When you learn Taijiquan, you must know how to “use your mind but not your strength”

Taijiquan is a kind of internal boxing, and it is also a kind of intention boxing, and the boxing proverb says that “internal boxing is the first thing in practicing intention”. With the prolongation of practicing time and the improvement of technical level, some people will put forward what is the consciousness of taijiquan, what is meant by using intention but not exerting force, how to strengthen the practice of consciousness, how to use the intention and so on, and so on, some questions about the consciousness of taijiquan. It is worthwhile for us to study and explore.

Consciousness is the first and foremost issue of Taijiquan, and all the theories of Taijiquan emphasize the importance of leading with intention and the existence of consciousness.

  • what is the consciousness of Taijiquan

Consciousness is the reflection of the human mind on the objective material world, and it is the sum of various mental processes such as feeling and thinking. So, what is consciousness in Taijiquan? As the name suggests, it is the absence of any thoughts in the mind when practicing taijiquan, i.e., before moving, one uses the mental process of feeling and thinking to think about the essentials, methods and trajectory of movements.


Taijiquan requires the use of intention without exertion, that is, the use of consciousness to store up the spirit to guide the movement, but do not focus the consciousness on breathing or strength. If the consciousness is used as a way of breathing, if you want to exhale and inhale, there will be stagnation in the movement, and you cannot obtain the higher effect of the technique in which the inhalation is taken up and the exhalation is naturally sunk and put out. If you put your consciousness on your strength and consciously exert yourself, it will result in stiff movements. From the point of view of Chinese medicine, it means that the qi of the body is blocked, and there will be lesions. Therefore, it is said, “Remember not to exert force, not to Shang Qi, so that those who have Qi have no power, and those who have no Qi have no power are purely rigid.” The consciousness of Taijiquan is to hide the essentials of the movements in the brain, and then reflect them to the limbs appropriately through the sensory thinking of the brain. It is “to lead with the intention, first in the mind, then in the body”. The ancient and modern taijiquan theories all attach great importance to and emphasize the problem of consciousness, and in taijiquan, everything is required to take the lead with the intention. Therefore, we must strengthen the cultivation of consciousness, so that the technique of Taijiquan can be further improved.

Taiji the role of consciousness
  • The role of consciousness


The role of consciousness can be discussed from two aspects.
From the point of view of fitness, Taijiquan has a great effect in treating diseases, which has been proved by practice and will not be repeated here. In taijiquan exercise, because the nerves of the brain are concentrated in the movement (consciousness-guided movement), the excitability of the motor nerves is high and overwhelms the excitability of the nerves of the disease. After practicing for a long time, the excitability of diseased nerves in the body is expelled and suppressed, so the scope of activity of the disease is gradually reduced.
In addition to physical activities, the most important thing is to exercise the nervous system. In addition to the motor sensory function of the nervous system, there is the so-called nutritional function (nutritive nerves), which affects the metabolism within the function of regulating the nutrition of various tissues and organs, which is of great significance for the body’s ability to move. This function of the nervous system is of special significance in exercise, because the body’s functions are vigorous during exercise, which makes it all the more necessary to strengthen the nutrition of all organs and systems, so that chemical changes and metabolism between the tissues as well as the surrounding environment can be enhanced. The reason why taijiquan has a significant effect on healing and fitness is that the practice of combining consciousness and movement is closely linked, which can be seen in the functional stimulation of the central nervous system and positive training, which helps to make the functions suppressed or declined by the excitement of the disease excited to be excited again, so as to regulate the functions of each system to achieve the purpose of healing and fitness.
In terms of the significance of technical combat, the existence or non-existence of consciousness is related to the life and death issue of victory or defeat of both sides. In the practice of boxing, to consciously assume that the other side is ready to fight first to the other side, every time after the plate frame, the whole body blood Tibetan circulation to strengthen the local skin from time to time there is a feeling of small insects slowly crawling, the finger belly has a fine sweat slightly oozing.
These phenomena are “with the intention to lead, with the intention to transport the arm, with the gas through the finger”. The main role of the intention to lead is to make the competitive limbs (contact points) feel more sensitive, so that “after people send, first people to” succeed. In addition, in Push Hands, if the awareness of the person who is ready to release is deep and far away, the opponent can be released accurately and ruthlessly out of ten feet. However, it is useless to have certain physical conditions without the awareness to attack and defeat the opponent, so the awareness of Taijiquan is very important.

Therefore, the practice of Taijiquan from beginning to end must be focused, with the intention to reach the body without stagnation of the heart, to the heart to the body, so as to continuously strengthen their own internal consciousness, over time, the practice of self-contained, the intention to the body to the strength of the body to the viscosity of the hair.

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