• Tai Chi and the Car

    Through my Tai Chi research and practice, I found some interesting similarities between Tai Chi and Car mechanics.
    Let’s set up some equivalent points first:
    1. Human: Hands -> Car: Two front wheels (Assume rear wheel drive vehicle)
    2. Human: Feet -> Car: Two rear wheels (Assume rear wheel drive vehicle)
    3. Human: Joints -> Car: Gear Box
    4. Human: Waist and Kua (腰胯) -> Car: Steeling wheel
    5. Human: Mind/intention -> Car: Driver
    6. Human: Qi (气) -> Car: fuel
    7. Human: Leg (being the most powerful muscle) -> Car: Engine

    The driver (Mind) pushes the accelerator pedal, more fuel (Qi) pumps to the engine, Engine (Leg) generates power to the driving Rear Wheels (Feet), uses the ground rebound to turn the wheels to generate forward motion, directed by the Steering Wheel (Waist and Kua) and controlled by the Gear Box (Joints), power gets transferred to the Front Wheels (Hands) so the car powers forward in one unit (Move in unison with Unified Power).
    Note: bracket is in Tai Chi context.

    Isn’t that so similar to what the Tai Chi classic said?
    “Starting from your feet, issue through your leg, directing it at your waist, and expressing it at your fingers.” (其根在脚,发于腿,主宰于腰。形于手指;由脚而腿而腰).

    A few more interesting points:
    • In Tai Chi, we talked about developing Unified Power (整劲), that’s what the car does.
    • In Tai Chi, we talked about waist and kua (腰胯) being soft and agile, that’s like the Hydraulic Power Steering system the car added later on.
    • In Tai Chi, we talked about not using hands by themselves but following the body movement. In the car, the Front Wheels don’t turn by themselves. It’s the last in the chain controlled by Gear Box.
    • In Tai Chi Push Hands, we talked about the right amount of Stickiness with your opponent. In the car, I would say the right amount of Tyre pressure.
    The list can go on, but I think you get my point now.

    I would say both Tai Chi and the Car are great human inventions. Then it’s not that surprising to see those similarities.
    Happy training.


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