For thousands of years Chinese people have always understood the importance of carrying on the spirit of Wushu while simultaneously revering the inheritance of their ancestral teachings, such as Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. For example, Confucius himself came from a military family; his father was a warrior who on one occasion showed great courage in defending the city gates, protecting others as they fled. Confucius left us a number of portraits of himself holding a sabre, and his disciples were also known to practice Wushu diligently. His students travelled widely, often to places in great danger or under siege, but as a result of their wushu training, they were always able to go about their business calmly. Therefore self-cultivation methods such as Wushu and Taichi have always been regarded as a fundamental part of Chinese education which was integrated with language and cultural instruction.

Tsinghua University, one of the most prestigious schools in China, captures an attitude to learning in its motto: The Heavens are in motion ceaselessly, the enlightened exert themselves constantly; Heaven rewards those who are industrious, the virtuous bear onerous duties. Unfortunately contemporary Chinese education, including language and cultural education, seems to have lost sight of many of the qualities referred to in this motto. It is worth noting that these qualities are also the basic tenets of Chinese Wushu and Taichi!

Throughout Chinese history, all of the powerful Dynasties have advocated the development of the martial arts. The gentleman in the past was adept with both the pen and the sword, could ride a horse, use a calligraphy brush, pull a bow, draw a painting, wield a sword, and play music instruments.

The famous cultural scholar Qian Wenzhong from the Department of History at Fudan University in Shanghai has said: “Wushu’s educational functions cannot be ignored. To value martial arts certainly will not reduce literary accomplishments, but the ignoring of the martial arts will undermine the material basis for literacy…”

The Chinese character for ‘martial’ (Wu武) is made up of three components: 止 which means to stop, 一 which means an ultimate understanding of the universe, and 弋 a type of ancient weapon. In other words, the aim of the martial arts is not to fight, but to cease the use of a weapon. Courage lies in the suspension of hostilities in your heart. The highest level of martial arts is the cultivation of a state of peacefulness. Professor Qian added: “Now with martial arts being seen as a type of sport, we are more inclined to evaluate it in terms of its ‘bodily power or practice’ and to forget its educational elements. I think China should include traditional Wushu practice in the compulsory education curriculum “. If these oriental physical and mental cultivation arts continue to be ignored in our modern educational system this will ultimately affect our economic and social development.

Taichi and Mandarin Solutions are intent on educating people from both a physical and mental perspective. Our aim is to integrate the teaching of Chinese culture, language, and Taichi. We believe that this approach results in benefits for both the body and the mind of students, and simultaneously contributes to the building of a harmonious multicultural society.

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