, looked like real Wudang. Nowadyas Wudang is swamped with tourists coming in large buses, people pulling your shirt wanting to sell, McDonald nearby etc.....etc........MOvie very depressing, not with happy end for the lovers. I saw this movie with one of Paul's instructors

KUng Fu and KUng Fu, the legend continues(a bit tougher, less Tai Chi).

01-06-2005, 01:08 PM
I too very much liked "Iron and Silk", Marc Salzman's autobiographical story of teaching English and learning Wushu in rural China. With respect to inspiration, though, one on the other discussions brought up Wang Shu Chin, who has been called the finest exponent of martial arts in Taiwan during the 1940's and 1950's.

Wang Shu Chin was big, about 5' 10", 300 pounds, and very agile. At age 70, photos show a rotund man appearing about 50 years old. He owned a chain of pharmacies in Taiwan, was a vegetarian, and did not smoke (apparently unusual for his social circles). He practiced a variety of martial arts, synthesizing them and adding creative approaches which exploited his special physical capabilities. As Robert Smith was practicing San Shou with him one day, he contrived to smash Mr. Smith's head against his midriff. As Mr. Smith lay in the shade trying to recover his equilibrium, Hung Hsiang-I, a famous brawler and master in in his own right confided that he had been knocked out once by Wang Shu Chin's "Stomach Attack".

Wang Shu Chin claimed to be able, by virtue of his Xingyi training, to withstand blows anywhere except his head or groin. Robert Smith inquired about his solar plexus, only to be invited to try. Not only did his hardest punches rebound off Wang Shu Chin's famous gut, kicks to any point on his calves (all undefended!) also produced no visible effect to this 70-year-old. Hung Hsiang-I was considered one of the most powerful strikers Robert Smith ever met (and I've seen film of him smashing stacks of brick resting flat, not suspended by the ends). I also have a photo of Wang Shu Chin absorbing Hung Hsiang-I's Crushing Fist without effect.

A top student of famed karate master Mas Oyama (who killed dozens of bulls with empty hand blows) came to evaluate Wang Shu Chin's striking power. Wang Shu Chin placed his fist against the unwise interloper's abdomen, and "corkscrewed" it in. The effect was to leave the visitor gasping on the ground.

I do not aspire to flatten obnoxious visitors, but I do find inspiration in the stories of legendary masters like Wang Shu Chin, Chen Fa-ke, and the other storied ancestors of our present martial arts. Bill T.

01-06-2005, 04:46 PM
George Lucas, who created Star Wars, and particularly Yoda, with whom I share a remarkable resemblance!

May be Force be with you

01-07-2005, 05:33 AM
My main inspiration comes from the 2 Shifus who teach me... when I see them move I just want to learn to move like them and have that same grace and incredible strength (both character and physical) they possess... when they show me a posture or movement it just seems to click and feels really right... I try to better myself every time I practice for me but also so I do not let my Shifus down and show disrespect...

Movie wise there are just too many to mention... same with books...

01-07-2005, 04:08 PM

I couldn't agree more...

01-11-2005, 01:26 PM
I think Yoda is wonderfull and after seeing him strut his stuff I'm going to beware of little old men carrying walking sticks, especially if they are green, bald and have pointed ears!

01-12-2005, 11:57 AM
I have pondered this question a while. My inspiration for Tai Chi is the way I feel during and after performing Tai Chi. That is certainly quite an inspiration.
PS Both of the films Shark mentions were inspirational.

01-12-2005, 03:21 PM
I was pondering this question for a few days. Then, just this morning I know ONE of my inspirations for TC came to me from one of my students. She shared with me how much better her knees feel, how much more stamina she's had this Christmas than last year and also how she remained calmer during the hectic preparation for dinner and the holidays.

We had just been discussing the rewards of teaching TC when she told me all of this. I immediately replied to her that she just had given to me ONE of my rewards for teaching--HELPING HER AND OTHERS FEEL BETTER!!

By the way, all of this good news came after 16 weeks of training.
The more I hear news like this the more INSPIRED I become.


01-12-2005, 06:22 PM
My inspiration is my mother of course, I have experienced her up-close. She didn't practice for a couple of years then she met Dr. Lam. After this her Tai Chi was better than ever before and she started to combine the two passions martial arts and medical physical therapy.

I never met Paul but mum said that when you spend time with him, he makes you feel that you are the master and not him, apart from enoying and imbibing his own teaching and art skills.

Dr. Lam is THE inspiration and not this site. It is the singer and not the song!!!!!. Our shifus have been a great inspiration to us too, modest, hard-working but just normal human beings with all their faults and mistakes. They don't only teach, they can be tough, but they would also listen to the student, especially when it is someone with skills like engineering or medicine.

01-12-2005, 06:26 PM
Recently we had at least 10 students doing TCB. They injured themselves at work and improved after about 3-4 months. NOt only their pain became better, but their level of fitness and their general condition. They became more relaxed after just a few lessons. This inspired THEM and return US in sharing Tai Chi.

01-13-2005, 12:41 PM
Wow, thanks for all this inspiration, and everyone who says this site is an inspiration is quite right. I hope well inspire each other!

07-01-2005, 08:36 AM
In the movie "Iron and Silk" does anyone know what style of TC was Mark practicing?


02-21-2006, 07:50 AM
i watched so many kung fu movies as a kid that i always wanted to learn a chinese martial art (and i'm glad i did) :)
after i started learning, the thing that kept me going was definitely the glimpses of what was possible during practice, the too-short moments of empowerment and concentration/focus/awareness.
although its about samurai, i really liked "seven samurai", the character who was trying to perfect his art. that really inspires me.