Tai (太) means extremely large and has no boundary.
Ji (极) means extremely small, confined, and precise.
Taiji (太极) is the pivoting of motion and mother of yin-yang (passive and active) (阴阳), where thing tends to reverse its courses when it reaches the extreme ends. Passive always turns active and active always turns passive, alternating repeatedly and endlessly.
Quan (拳) is the movement of postures, using one’s body motions to show the ways of yin and yang. Taijiquan combines one’s motions with its spirit.
Yang-style Taijiquan (杨式太极拳) was founded by Yang Luchan (杨露禅), a native of Yongnian county of Hebei province. He is amongst the most well-known figures in Taijiquan history and had made remarkable contributions in spreading Taijiquan. Yang-style Taijiquan comprises of large, middle, and small frames.
Laoliulu (老六路) or Yang-style Old Six Sets is the traditional middle frame of inner energy Yang-style Taijiquan, founded by the second-generation master Yang Jianhou (杨健侯). Laoliulu Tajiquan emphasis on uncovering, cultivating, and application of our inner energy. Inner energy is formless and invisible, which exists within our body. The physical motions of Laoliulu Taijiquan are manifested through the practice of combining “spirit, mind and vitality”.
Spirit, mind and vitality (神意气) are the core connotations and the context of reaching truth in Taoism culture, it is “the principle of unity, and the law of the expression”. For Taijiquan, these 3 elements are also key for the training of inner energy. To definite inner energy, we could say that it is a invisible force that conforms to the paths of natural activities of life and obeys the laws regulating natural physics. One’s inner energy is the introversive force accumulated by following these paths and laws.
According to Tao’s theory on nature’s order, a single Qi (气 energy) comes from emptiness and subsequently, this single Qi generates the Yin and the Yang. Thereafter, Yin-Yang generates three elements, and in combination, these three elements create everything in the universe.
Due to changes in weather conditions, one may fall sick and become physically weak. Practising Taijiquan will be able to harmonise blood and Qi flow in our body, invigorate our organ functions, build-up our immune systems and henceforth achieve our overall wellness (养生).