Tai Chi in the Modern World- How Tai Chi Chuan Flows with Natural Law

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Tai Chi became popular in Beijing during the final decades of the 19th century. During the same period of time the Chinese government fell into chaos and western colonialism gained momentum in China.

In 1900, that most unfortunate war known as the Boxer Revolution, brought about and extremely humiliating defeat for the Chinese government, and destroyed most Chinese intellectuals’ confidence in their own culture. In 1911 Dr. Sun Yat Sen led the Chinese Revolution which overthrew the Manchu government. However, Dr. Sun was not able to create a strong and united China. As a reaction to the continuing turmoil, a patriotic campaign broke out in 1919; this later became the May Fourth Movement, the cultural campaign which denounced the Confucian classics as well as all traditional culture and arts. The May Fourth Movement denounced Chinese Wushu; and many intellectuals, striving to modernize and further the best interests of their country, abandoned Tai Chi Chuan. Since then cataclysmic events have occurred and the world has changed beyond recognition. And yet, in the late 20th century China, Tai Chi Chuan is widely practiced.

Close Reading:

Level 1: Paraphrasing-

State in your own words the meaning of each sentence.

From 1880 to 1900 Tai Chi was the rage in Beijing China. Then the government collapsed through “intellectual cleansing”.

In 1900 the Boxer Rebellion war disgraced the Chinese government and shamefully destroyed Chinese courage to think deeply about their own history. In 1911 Dr. Sun Yat Sen tried, unsuccessfully, to get rid of the Manchu government. In 1919, in response, a nationalist drive began that soon grew into the May Fourth Movement. Nationalists attacked Chinese culture and the arts; including Confucian classics and Chinese Wushu. “Chinese Thinkers,” wild-eyed with modernization, rejected Tai Chi Chuan. Since this disastrous event, the planet has changed beyond our imagination. In spite of all this, Tai Chi Chuan is a practiced universally.

Level 2: Explicating:

  1. State the main point.
    1. Modern Chinese history is an example of how Tai Chi Chuan flows with Natural Law and is not dominated by blind force.
  2. In other words….
    1. Chinese history is an example of how our thinking gets us in trouble.
  3. For example…
    1. What we think and perceive as “better”, may actually interfere with our improvement by causing unnatural reactions.


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