There are lots of references throughout our syllabus and throughout the Tai Chi Classics, using Chinese words – These are often only known within the context of the Chinese martial arts. These words, and their definitions, are detailed below:

Chinese Words Defined in the Context of Taijiquan

Qi  (氣/气) – “life energy.”  Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming writes: [Qi] is the Chinese word for ‘energy’, and pertains to all forms of energy in the universe. In martial arts and qigong, it specifically refers to human Qi, the bioenergy or life-force within every cell of the human body

Dantian (丹田) – “energy cultivation center.”

Jin (勁劲) – “energetic power.” Qi and muscular strength (li) used together to create an inner power that can be projected outward as a pure martial arts force.  From Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming:  In general, the higher the level of Jin, the more Qi and the less muscular strength is used

Jing-shen(精神)– literally “spirit mind” or consciousness. But in taijiquan it more often means a “spirit of vigor, vitality and drive.” Colloquially it refers to a person’s “spirits” or “energy level.” See Lee

Li (力) – “physical muscular strength.”

Shen (神) – “spirit” or “consciousness” or “conscious energy.”

Yi  (意) – (sounds like “ee”) – Mental intention; a state of silent mindfulness of the will.

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