A Cultural Comparison between Tai Chi Chuan and Western Sports
Two separate cultures feature their own sports. Western sports, closely tied to religion, games, labor and military affairs, have developed under the influence of Western philosophical principles----concrete analysis, antagonism and inference. Their rules are concerned with manifestations of externalism, individuality, rights, antagonism and appreciation. Boxing, designed to demonstrate individuality, has a fighting layout which is offensive, straight and self expressive. The game of basketball with clearly defined goals is well-known for its skill analysis, tactic analysis and strict training courses. It is another reflection of Western culture and thinking model . So we can draw a bold conclusion that Western sports, a specific cultural activity, has the same configuration as their cultural background.
Tai Chi Chuan is very much different from Western sports . It does not have to display itself through direct opposition. The target of self-cultivation and health-care is achieved through individual exercise. It is a culturally-saturated exercise which aims to discipline both the mind and the body, and promote intangible spiritual distillation through tangible body movements to realize ideal characterization . The striking contrast between Tai Chi Chuan and Western sports results from the different cultural backgrounds. Tai Chi Chuan is based upon the theory of yin and yang. Nourished by Chinese boxings , health-care culture, Chinese traditional philosophy and Chinese medical science, Tai Chi Chuan is an symbolic knockout of traditional Chinese sports. The soil where it is rooted provides a cultural identity for it. Therefore, to understand the connotation of Tai Chi Chuan and to achieve the harmony of spirit, energy and mind, one must go back to Chinese culture. Otherwise misinterpretation will result in inharmonious practices of the sport. Foreigners performing Tai Chi Chuan are liable to master forms, expertise and movements at the expense of its essence. Compared with Chinese players. Foreign learners mark themselves not in dressing , nor in appearance or in complexion, but in disposition. Therefore, it is essential for foreigners to have an understanding of Chinese culture before they can assure a perfect mastery of Tai Chi Chuan as an entity of health preserving, martial arts and artistic value.
From a cultural perspective, hurdles in the way can surely be cleared away through a broad cultural contact, which gives an accurate account of Tai Chi Chuan and Western sports as cultural fruits. Of course , frame our cultural recognition of the individualistic marks of Chinese and Western sports.