The above quote was written over 2200 years ago by Sun Tzu in his now world-famous book, The Art of War. The philosophical handbook is still the cornerstone for not only war, but also for business and all forms of artful endeavor, especially martial arts. And while Tai Chi is often practiced solely as an energy-building, stress-reducing type of moving Yoga, it is, at its core, a martial art.
Interpreting Sun Tzu’s Quote
It is the preparation you do before your form that makes you a good martial artist. For example, the Chi Gung and Nui Gung exercises that you do before your Tai Chi should always be a part of your preparation for doing the Tai Chi Chuan form. Without such preparation, you would simply be doing a slow dance which really has no meaning.
This kind of preparation is what your teacher should provide you in the way of training. Now, if you are a true martial artist, or a true seeker (for they are one and the same), you will prepare even further.
A good example is how you approach meditation during your Tai Chi class. Closing your eyes during meditation is one thing, but closing your eyes and concentrating on your breath, gathering the energy up to the third eye, and consciously connecting to heaven and earth, well that is a totally different reality. This kind of self-preparation is what Sun Tzu was talking about.
Are You Creeping around the Garden?
There is only one person in your Tai Chi class who will actually know whether you are concentrating on your preparation: you. This time of preparation before the “war,” before doing the Tai Chi form, is when the battle is actually won. And what’s even stranger is that you will probably be the only one who actually knew when the war inside of yourself began and was won.
Don’t just creep around the garden. Practice your energy-building warm-ups and preparation exercises, whatever they may be, in a fully conscious state.
From one warrior to another, happy battles, my friend! — Shihan Lonny Riddle
The Tai Chi Ruler – Your Ultimate Preparation
Tai Chi practitioners who prepare using the Tai Chi Ruler grant themselves the potential for greater balance, strength and receptivity during both their Tai Chi Chuan practice and their journey through life and death as well.
Read more about the esoteric benefits of the Tai Chi Ruler.