Tai Ji and Qi Gong movements and Chinese brush calligraphy strokes have a lot in common. I find each compliment the other almost seamlessly.
Some perceive Tai Ji as a series of postures and step-by-step exercise form to be memorized while holding one’s breath. Actually, Tai Ji is a physical moving form enhanced by the practice of breathing, known as Qi Gong. When the limbs and the breath rise and fall in a harmonized cycle, then Tai Ji happens. Without breath, it will only be a movement manipulated mechanically by our brain.
This is the same in Chinese calligraphy. While there are many types of strokes in a Chinese character, each stroke is connected by energy. The calligraphy brush is composed of thousands of fine hair in various levels of thickness. As we fill the brush with ink, it is like taking in a breath. When the ink empties gradually with the movement of the brush, it is like slowly exhaling to empty ourselves before we inhale with a new breath.
Thus, breath-by-breath, limb-by-limb, stroke-by-stroke, Tai Ji forms and brush movements happen as we allow our breath to guide us. Tai Ji, Qi Gong and brush calligraphy are not paintings done by numbers. It all happens in “ONE STROKE”. They emerge from our life force.
Pearl Weng Liang Huang, Founder of
Ru Yi Studio of Multicultural Arts