The Ethics and Moral Virtues of Chen Style Tai Chi Martial Arts by Master Cheng Jincai

Around the world today, there is increasing interest in martial arts. Competitions are commonplace. More and more people are realizing the advantages of practicing martial arts, such as improved health and development of self-defense skills. It is common knowledge that exercise is a key factor in maintaining physical and spiritual health. According to the World Health Organization, 55% of all morbidity is related to lack of exercise. The maintenance of good health is beneficial not only for the person, but also the family, and even the entire country. So exercising is very important for every person. With increasing participation in martial arts, it is vital to understand the ethical and moral conduct expected and required of the martial artist chen style tai chi chuan.

It is said that “Without standards, no advanced understanding can take shape.” It is for this reason that every profession has its own rules and regulations. Master Chen Zhaokui (1928-1981) always urged his students to “Understand the rules and abide by them.” Master Wang Xian ( 1944- ) also stressed in his martial arts teaching to “Guard your borders and not lose sight of your world.” This essay will discuss the ethics and moral virtues of martial arts practice.

The martial artists of past times have always emphasized the ethics of martial arts. Each school had its own code. These rules were shaped, in part, by the context of their time and place. Therefore, we must now rethink martial arts ethics in modern times. I believe that it is extremely important to teach the ethics of martial arts and not just the physical techniques. If martial arts are taught without instilling the proper ethics, martial arts as a discipline cannot develop in a good direction. Only by teaching the techniques in conjunction with ethics can the field move forward to a bright future.

The topics of martial arts ethics are abundant – below I will discuss the following codes in martial arts ethics:

I. Choosing a Teacher
II. Cultivation of a Virtuous Teacher-Student Relationship
III. Faith and Integrity
IV. Respect
V. Cultivation of Integrity of Speech
VI. The Virtue of Hand – Self-Control
VII. Cultivation of the Heart and Mind
VIII. The Virtue of Humility
IX. The Virtue of Peaceful Patience
X. The Virtue of Social Awareness and Responsibility

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