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The Supreme Ultimate

The Principles of the Supreme Ultimate

Chee Soo practicing the Lee style T'ai Chi Dance

Why should this beautiful sequence of movements be known as the 'Supreme Ultimate' (T'ai Chi)? Does it mean that we have to achieve absolute perfection in every movement that we execute, or does it mean that we are aiming for an ultimate goal in everything which is a true component of this wonderful art?

There are thousands of people in the West who have gained great benefit from the practise of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, and there are many more who are seriously interested in learning. Unfortunately many of these people learn only the physical aspect of the form, and therefore gain very little from it. Many of them spend a great deal of time in practice, yet without discovering the full depth and potential of the art, all their work is doing no more than scratching the surface. Even their physical progress is limited, because the most important depths of their physical selves remain unused and undiscovered.

The majority of T'ai Chi schools teach only the physical side of the whole art. They sincerely believe that they are progressing by just learning the stances, but inwardly they are often doing more harm than good, because by remaining on a physical level they never express their complete selves, and in so doing retard their own progress in the wholeness of life.

This is a shame, for after setting themselves to learn the art over a long period of time, practising for many hours and showing great interest and dedication, their efforts have often been completely wasted. They have not progressed at all on the physical level, and have never learnt the other dynamic aspects of this wonderful art.

The truth is that there are five complete sections in the complete training of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, so every student should ensure that they train under the supervision of a fully qualified teacher who can not only teach these five sections but can also demonstrate them. Then and only then will the student gain maximum benefit from this art in every respect, have a complete understanding of its true depth, and develop an awareness which they had not previously known existed.

The Lee style is taught through the auspices of the Taoist Cultural Arts Association, who are ensuring that the Taoist Arts, which were maintained and developed by the Lee family, will always remain exactly as they wanted them to be. The Society also ensures that this great depth of knowledge will only be taught by teachers who have qualified, practised, and been taught within the Society.

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The Chinese Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan

by Chee Soo

Copyright ©Seahorse Books 2003 reproduced with permission