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Wang Peisheng On Essentials for Northern Wu Style  

By Zhou Lishang
Translated by Yan Shufan

  Wang Peisheng, is a famous and influential master of Northern Wu style Taijiquan.
I interviewed him recently, asking him to give us some advice about how to better practice the form routines and push hands. His views are the crystallization of his practicing and teaching for scores of years.
  Zhou Lishang: I would like you to talk about how Taiji players can improve their Taijiquan skills.
  Wang Peisheng: Taijiquan is a scientific sport with a long history. Practicing Taijiquan is a good exercise. It helps us to improve the physique and the will power; as a result, it can raise our work efficiency. For the people who are weak or ill, it can help in recuperation, accelerating the process of recovery.
  Taijiquan is an ideal health care exercise, fitting the physiological needs of the human body. Why is Taijiquan able to play this role in health care? Because it is a soft sport utilizing the whole body, and it emphasizes the training of thought-the will power, the brain, guides the movements of the whole body consciously.
When practicing, the whole body should be relaxed, and no part should be rigid; as a result, both the blood and qi in the body flow smoothly, and both the body and mind are delighted, attaining the goal of improving health.
  Taijiquan accords with the principles of balance and psychology, and both of them are imbedded in the attacking technique of Taijiquan. When attacking, it is most important to keep one's balance and to destroy the opponent's balance.
  While destroying the opponent's balance, the practitioner should do so according to the opponent's psychological situations. I think that is the reason why Taijiquan is popular.
  Zhou: When practicing Taijiquan, some people do it as if they were doing warm up exercises to music, without the special feeling of Taijiquan. Could you tell us the way of playing real Taijiquan instead of another form of warm up exercises?
  Wang: The only way of playing real Taijiquan instead of another form of warm up exercises is to grasp the basic essentials.
  Now, people who practice Taijiquan begin with practicing forms. Often, they say that they have gotten the way, after three or four months of practice. I think, however, if one wants to practice Taijiquan well, he or she should be following the basic essentials and approaches, step by step.

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