Tai Chi Union Philippines: Answering a call for authenticity, unity and harmony

" . . . the whole body should be light and agile, with all parts of the body linked as if threaded together." – Tai Chi Classics by Chang San-feng

The early stages of tai chi in the Philippines was mainly characterized by the existence of various "traditional kung fu schools and associations" along with independent but also "traditional tai chi masters". This history was eventually punctuated by the entry and organization of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines which caused a polarization with the "traditionalists". Being witness to this and personally torn with equal fondness to both sides, it was certain to me that there were pros and cons on both sides. However, this brought about increased chi in the tai chi scene as express by greater visibility and expansion of activities. A growth period for tai chi in the Philippines, though very divisive. Another key development within this polarizing stage of tai chi history was the establishment of Rapid Journal which not only brought scholarly reference on internal and Filipino martial arts, but also underscored the Philippines in the international martial arts map.

I believe, that now the history of tai chi in the Philippines has come to a new stage of development - unification. Perhaps this is concomitant to a still unapparent global phenomenon, - a need to bring the tai chi roots as the unifying force in the fragmentizing "tai chi body". In the Philippines, an indicator of this unifying emergence is the formation of the Philippine Tai Chi Network Blog, which aim to give free information for any interest in tai chi in the Philippines – instructors, events, supplies and other information supply links - a long overdue answer to a lingering need.

This leads to a natural next step which is to put an appropriate body to this moving Filipino tai chi spirit – a non-partisan organization that would serve as a common vehicle to harmonize the inherent and apparent differences among participants. The common point of harmony and unity is authenticity or loyalty to the original concept of tai chi that we inherited from the Taichi Classics of Chang San-feng, Wang Tong-yueh and Wu Yu-hsiang. We believe this is very possible dream if we use the tai chi principles which is the same as in the idea of "win-win".

The process of "linking as if threaded together" has started but for there to become a "whole body that is light and agile", we need to start the process of organizing. Every person whose heart resonates with the ideals of tai chi needs an opportunity to belong to a body where one’s talent could be contributed and where one’s endeavor to learn and participate could get nurturing support. By doing this we can give substance to the admonition of one of the Tai Chi Classics authors, Wu Yu-hsiang when he said, "Remember, when the body moves, there is no place in the body that does not move".

Hence, this -

Mission, Vision and Goals for the Tai Chi Union of the Philippines (TCUP):

Mission :
The Tai Chi Union of the Philippines (Union) is a non-profit organization geared towards the propagation, support and uplifting of internal martial arts and chi kung (qigong) in general, and tai chi chuan (taiqi quan) in particular. The Union is specifically committed to exemplify the tai chi qualities of harmony and unity among practicing groups, teachers and students towards the direction of mutual assistance and working toward common goal.

The Union envisions itself as the organization that would bring into harmony the Wushu International's concept of Tai Chi propagation and the independent traditional tai chi and internal martial arts organizations while respecting and accepting intrinsic difference. With this, the Union sees the marshaling of the energy of many individual initiatives that would result in an exponential growth in the practice of tai chi.

The Union is guided by the following beliefs:
1. that tai chi chuan is essentially based on the "Tai Chi Classics" attributable to Chang Sanfeng, etc. and should be the main guidelines to adherence to the art
2. that scientific findings and modern language and concepts can and should clarify the profound meaning of the Classics
3. that creativity in the formation of the forms of practice and conduct of activities to develop and propagate the art should be encouraged for so long as they do not veer away from the essential meaning of the art based on the classics.

General Goals:
The Union shall therefore endeavor to:
1. Bring practitioners into a bond of fellowship of members
2. Provide access to information that would not be conveniently available
3. Bring to affordability, expensive resources through sharing
4. Hold periodic learning activities for common upgrading of teachers and students
5. Accredit teachers/instructors for teaching competence to safeguard the interests of students and protect the good name of tai chi
6. Provide a venue and organization where practitioners can have themselves evaluated for competency and level
7. Participate in international events and activities that would redound to the member's benefits based on the above avowed goals
8. To seek local and international funding to find support for these goals.

Specific Goals/Tasks:
1. Formalization of the Union as a non-profit corporation
2. Organization of founding members
3. Membership generation in the teachers/instructors' and practitioner's classifications
4. Program for development of the 1st Philippine Tai Chi Competition (concept to implementation):
>>> Judging concept and criteria
>>> Judge selection criteria and training
>>> Venue
>>> Finance & Administration
5. Target international events for participation
>>> Strategy
>>> Policies
>>> Organization & implementation

If upon reading this the "spirit of vitality rises up on top of your head", this only means that TCUP is answering your call for authenticity, unity and harmony. Let your "Shen/Spirit be firm", post your comment with your name and email as your own answer to this call.

~ESS / Manila, Philippines

TCUP Forum link


Earl Spartan said...

"In the Philippines, an indicator of this unifying emergence is the formation of the Philippine Tai Chi Network Blog, which aim to give free information for any interest in tai chi in the Philippines – instructors, events, supplies and other information supply links - a long overdue answer to a lingering need."

Wow, thank you Ed.

Headmistress said...

there is no such thing as a "one man show" -- we need to work together! go TCUP!