Over six centuries
ago, there lived a Tibetan monk by the name of Bodhidarma-Daruma.
After meditating in the Tibetan mountains for forty days, he awoke
and studied the natural movements of the animals. He studied such
creatures as the praying mantis, the crane, and the tiger. Impressed
by their suppleness and grace, he imitated those movements for
quite a time. Though quite elderly, Bodhidarma-Daruma obtained
great benefit: he became calmer, healthier, more energetic, and
felt much younger than his chronological age.
One day, he
traveled east to the forests of western China, where he lived
in a cave. There, he met a man named Shao-Lin whom he taught for
many years. Shao-Lin, too, noticed the benefits of these movements.
When Shao-Lin returned to his city (which is now named after him),
he founded a temple where he started teaching a small group of
In the orient,
Tibetan Tai-Chi is taught only to very few students, who are carefully
screened and evaluated by the master. At present, the original
Tibetan Tai-Chi is a lost art except for the very few masters
that have learned it from their own fathers trained in the Soringi
Temple (the rebuilt Shao-Lin temple) that existed in pre-communist