총회기사1


다음은 2000년 1월 14일 the Korea Herald 에 소개된 기사입니다.

[Weekender]An ancient exercise for the new millennium, tai chi chuan takes root in land of taekwondo
Dawn. As a pale sun rises, a group of dreamlike silhouettes coalesce against the horizon. People of all ages are
moving through a series of slow-motion movements.

The graceful motions contain an intrinsic animal quality. At one point, the practitioners take the form of a crane with
wings outstretched; at another, the low postures recall a snake slithering down the limb of a tree.

The activity is one of the most instantly recognizable aspects of Chinese culture; the setting could be any public park
in any modern city in China, East Asia, or, indeed, the West.

The value of this art in the modern age is becoming widely known internationally. As mankind enters the new
millenium, despite all the high technology, improved medical care, and pampered lifestyles, the world is still plagued
by ill health, stress and spiritual emptiness.

Paradoxically, one of the most efficacious means of altering this imbalance is an Oriental exercise originating from
rural China's pre-industrial past: "tai chi chuan" (sometimes "tai chi" or "taiji;" and"tae kuk kwon" in Korean).

Where does it hail from, what does it consist of and what does it's offer? The origins are unclear. In legend, tai chi
chuan is attributed to Chang San Feng, a mythical Taoist hermit, but historically, the art has been tentatively traced
back to Chen Village in north central China.

The originator is believed to be Chen Wanting, a Ming Dynasty warrior who combined the Buddhist martial arts of
the nearby Shaolin Temple with Taoist breathing/meditative practices known as "qigong" ("kigong" in Korean).
The art came to prominence when Master Yang Lu-chan traveled from the Chen Village to Beijing in the early 19th
century, where he took on all comers, earning the nickname "Yang the Invincible" and establishing a formidable
fighting reputation.

As an instructor at the imperial palace, Yang's art - originally termed "soft" or "slippery" boxing - came to the
attention of Mandarin scholars who established a theoretical basis for practice. This intellectual grounding was the
ancient philosophy of "yin and yang" ("eum and yang" in Korean), in which opposites merge to form a harmonious
whole.

The yin-yang symbol is known as the tai chi ("supreme ultimate"); the addition of the suffix "chuan" ("fist") denotes
martial art.

As a fighting style, tai chi relies on yielding and counterattacking: when the opponent overextends, he has moved
from "yang" to "yin" and is vulnerable. Relaxation and correct postural alignment allow the tai chi fighter's body to
act as a spring between the ground and the opponent, receiving energy and returning it with interest. Over time, as
firearms gradually invalidated traditional fighting techniques, tai chi chuan's combat values deteriorated.

But the art, with a strong following among China's elite, was popularized throughout society as an exercise - albeit
one with martial, philosophical and even spiritual undercurrents. Currently, tai chi has millions of followers, and is
probably the most widely practiced martial art in the world.

Although most people have seen tai chi's solo routines - a series of linked postures - this is only one aspect. Also
practiced in complete systems are standing meditative poses, basic stances and stepping, empty hand and weapon
routines, and power building exercises with poles, weights, medicine balls, etc.

The combative side of the art is explored through the self-defense applications of the routines, practicing a two-
person sensitivity exercise known as push hands (in which practitioners attempt to subtly push one another off
balance), and finally, contact sparring with protective equipment. Some masters also teach semi-secret "nei gong"
(internal training) techniques to facilitate power development and absorption abilities. However, today, instructors
who teach the full curriculum are extremely rare.

Even so, limited curricula offer subtle but substantial, benefits. Tai chi is practiced in relaxed but alert slow motion
- "like a tiger stalking it's prey" in the words of Master George Xu - to ensure detailed postural correctness, with
low, rounded poses, and abdominal breathing. According to writer Ben Fusaro, the art exercises the three "pumps"
of the body: the legs, by the low postures; the diaphragm, by the low breathing; and the heart, by the rhythmic
movements.

The practitioner "roots" into the ground, relaxing and allowing gravity to compress the body unit into the most
effectively aligned posture: legs bent, chest sunk, shoulders rounded, chin tucked and spine stretched.

The constant compression and expansion (yang, yin, yang...) of the legs and spine improve the joints' lubricating
fluids.

The spirals within the movements resemble the DNA helix; this form of motion tightens tendons and ligaments.

Abdominal breathing ensures efficient respiration, massages the internal organs against the spine, and esoterically,
the art is believed to increase the store and flow of "chi" ("ki"in Korean), or bio-energy.

Relaxed and natural postures encourage a relaxed and stress-free mind. Practicing in a park, preferably near water,
at dawn, when yin changes to yang, ensures the purest air and the largest number of ions.

Interestingly, the art's principles are now being seriously studied by scientists and doctors.

Just as high-level Taoist philosophy has been found to share much common ground with advanced physics, so tai
chi has proved to be a near perfect exercise bio-mechanically, and it is now used as a rehabilitative physical
therapy in hospitals East and West. For postural and circulatory problems, stress-related disorders, joint conditions
and general rehabilitation, tai chi offers much.

Although the classic image of the tai chi practitioner may be the white-bearded master of senior years, the art's
benefits are applicable to people of all ages.

But, like everything of value, it is no simple regimen. Perseverance and commitment are required if one is to reap the
rewards.

"Tai Chi is like burying a seed: it takes time for a seed to put down roots, and finally blossom," says Kim Chang-
won, a 71-year-old Korean practitioner.

Despite tai chi's benefits, Korea is the one nation in the Orient where it has little public popularity. Japan alone has
over half a million practitioners and several Chinese masters in residence.

This is due to various factors: Korea has only had relations with China over the last decade, there is no substantial
Chinese minority, and the government has energetically promoted home-grown martial arts, notably taekwondo.

A further consideration may be the Korean national character, which has a tendency to prefer flash over substance.
The slow motion and subtle moves of tai chi chuan lack the spectacular attributes of taekwondo or hapkido.

Nevertheless, increasing local interest in alternative health and traditional exercises - kigong/danjon hoheup,
taekkyun, aromatherapy, foot massage etc - may have a boosting effect. And a movement is taking root.

Members of Korea's fledgling tai chi community recently converged on Inchon - not coincidentally, home to one of
Korea's last Chinese communities - for the annual tai chi exposition and competition.

On the bitterly cold morning of Dec. 19, instructors and students from Inchon, Taejon and Seoul, of both sexes and
with ages ranging from 11 to 71, gathered to showcase their arts.

Two main sub-systems of tai chi are practiced in Korea.

The most popular is the modern Beijing form, which is practiced entirely in slow motion with long, extended
movements, and includes techniques from the three major sub-styles of yai chi (Yang family, Wu family and Chen
family).

The second is the original Chen village style. Unlike more modern forms, this system features explosive kicks,
stamps and strikes, as well as slow motion coiling, spiraling and sinking.

To spice up the proceedings, kung fu, hapkido and pa kua, another Chinese internal martial art which shares the
principles of tai chi, were also demonstrated, as were tai chi weapons.

Tai chi, however, is an art for practitioners, not spectators. The audience was limited exclusively to enthusiasts.

Seoul instructor Suh Myong-won (see the photo of the man with a sword on Page 7), 43, says, "Although it was a
small competition, it will contribute to the art's growth." One encouraging factor is the fact that Korean practitioners
are approaching the art in a practical manner. The hippies, spiritualists and chi-power fantasists who have plagued
the art in the West, do not currently inhabit Korea's tai chi community.

Despite its worldwide popularity and the many well-documented benefits of practice, it remains unclear whether tai
chi will sink deep roots and blossom in taekwondo's homeland.

One thing, though, is undeniable: Korean parks full of tai chi practitioners would certainly impart some much-needed
calm to the mornings.

For various systems of tai chi, qigong and pa kua in Inchon, contact Ahn Cheol-kyun at (032)876-4483 or 011-9728-
5209. For a complete syllabus of traditional chen tai chi in Southern Seoul, contact Suh Myong-won at (02)592-5911
or 017-208-5911. For various systems of tai chi, qigong and kung fu in Songtan, coantact Yim Hon-sok at (0333)663-
9967 or 011-9780-3180. Fluent English spoken.

Updated: 01/14/2000
by Andrew Salmon Contributing writer

 
 
총회기사2


기사 분야 : 동아일보 (스포츠)
등록 일자 : 2000/02/16(수) 20:03

[스포츠는 내친구]태극권 4년째 수련중인 주정한씨

나(주정한·39·유니텔 홍보과장)는 3년 전만 해도 ‘싸움닭’이었다. 다른 사람과 논쟁 벌이기를 좋아했고 일단 논쟁이 붙으면 반드시 이겨야 직성이 풀렸다.

또 다른 사람의 얘기가 나보다 설득력 있어도 ‘그건 20%밖에 맞지 않아. 나머지 80%는 내가 옳아’라고 생각했다. 그러나 96년10월 ‘신선한 충격’을 받았는데….

▼마음에서 힘을 빼라▼

그때 유니텔 ‘무예 동호회’에서 중국 진가(陳家)태극권의 고수 이금룡 선생을 국내로 초청했다. 무예시범 때 이선생이 나를 단상으로 끌어올려 “있는 힘껏 내 몸 아무데나 쳐보라”고 했다.

1m80의 나는 1m72의 이선생을 ‘깔보고’ 머뭇거렸다. 마침내 젖먹던 힘까지 다해 명치를 가격했지만 오히려 뒤로 튕겨나간 건 나였다. 이선생은 “당신은 나를 쓰러뜨리고야 말겠다는 마음으로 가득차 있다”며 “태극권은 내 힘을 믿는 게 아니라 남의 힘을 역이용하는 것”이라고 말했다. 이후 이선생은 태극검 시범을 보였는데 나는 칼 끝에 넘쳐나는 기에 주눅이 들고 말았다. 태극권에 마음을 사로잡힌 순간이었다.

▼스트레스를 내뱉는다▼

이 때부터 오후 7시만 되면 내 발길은 하루도 빼놓지 않고 태극권 도장으로 향했다. 1년간 나는 ‘힘을 빼라’는 화두에만 매달렸다. 이선생은 “운동을 하면서 남을 이겨야지 생각하면 운동은 허사”라며 “수련하는 동안이라도 회사생각을 버리고 잡념을 떨치라”고 강조했다.

기마자세로 두손을 단전에 모으고 원을 그리는 ‘무극장’을 하며 수련은 시작된다. 20분 정도 하체에 중심을 둔 채 눈을 지그시 뜨고 복식호흡을 하다 보면 마음은 모든 것을 빨아들이고 있다.

그리고 나서 허리와 하체를 돌리며 몸을 푸는 ‘기본 전사’, 태권도 품세에 해당되는 ‘5행8괘권’ 등을 하고 나면 땀이 온 몸을 적신다.

수련하는 날들이 쌓인 뒤 나타난 가장 큰 변화는 스트레스 해소. 예전에는 일에 치이면 마음에서 ‘울컥’ 치미는 게 있었다. 그러나 이젠 스트레스가 찾아와도 모든 게 소화돼 ‘엉덩이’로 빠져나가는 것 같다. 이 모든 게 태극권이 하체에 중심을 두며 정신수양을 기본으로 하는 것이라 가능하다고 나름대로 정리한다.

▼디지털시대는 융화▼

나는 가끔 ‘디지털시대의 총아 PC통신 회사에 다니는데 하는 운동은 왜 아날로그냐’는 질문을 받는다. 그러나 꼭 그렇지만은 않은 것 같다.

나는 태극권을 배우면서 예전에 가졌던 ‘강한 것이 강하다’는 신념을 버렸다. 스트레스를 가볍게 소화시키니 부하동료의 생각이 맞다면 과감하게 받아들일 줄 아는 ‘융화’가 필요하다는 걸 깨달았다.

또 ‘베풂의 여유’도 갖게 됐다. 차가운 ‘비트의 시대’엔 넉넉한 마음이 최고선(最高善)인 아날로그 정신이 필요하지 않을까?

▼무극장 호흡법/두손 단전위치에 두고 복식호흡▼

태극권의 기원에 대해선 설이 분분하다. 중국 명나라때 진가(陳家)에서 소림사 수도승들이 수련하던 무술과 기공으로 알려진 도가 호흡 및 명상기법을 합하여 만들었다는 것이 유력설. 19세기 진가가 베이징으로 옮긴 이후 일반에 퍼지며 현재의 모습을 갖췄다.

태극권 가운데 일반인이 가장 쉽게 따라할 수 있는 호흡법인 무극장을 소개한다.

우선 두발을 어깨 너비로 벌려 발 끝을 약간 밖으로 향하게 해 선다. 무릎을 약간 구부린 다음 가랑이를 둥글게 한다. 엉덩이를 살짝 감아올리고 허리를 편하게 만든다.

어깨를 떨어뜨리고 두 손바닥이 단전을 향하게 한다. 턱은 안으로 끌어당겨 목과 척추가 일직선이 되게 한다. 눈은 콧등을 보며 혀를 감아 입천장에 댄다. 몸의 중심은 엄지 쪽이 아닌 발바닥 쪽으로 보낸다.

위와 같은 자세를 취한 뒤 복식호흡을 한다. 복식호흡은 먼저 아랫배에 약간 힘을 모아서 충분히 숨을 내쉰다. 다음 숨을 들이쉴 때 어깨가 올라가지 않도록 하며 전신의 힘을 빼면 밖의 신선한 공기가 단전으로 내려오게 된다. 문의 진식 태극권 대한민국총회 02-592-5911

<김호성기자> ks1011@donga.com


 
 
총회기사 3

다음은 코리아 헤럴드( 2000년 6월1일 자) 에 실린 서명원 관장님의 태극권에 관한 기고문입니다.

06/01/2000




Taiji quan both slow exercise and powerful, explosive martial art
If we travel across the cities of China, we can easily look at the people - young and old alike - exercising slow, soft and relaxed movements in public parks, especially at dawn. In Korea too, a growing number of people are practicing the art characterized by small and large circular motions.

Those who have some idea of China's cultural heritage will have heard of the form called "taiji quan" (tai chi chuan) in Chinese and "taekuk-kwon" in Korean. (The name can be translated as "grand ultimate.") It emphasizes a continuous flow of energy. There, however, seem to be only a few people who understand that taiji was originally taught as a complete system of kung fu. It is hard to believe that there are actually a variety of subsystems of taiji styles although they may look similar.

Some taiji styles embody movements that are executed slowly and gracefully, while others are performed faster and feature certain explosive movements that enable the students to generate strong internal power in real sparring. Two of the most popular versions of taiji now are the Yang and Chen styles of taiji.

Yang style - characterized by slow and flowing movements and higher stances - is perhaps the world's best-known taiji system, while Chen style is the original and oldest taiji system. It possesses fast and explosive movements and stresses lower stances.

Those people we can be seen in Chinese parks are mostly practicing either the Yang-style taiji or a newly introduced taiji system composed of 24 simple movements. The latter style was created by the Chinese government in 1956. The government's system modifies and simplifies Yang-style taiji routines in order to popularize taiji quan. The 24-movement style taiji stresses the health benefits of original taiji principles.

It was not until Yang Luchan (1799-1872) brought out taiji out from the behind doors that it became popular among the imperial family of Qing Dynasty, literary men and scholars first and among the general public later. Until that time, Chen-style taiji had been practiced only among the Chen family members. As it was difficult for the ordinary people to learn the physically challenging Chen style, it was necessary for Yang Luchan to modify the original martial art forms into a modern version so that the vast majority of the people could easily practice it to promote their health.

Thus Yang's taiji style has been developed to make practice physically easier. The original lower stances in Chen-style were raised up to take the strain off the legs, and less emphasis was put on strong, explosive movements.

Still, however, there are a few masters of Yang-style taiji who practice their unique and exclusive version that contains powerful and explosive movements.

Chen-style taiji, the oldest of taiji styles, was created by Chen Wangting (1600-1680) in Wenxian, in China's Henan Province, although some say the history of taiji can be traced back much earlier.

It should be noted that Yang Luchan, the founder of Yang-style taiji, first practiced and taught Chen-style taiji. Yang Luchan was a student of taiji master Chen Changxing (1771-1853) who has further systemized and developed the Chen-style taiji quan. As Yang Luchan played a pivotal role in spreading his own version of taiji quan, Yang-style taiji, Chen-style taiji began to be offered to the public much later, around the year 1928 by Chen Fake (1887-1957).

Retaining a strong martial aspect, Chen style resembles kung fu more than it does the Yang style. It is more physically challenging, which naturally makes the practice harder. Chen style contains sudden stamping motions, powerful kicking and punches What sets Chen-style taiji apart from the Yang style is it stresses concentrated emission of power, called "fajin." "Fajin," which can be seen in explosive punching or kicking techniques employed in real sparring, is a power produced naturally by shaking the waist. This is in contrast to the rigid or compulsive power that comes directly coming from muscles or bones in ordinary kung fu styles. One of the most favored methods for practicing "fajin" among students is wielding a three- to four-meter-long wooden pole by hand while using power coming from shaking the waist.

Besides, most forms of Chen style taiji are accompanied by the spiraling motions of the hands and waist, which is called "chan si jin" (literally meaning "silk-reeling energy"). Such a unique technique is aimed to produce power in the most effective way in case of an attack, and to minimize the possible friction with the opponent, or by pushing them away in case of defense.

There are two basic sets of forms of Chen-style taiji quan. They are called "Old Form No. 1" and "Old Form No. 2." The first set is composed of comparatively simple, soft and less powerful movements. Composed of up to 76 movements, the first form is basically aimed at raising the power needed for hard practice.

The second set, as its nickname "cannon fist" suggests, shows faster, more complicated and explosive movements for advanced learners and is loved by practitioners of younger generation.

Through the practices of the two forms, the students can learn how to effectively transfer the power from the lower part of the body to the waist and the shoulder, and then to the elbow and lastly the hands.

Not all the Chen-style taiji practices, however, comprise of such combatant motions. It also puts an emphasis on the standing meditation, called "zhan zhuang," which every practitioner is required to do for at least 10 minutes at the start of training. Chen's taiji forms not only show bare-hand techniques like the above two sets of forms or but also use a sword or a medicine ball, among others, in order to apply the basic forms.

Because Yang style has been taught to the public for a longer period, compared with Chen or other taiji styles, more people have had time to learn it and has passed on what they learned. This has caused Yang's taiji to have many more different variations in style and flavor. Yet each style is unique and has its own nuisances.

Other major offshoots of original taiji include Wu style and Sun style taiji quan. Wu style, created by Wu Jianquan (1870-1942), is one of the taiji styles originated from the Yang system. It embodies bigger motions compared with other styles, and has no jumping skills.

Sun style taiji quan, created by Sun Lutang (1860-1930), has applied the techniques of other Chinese martial arts like "xingyi quan" and "bagua quan" to taiji principles and is characterized by delicate motions and brisk footsteps.

What all the taiji styles really share in common, however, is that they all work within the strict boundaries of the taiji's principles, including those of yin and yang. The students of taiji quan practice the forms as if each movement has no ending and no beginning, blending the moves together from the beginning to the end. They concentrate on their consciousness in order to feel a smooth the flow of "chi" (internal power). In this way, the energy continues to build until it surrounds the entire body.

What style of taiji quan one should follow depends entirely on one's reason for training. They can choose a certain style for health benefits or for the mastery of the original combat applications of kung fu.

Taiji quan relieves tension by making the body comfortable. A KBS-TV's Sunday special program aired last year introduced taiji quan as one of the most effective health exercices in modern times, adding the art contains the effects of both jogging and meditation. Actually, taiji can function as a self-massage on muscles, internal organs and blood vessels.

Taiji has become more widely known in Korea since it was introduced in the Beijing Asian Games in 1990 and has now become one of the popular exercises both in terms of martial arts and workout activities for health purposes.

The world is changing so rapidly that it is making the people feel dizzy and easily exhausted in this age of high technology. Taiji, whose lore has been cherished by the Chinese for centuries, will surely play a role in providing a health as well as a way to help practitioners get closer to the management of their inner world.

The writer is the president of the Korean Chen-style Tai-ji Quan Association in Seoul. For more precise information about taiji in general, call 592-5911 or 011-9095-1999 or search the site http://www.tai-ji.co.kr - Ed.

Updated: 06/01/2000
by Suh Myong-won



(C) Copyright 2000 Digital Korea Herald. All rights reserved

 
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