Tai Chi: Grand Ultimate or Second Rate?

July 19th, 2022

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Tai Chi is The Grand Ultimate Long Fist/Long Form. The Grand Ultimate is the proper Chinese term for The Yin Yang Symbol. The Grand Ultimate symbol is made up of Yin and Yang energies. The Grand Ultimate symbolism and its four energy aspects is the namesake of Tai Chi or more specifically Taiji practice.

Tai Chi is a Kung Fu. Kung Fu is a self-development hobby, often with martial arts qualities, but not necessarily because self-development comes in many forms. But Tai Chi is The Grand Ultimate Kung Fu of all other Kung Fu systems.

The practice is the grand ultimate Kung Fu among all other Chinese Kung Fu and it is arguable that Tai Chi is The Grand Ultimate Kung Fu or self-development system compared to innumerable practices and systems from all around the world. But why is Tai Chi The Grand Ultimate? What is Tai Chi really good for? What makes Tai Chi good or great?

To understand Tai Chi and its benefits that beckoned the name of Grand Ultimate is elusive. Because it is the Grand Ultimate form of self-development it is individualized and varied. What is the essence of Tai Chi practice that makes it The Grand Ultimate? Perhaps at the essence of Tai Chi is integration. Integration of energies, integration of mind and body, integration of practice and philosophy, integration of innumerable beneficial ideas and/or ideas pertaining to defense during confrontational circumstances.

I once met a fellow Tai Chi practitioner of a whole different locale, style, and so forth. We exchanged ideas and I mentioned something to him that he had never heard before, but was something discussed frequently in my experience. Immediately he integrated the idea. If it is Tao, or if its quality is in correspondence with Tao, then it can be Tai Chi.

What is Tai Chi good for? Everything. And that is what makes it the Grand Ultimate. However Tai Chi is not the best at anything! It is usually a close second or perhaps third sometimes when compared to other forms of Kung Fu or self-development. How is Tai Chi second rate and The Grand Ultimate? Tai Chi is best for nothing and great for everything.


Tai Chi is second to walking as a moderate physical stimulation.

Tai Chi is second to conversation as a moderate mental stimulation.

Tai Chi (Pushing Hands) is second to Sumo wrestling in its intensity.

Tai Chi is second to boxing in developing punching potential.

Tai Chi is second to numerous martial arts systems in regards to kicking, wrestling, joint locking systems.

Tai Chi is second to Chi Kung in tonifying the nervous system and developing Chi.

Tai Chi is second to Yoga in developing flexibility.

Tai Chi is second to Pilates in opening and lengthening the facia.

Tai Chi is second to jogging in developing cardiovascular potential.

Tai Chi is second to weightlifting to developing muscle strength.

Tai Chi is second to numerous meditation practices for honing mental capacity.

Tai Chi is second to medical treatment of physical trauma.

Tai Chi is second to therapy to heal mental trauma.

Tai Chi is second to acrobatics to learn dexterity.

Tai Chi is second to dance to fine tune reflex.

Tai Chi is just second rate – which is actually perfect. To be the best at one skill increases the likelihood of decreased potential in another skill. To be exceptional at many things, to excel wholistically, to be multifaceted has more long-term advantage.

The list could go on and on. And I can actually think of a few things that Tai Chi might be the highest form of or even the best way of, for instance what I call perimeter awareness. But perhaps all these qualities and enhancements come from integration itself ultimately. Tai Chi is The Grand Ultimate practice because it is second rate among so many ideas and systems that it becomes the most useful and the most beneficial Grand Ultimate Kung Fu or self-development practice for individuation. Through its essence of integration Tai Chi practice is not the best for anything, it just makes you better at everything.

The Tai Chi Pill

The Tai Chi Pill is a Tai Chi lesson that will help you to help yourself. It contains principles, practices and philosophy to enable you to change patterns and enhance the quality of your being.

The Tai Chi pill is an easy to swallow Tai Chi lesson for beginners, with practices and principles which enable you to take Tai Chi into your world without learning a long form. The Tai Chi Pill also contains philosophy that long time practitioners will find applicable to their own practice.

“There is no wrong way to practice Tai Chi, there are only more correct and more refined ways.”

The Tai Chi Pill is available on Amazon.

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About the author:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:

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