Tai Chi and Science

Chen XiangHere is a fun article about the Motion and Gait Analyisis Laboritory at Stanford University.

"Stanford Researchers Record 'Optimal Force' of Tai Chi Master"

The picture is of Chen Taijiquan teacher Chen Xiang, I don't know much about him but he is a senior student of Feng Zhiqiang so he is the gongfu brother of one of my teachers Zhang Xuixin.

I love these devices they have for learning about human movement. I also love that we now have scientific "proof" that Taijiquan is the most efficient movement in the world. (OK I think the article gets a little too enthusiastic but it's still a fun quote.)

It also raises the idea that taijiquan is a form of technology itself. Theory, and there is a fair amount of it, is subordinate to the technology. In fact, the technology is just a continuous transmission of movement experiments and experiences.

Medicine can't explain taijiquan, and probably these scientists won't be able to either, but they may accumulate some really interesting data that could lead to new technologies. And by technologies I mean both tools and movement techniques.  (My modest dream is that a Stanford scientist will someday say that muscle building is not necessarily smart.)
Since this center also studies gait, I would love to see what they think of baguazhang walking technique.  I think this is their main public website, look they have blogs too!

Update:  Here is the Video