Tsinghua University Professor Teaches Taiji Culture in the United States
——the Fourth Chinese Culture Festival of the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona
On the morning of September 21, 2015, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor Qiao Fengjie from the Physical Education Institute at Beijing’s Tsinghua University made a presentation on Taiji culture focusing on the theme, “For Study and for the Way: Explaining Principles of Taiji Training” at the University of Arizona. The lecture prompted many local fans of Chinese culture and practitioners of taijiquan to attend and participate. The event was sponsored and co-hosted by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona (CIUA).
As a representative symbol of traditional Chinese culture, Taiji is well-loved by people from all walks of life in China and abroad. Today, more than one hundred million foreigners practice Taiji, leading many of them to a deeper appreciation of Chinese culture; even some begin their study of the Chinese language through practicing Taiji. Stemming from the influence of martial arts teaching at CIUA, more and more local Tucson people are keen to adopt Taiji practice and further disseminate Taiji culture.
Beginning with the perception of “for study” and “for the Dao” from the classical text, Daodejing, Professor Qiao elaborated the principles of Taiji training as knowledge and instinct. He said that “for study” defines knowledge acquisition, which is the foundation of Taiji training, while “for the Dao” requires people to eliminate self-awareness, discover their instincts and ultimately achieve the infinite – the core of Taiji. He also demonstrated slight changes through practical action according to the various levels of Taiji training. The atmosphere was very lively, including frequent interactions between Professor Qiao and his audience. Not only did the lecture provide information on detailed training methods for Taiji lovers, it also promoted the spread of Taiji practice in the local community.
Professor Qiao’s Taiji lecture was a small but immensely enjoyable part of CIUA’s week-long Fourth Chinese Culture Festival in Tucson. Throughout the week, three additional lectures relating to traditional Chinese music, Chinese cultural heritage protection and the archaeology of Qin Shihuang and the Qin Empire were presented on the University of Arizona campus. Other keystone events of CIUA’s Fourth Chinese Culture Festival include Chinese Language and Culture Day (celebrated on 26 September at the Tucson Chinese Culture Center as part of World Confucius Institute Day), presentations by UA students about their trips to China in summer 2015 and a Moon Festival concert on Sunday evening, replete with yuebing (moon-cakes)!
CIUA’s annual Chinese Culture Festival provides many precious resources to assist Tucsonans’ understanding of China and enhances their appreciation of Chinese culture while encouraging interest in and direction for learning Chinese among southern Arizona’s communities.