The practice of tai chi is meant to slow you down.
To make you mindful of your movement in the present moment.
To increase your strength in both body and mind.
Nowhere is the philosophy of tai chi more clearly expressed than in the quotes of both masters and students.
So, whether you’re looking for inspiration for your practice or just trying to get a deeper understanding of what tai chi is, we hope these quotes harbor the mastery you seek.
Tai Chi Quotes
- First the mind, then the body.
2. Tai chi does not mean oriental wisdom or something exotic. It is the wisdom of your own senses, your own mind and body together as one process. – Chungliang Al Huang
3. Spiritual balance is tai chi. It’s the center of things. It’s the place where yin and yang meet, where all things come together. – Dr. Frederick Lenz
4. There is no mystique to Tai Chi Chuan. What is difficult is the perseverance. It took me ten years to discover my chi, but thirty years to learn how to use it. Once you see the benefit, you won’t want to stop. – Ma Yueliang
5. Martial arts is not about fighting, it is about being fit and healthy, both physiologically and psychologically. ― Abhijit Naskar
6. Chi is the general life force of a human being. Chi is that which differentiates the living from the dead… the sum of many energetic frequencies that run through the body… Chi can be increased in a human being by doing qigong — exercises that work with your chi — or other internal energy practices, such as tai chi. Strong chi can make a person feel totally alive, alert and present. – Bruce Frantzis
7. Think of the circular path of each movement, in tai chi every moment is in a curve or circle that has no ending or beginning. – Paul Lam
8. Tai Chi Chuan is the art of letting hardness dwell within softness and hiding a needle within cotton… – Yang Ch’eng-fu
9. Tai Chi Chuan, the great ultimate, strengthens the weak, raises the sick, invigorates the debilitated, and encourages the timid. – Cheng Man-ch’ing
10. T’ai Chi Ch’uan bases itself exclusively on gentleness, softness, naturalness and bringing you back to your original nature. – Chen Yen-lin (translation by Stuart Alve Olson)
11. Tai chi practice trains us to listen to the incoming force and then absorb, redirect, or use the opponent’s force to combine with ours to reach a win-win situation. – Paul Lam
12. As the practitioner incorporates the quality of Tai Chi movement into his life, he finds that he stops banging into things. The result of not falling into each step provides the opportunity to instantaneously ease back from unexpected barriers. – Wolfe Lowenthal
13. Direct your eyesight inward and you will find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. – Henry David Thoreau
14. The spirit is something to be enjoyed. It is not a harsh discipline. And I think people should take some time everyday for some kind of moving meditation, like Qigong or Tai Chi. – Shirley MacLaine
15. I’ve tried Buddhism, Scientology, Numerology, Transcendental Meditation, Qabbala, t’ai chi, feng shui and Deepak Chopra but I find straight gin works best. – Phyllis Diller (If we were going to include one entertainment legend, we thought we should include another with a dissenting opinion!)
Want more yuks with your tai chi content? Check out our Tai Chi Puns.
Just getting started with tai? Check out our beginners guide – Getting Started With Tai Chi.