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CHINA: Tai Ch, Tai qi, Tai Qigong, Falun Gong

Paul Simon wants me to go dancing in the park. No, Paul: I would look silly. He says of Tai Chi: "The correct name is actually Tai Qigong. 'Tai qi' actually means 'discomforts during pregnancy', hopefully something not currently afflicting you. [ believe not. RH]. Tai qigong is not a martial art, but a combination of exercise and controlled breathing. It is not necessary to visualize any spinning discs. In fact, this latter sounds more like the odd Falun Gong ("the way of the wheel'), a practice banned in the mainland, with adherents arrested by the authorities. Tai qigong on the other hand is an excellent, low impact aerobic exercise. However, Taiqigong folks are never seen in mainland parks these days, for fear of being accidentally considered Falun Gong (' as one colleague quipped after the big crackdown began in 99-"Gong but not forgotten"). Locals have turned to dancing (also great for your health) in the parks or doing more calisthenic-like exercises".

Ronald Hilton - 8/26/02