If you are interested in Taijiquan and Qi Gong, maybe even teaching it, you most likely think that you are preserving these wonderful ancient arts. Continue reading, because I think you’re not doing enough of what is necessary to keep these arts for future generations.
First, lets talk about preserving an art. Think about a beautiful 400 years old painting or a 2000 years old ceramic pot. How would you preserve it?
You could say “let me just put it in my kitchen cabinet. I will take care of it. When I die my kids inherit it and they will pass it on to future generations!”
Or you could have a look at the current state of the art preservation, conservation, and restoration. These are some of the things that modern technology allow currently (source):
- air conditioning to control temperature and humidity
- light control (because ultraviolet light is the most damaging for paintings)
- chemical poultices, gel technology, and ion-exchange resins as cleaning methods, reduction of salt deposits, and consolidation techniques for wall paintings
- using synthetic materials to adhere ceramic shards together
And then there is of course the digital world. You can do online tours in the Louvre in Paris , the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. , the Deutsche Museum in Munich etc.
And most likely you agree that using at least some of these techniques and technologies will help to preserve the art for future generations.
So now lets talk about Taijiquan and Qi Gong. If you read this article you most likely call yourself a preserver of these ancient arts.
How do you do it?
You learn from your master. And practice in groups and on your own. You read books. Sometimes you google “meaning of wuwei”. Maybe you even take part in online discussion or forums.
That is all really well. Because it is necessary to move to keep these moving arts alive. But is that really enough? Will that preserve these Chinese arts? I am not so sure if that will be enough.
I know a lot of people say: “Well, but the world needs relaxation now more than ever and people will come and find out about Taijiquan and Qi Gong. Then they will practice it”.
Ok, let’s just have a look at Google trends: how often do people search for YOGA vs Qi Gong vs TAI CHI (sorry it’s in German. But the numbers are worldwide since 2004! You can play with it yourself at Google Trends.)
Ouch. Seems like all those people looking for relaxation are looking for Yoga. Qi Gong and Taijiquan become less and less important! (Disclaimer: Yoga is a wonderful art. But I really like diversity and would love to see Taijiquan and Qi Gong become very popular, too.)
Thus I come to the conclusion that it is really important that we, as the Taijiquan and Qi Gong community, think about how we preserve our moving arts. And coming from an online world, I would like to start with just here:
- Do you read or write a blog and share your knowledge online?
- Do you learn or teach online?
- Do you connect with enthusiasts all over the world?
- How often do you use your mobile phone and do you use it for Taijiquan and Qi Gong?
Maybe you feel like you are too small a light to share your experience publicly. But looking at the Chen and Yang families etc. does not necessarily make it better. Do they have blogs? Online classes? How engaged are the grandmasters and their disciples in the online world? I think they could do much more.
That’s actually one of the reasons why I write this blog. You know, I am not a grandmaster. I am a normal Taijiquan and Qi Gong enthusiast. But still, I want to reach out to bloggers and enthusiasts and teachers all over the world. I want to participate in online Qi gong schools. I want to share my experience and help other practitioners.
Because I think this is the future. Because I want to preserve Taijiquan and Qi Gong for the future.
What about you? How do you preserve these arts and ensure that future generations will benefit from it?