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Thread: Jet Li's TaijiZen International Cultural Development Company

  1. #1
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    Jet Li's TaijiZen International Cultural Development Company

    Zen? A Japanese term?
    September 13, 2011, 5:36 PM HKT
    Jet Li Ashamed of China’s Soft Power

    Chinese leaders aren’t the only ones frustrated with the nation’s lack of “soft power” influence–Jet Li is, too, and he wants to do something about it.

    The Chinese martial artist-turned-movie star is starting a taichi school with Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma, which he hopes will break stereotypes of taichi as an art practiced only by old people in parks. Mr. Li said he wants it to one day be as cool to practice taichi as it is watch American movies, watch Japanese animation or study South Korea’s taekwondo.

    “China is an economic powerhouse,” Mr. Li said at Alibaba Group’s annual summit for small to medium-sized business owners in Hangzhou. But the world’s most populous country has little cultural influence compared to the U.S., South Korea and Japan, he said.

    The actor’s new venture could indeed give a boost to China’s efforts to export its culture, which have involved investments in the billions of dollars but have been criticized as unimaginative. Among Beijing’s recent soft-power plays: an international network of state-sponsored language institutes, a 17-minute long promotional film panned by Chinese Internet users as blatantly propagandistic and a giant advertisement in Times Square showing photos of wealthy and successful Chinese people who most Americans don’t recognize.

    Mr. Li, who has starred in major movies on both sides of the Pacific including the 2002 Zhang Yimou epic “Hero,” lamented that Hollywood and other cultural industries make up a significant portion of GDP in the U.S. but represent only a fraction of China’s economy. “Italian coffee is better than Starbucks,” but consumers around the world recognize Starbucks more than Italian coffee “because it’s a cultural experience,” he said.

    He did not disclose financial details of his partnership with Mr. Ma, but said the company will be called Taichi Zen International Culture Company.

    For China not to have a contribution to the rest of the world would be a “pity,” he said. “I feel shame before my ancestors,” he added, saying he wants kids to be proud of their “national culture.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2

    What?

    Did he just say that he wants China to contribute something to the rest of the world. Don't they make everything and cover all our debt?

  3. #3
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    well they dont cover our debt..they buy us bonds....you can buy us bonds if you want..but yea everything is made there...lol

  4. #4
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    Starbucks is a cultural experience?

    Jet Li shifts focus to charity, tai chi
    Updated: 2011-09-27 07:46
    by Liu Wei (China Daily)

    Jet Li shifts focus to charity, tai chi

    Filmmaking is just a hobby now, says kungfu star Jet Li, who is spending more time on his charity and on promoting martial arts.

    He has turned down three films in 2011, including an American one, Li says at the premiere of his latest film, It's Love, a fantasy flick based on a Chinese folktale about the romance between a man and a snake fairy.

    He plays a kungfu monk in the film, which will be released on Sept 28.

    The 48-year-old, while running his charity institution One Foundation, will soon start a company to promote tai chi with Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma. Alibaba is one of the largest online commerce platforms in China.

    The former national martial arts champion expects to break the stereotyped view of tai chi as a form of exercise favored by just old people in parks.

    It could be a fashionable sport for young people around the world, as much as India's yoga and South Korea's taekwondo, Li believes.

    "China is an economic powerhouse," he said at Alibaba Group's annual summit for small- to medium-sized business owners in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, recently.

    He added the company, named Taichi Zen, will focus on providing a cultural experience.

    "Italian coffee is better than Starbucks, but consumers over the world recognize Starbucks more than Italian coffee, because it offers a cultural experience," he said at the summit.

    Jet Li shifts focus to charity, tai chi

    Li's next movie is about tai chi. He will produce the film and play an important role.

    Li's efforts may also help boost China's soft power overseas, another of his concerns. He attended the 68th Venice International Film Festival in September and was proud that It's Love was screened there.

    "Audiences there were surprised that Chinese films can create such great special effects," he says. "In the future more and more impressive Chinese films will show up at international film festivals."

    The film, costing 180 million yuan ($28 million), will be screened during the National Day holiday, a lucrative slot for filmmakers. Even so, Li says he does not care that much about the box office.

    "I will make films again, but that is more like a hobby for me now," he says. "However, I will be a volunteer for charity causes for the rest of my life, and spend a lot of my time on Taichi Zen."
    Here's our thread on It's Love.

    Our thread on
    Jet Li’s ONE Foundation
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  5. #5
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    More on Taiji Zen

    Taiji Zen official website (not much there now)

    Jet Li just signed a contract to promote Tai Chi worldwide
    Violet Li
    , Tai Chi Examiner
    December 6, 2011

    Last week the Chinese Wushu Association held their annual meeting in Wu Dong, where the legendary Taoist Monk Zhang San Fang resided and developed the early Tai Chi (Taiji) movements. There were a few important decisions made during the meeting and the most prominent one was the agreement signed with Hollywood superstar Jet Li and his company Taiji Zen International.

    According to the Chinese Wushu Association, Tai Chi’s health benefits have been validated by modern science and recognized by millions around the world. It is on a short list to be included in 2020 Olympic Games. The golden age for Tai Chi is approaching. Tai Chi will be propelled to be a popular sport/fitness exercise for people of all ages and physical conditions soon.

    Action star Jet Li started his Wushu career at a very young age. He was famous for his superb Shaolin Kung Fu. He also learned Tai Chi later and played the role of Zhang San Fang in a famous Chinese movie. Jet Li said that he has witnessed the health benefits of Tai Chi and also appreciates Tai Chi’s profound cultural background. To him, Tai Chi is not just an ordinary martial art but also a product of Chinese culture of thousands of years of history. He firmly believes that Tai Chi can improve people’s health. With this, he and Chinese e-commerce and telecomm business Tycoon Jack Ma jointly founded Taiji Zen International in April, 2011. The goal is to promote health and happiness through the practice of Tai Chi. Taiji Zen International also wishes to bring balance and harmony to people’s life because of Tai Chi’s philosophy background.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    TaijiZen - the magazine

    I must find a copy of this new mag... any leads anyone?
    Jet Li attends Taichi Culture Forum
    ( chinadaily.com.cn )
    Updated: 2013-02-08

    Kung fu star Jet Li attended the Taichi Culture Forum to share his understanding of taichi culture and taichi zen on Dec 30, 2012.

    Jet Li, together with Ma Yun, president of the board of Alibaba Group, set up TaijiZen International Cultural Development Company in March 2011 to spread the taichi zen idea of healthy living throughout the world.

    Speaking of taichi culture, Jet Li said he was attracted by Taichi Lake, the moment he came to the Wudang Mountains. According to him, taichi has already found its way as a branch of philosophy in China’s 5,000 years of civilization, and it has been closely connected to all human beings living on earth today. He himself often shares taichi culture with others all over the world. His love of taichi philosophy can be traced back to his childhood. At a young age his master taught him concepts such as attack and defense in the same essence as taichi.

    Jet Li thinks that taichi zen is Chinese people's common attitude towards life. Taichi Quan(a form of martial art)could make your body fit, but it doesn't guarantee your happiness. Happiness is what one may achieve in zen through the learning and perception of taichi philosophy and culture. Last year, when he first came to Wudang, he dreamed of publishing a magazine to promote taichi culture. Now the dream has come true. He has published the magazine TaijiZen in a joint effort with the talent periodical office.

    According to Jet Li, yoga has 100 million practicers thanks to 15 years of US promotion throughout the world, while taichi quan already has 150 million practicers without any promotion. Martial arts is rich in cultural connotation, not merely a kind of competitive sport. He was even more overwhelmed by the depth of spiritual heritage created 600 years ago after his visits to the Wudang Mountains. He is willing to strive to promote taichi culture.
    150 million practicers (sp) - wonder how they came to that number?
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    Cool! See if Jet will do an interview/cover, for KFM . Gene.

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    Jet has already been on our cover several times

    2008 May/June
    2006 September/October*
    2004 September/October
    2001 November/December
    1998 May (Jet's first US cover ever)

    *This was my interview. It was a honor.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
    I don't know - I don't think tai chi will ever be as mainstream as he wants it to be. Especially when he's got pics of guys standing post all over his website. That's just not appealing to a young / hip / urban crowd. Maybe if they did something like Ren's extremely short Chen form that he developed.

    He'll need to develop a tai chi form that's strenuous and makes people perspire (not very tai chi like), and then keep it short.

  10. #10
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    Considering the foundation of Tai Chi principles evolved before the implementation of them by TCMA masters, I think the Art of Tai Chi is well represented and has been expounded in it's wide range of practices exceptionally well. The Masters of the Emei Arts would say that Tai Chi is commonplace in it's exposure. As long as millions of Chinese people are doing "Slow-Chi " in the parks it will be considered a health regimen by most onlookers, regardless of Jet's input. I am starting to develop my own practice set based on Taiji principles. After all, it is not the movements as much as it is the mind-set. http://supremeboundlessway.com/2011/...-then-and-now/
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 02-21-2013 at 01:53 PM.

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  12. #12
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    Been wondering what was happening wth this...

    I heard an interesting update on this project at CMAT. I'm verifying it. If true, there will be follow up.
    China Exclusive: Alibaba founder, kung fu star promote Chinese martial art
    English.news.cn 2013-04-13 15:43:07

    HANGZHOU, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Jack Ma and action movie star Jet Li have joined hands to promote "taiji," a branch of Chinese martial arts practiced for both fitness and self-defense.

    At an entrepreneur exchange activity held Friday night in Beijing, Ma, wearing a flowing kung fu outfit, took the stage and performed taiji. Li also showed up to discuss the benefits of taiji.

    Ma and Li established a company called Taiji Zen International two years ago with the aim of spreading the culture of taiji to the world.

    The company, located in Xixi National Wetland Park in the city of Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province, will start providing taiji courses to the public in May. It will also start offering online courses in August.

    The 48-year-old Ma has been practicing taiji since his college years.

    "What I have learned most from taiji is philosophical insight, such as the notion of yin and yang, which is a theory that states that things will develop in opposite directions when they become extreme and that people should learn to be moderate," he said.

    Ma has been introducing Alibaba employees to the world of taiji and he has even written a film script with a taiji them.

    "Most mainstream sports in China nowadays are imported from abroad. We want to introduce the world to the legacy left by our ancestors and make taiji more fashionable," Li said.

    Li said entrepreneurs can be a strong force in spreading traditional culture, adding that the efforts of entrepreneurs in Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have contributed greatly to the worldwide popularity of judo, karate, and taekwondo.

    However, Ma and Li have also recognized the difficulty of popularizing taiji among young people, as its slow movements are typically viewed as more suitable for the elderly.

    The Alibaba Group has served as an experimental area for Ma and Li to learn how to popularize the martial art. Taiji is part of Alibaba employee training, with about 1,500 employees learning taiji in 2012. The company's 20,000 employees also use taiji as a way to take a break from their daily work.

    Galeeva Guzel, a Russian woman who works for Alibaba, said taiji can help people calm down and reduce their stress. Another employee named Xu Weijie said taiji has helped him learn to complain less when he is bothered by other people.

    Ma said taiji culture can be applied to corporate management.

    "Like a taiji practitioner, a company should learn to control its pace of movement and choose the right time to take action," Ma said.

    Li said taiji is not only a way to stay fit, but also a cultural symbol with profound philosophical connotations.

    "I don't oppose Chinese people buying foreign brands and driving fancy foreign cars, but I think we should spare some time for traditional culture and remember our Chinese identity," Li said.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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    a brick and mortar

    Action star Jet Li opens t’ai chi school in China
    AFP | 3 days ago


    Jet Li speaking at the unveiling of a t’ai chi school opened by him and enterpreneur Jack Ma in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province. —AFP Photo

    SHANGHAI: Action star Jet Li has joined up with renowned Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma to open a t’ai chi school in a bid to promote the traditional exercise.

    Ma is founder of the world’s biggest online retailer, Alibaba, where he stepped down as chief executive officer last week saying he wanted to do more in education and the environment.

    He is a keen devotee of t’ai chi, and has made references to Chinese martial arts in both business strategy and corporate culture.

    Li rose to fame for his kung fu skills and has starred in such films such as the Chinese historical epic “Hero” and the Hollywood blockbuster “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”.

    The school in Hangzhou will teach t’ai chi and martial arts under a disciple of a well-known master, said a statement from Ma’s company provided on Monday.

    It is part of a larger development in a wetlands park which includes commercial services, according to the statement.

    The film star and the entrepreneur already have a jointly-owned cultural company which provides t’ai chi training to company employees.
    Funny how they don't mention TaijiZen.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Funny how they don't mention TaijiZen.
    I don't think they should give up on the idea. It could do well with the right approach to appeal to a younger more urban generation.

    And then it needs a well-off backer and star power to promote it(which it has).

  15. #15
    Looks like that's what they did:
    Tai Chi Zen World
    Training system

    "Cloud hands" is a new, systematic, modern Tai Chi movement system. It is based on the philosophy of Tai Chi and boxing management and a combination of international scientific learning methods, to create a set of step-by-step learning system, and love of traditional Chinese culture allows people to master the basics of Tai Chi movement.

    "Cloud hands FIT" is a new physical and mental training system around the the Taiji core "yin and yang opposites theme designed, realized that Tai Chi Zen decompression and physical life through body movements method combined with the cultivation of the mind, to help modern people philosophy to achieve full physical and psychological training effect.

    Derivatives

    Tai Chi Zen will give rise to a series of products and services, healthy and happy ideas into people's lives, to advocate balanced, environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle on all aspects of the basic necessities of life.

    • Clothing & Accessories

    • Food And Drink

    • household items

    • tourism products

    Tai Chi Zen World
    Culture Communication

    Tai Chi Zen hope that through a variety of ways for the public to provide fresh, fun and interactive platform, and let everyone aware Tai Chi Zen in life.

    • Professional Pushing Hands contest

    • Amateur Push Hands Competition


    • Topic Forum

    • Digital Media

    • exclusive magazine

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