Theater and Kungfu

Chinese martial arts are historically inseparable from theater arts.  I do not mean to say that one can not look back on any era and find a well trained single minded bruiser.  But that bruiser is likely to have a gongfu brother who worked as a street performer, or an aunt who was a master at going into trance and channeling historic figures (like generals and minsters) for interviews at the homes of the well-to-do.

The term "Qi" can actually be translated "magic," because when a little kid pulled on the lapel of a street magician's coat and asked, "Master, how did you saw that woman in half without killing her?"  The magician answered, "I used my qi! I was able to separate her and reconstitute her with my enormous reserves of qi!"

Everyone who has read the Taijiquan Classics knows that "Taiji is born from Wuji, and is the mother of Yin and Yang."  When a magician showed you the inside of his hat, he said, "Look, look, it's Wuji (emptiness)."  "I will now circle this hat on my dantian... gathering the qi, returning to the primordial chaos (huntun), suddenly Taiji is born!"  "First Yin" (out of the hat he pulls a small black rabbit) "and then Yang," (followed by a white one).

Here is a website by someone who thinks like me.  Here is his youtube channel.  And here is some rocking old time street gongfu: