Italian Pilli Sabrina, one of the participants, was quoted as saying,
Chinese martial arts are quite helpful to man's body and mind. Wudang Kungfu teaches me to make my heart more peaceful. I will persist in practising in the future.
Tai Chi denotes the martial art; the practice itself just as Ba Gua (or Pa Kua or Ba Gwa) is the martial art practice. The Chuan/Zhang suffix denote the study/philosophy of the martial art. I engage in both the martial art and the study/philosophy. It is the mind, body, spirit approach which cannot be separated. As for martial arts in America/the West, most are concerned with learning how to fight/beat someone up/look pretty/get a black belt. There is little focus on the real philosophy behind the arts. Therefore, the art is separated from the philosophy which lends to a deformed art: people beating up others. That deformity is as real as separating the mind and/or spirit from the body of a person; the person is mal-formed and acts/reacts abnormally. This is the main reason that many people learn martial arts: to beat up others. [email excerpt; emph. mine, sms.]
Note: Chinese Martial Arts are generally classified into "hard style" or wai-chia (like jeet kune do, Chinese kickboxing and certain types of kung fu) and "soft style" or nei-chia (like t'ai chi, pa kua chang, and fusing-ichuan). Kung-fu literally means "done well"]
Ever since watching Enter the Dragon and other Bruce Lee (or Lee Xiao Long -- Lee, the "Little Dragon") films, I never lost my fascination with Kung Fu and have since then added Jackie Chan, Jet Li and others to my list of favorite martial artists. Like the rest of my childhood friends, I tried my hand in some forms of this sport, particularly the Japanese-originated Shotokan Karate and Aikido. Like them, I initially had the impression that martial art is meant for only one thing -- getting to fight off the bad guys and creating for oneself an intimidating reputation in your neighborhood.
Across the years though, I never got past the white belt and rarely ever gone physical with anybody. I have also forgotten my katas and, instead of developing flexilegs or flexiback, all I got now are stiff legs and an aching back. I guess the only thing I remember about Aikido are its three basic principles which I have applied more in interpersonal relationships than in close-quarter combats:
1. Evade the force.
2. Follow the direction of the force.
3. Neutralize the force.
Behind these three principles is the admonition that both the external-aggressive/defensive and the internal/nonagrressive form of the art must be mastered.
[Watch docu on Bruce Lee here]