Singapore Tai Chi Chuan


Seeing

Someone posted this video link to a FB group and asked “what do you see“?

 

I wonder if the person asking wants to know what readers can see or he is testing to see if they caught on to the method of doing the fajing.

Capturing the movements in slow motion is good because it makes it so much easier to see what is happening.

When you see the fajing performed at normal speed it might seem like a high level skill but at a slower speed its obvious that its nothing but speed, timing, opportunity and implementation.

What this means is that you must find the opportunity to do the fajing. If you cannot find the opportunity then create it.

Once the opportunity is there you must next catch the opponent’s timing. When you get the timing you must be able to quickly apply the biomechanics of fajing.

All these factors working together makes fajing seem effortless.

Take a look at the first fajing at 0:09. Seemed so effortless that its unbelievable. But take a look again at it in slow motion and you can see the following happening :-

i) 0:28 – can you see how the partner’s force is decelerated rendering it weak when the master sinks his body slantingly downwards?

ii) 0:29 – observe how once the partner’s force is diminished the master’s his body forward to join himself to the partner

iii) 0:30 – the master then slided his right foot forward to bring momentum into play

iv) 0:31 – the master planted his right leg down to suddenly stop his body, allowing the momentum to be transferred into the partner sending him off balance. The master used his hands to assist the partner to fly off

 

After reading the above do you still think that fajing is difficult or a mysterious skill? Fajing is basically applied physics. The only thing is that the very skillful masters can do it so easily and subtly that our eyes cannot catch what is happening and we therefore think its something beyond us.

Thanks to this video we can now see that its not. Fajing can be mastered by anybody, well, at least by those who are willing to put in the effort and time to train the skill.

 

 

 


Faith

Sometimes I have no words to say other than if you want to master Tai Chi the easiest thing is just to try it out. If you don’t get it the first time have some faith and try again and again. Some things are not easy to explain and even if explained would still be difficult to understand.

For example in a previous post I mentioned about this particular shaking ruler method from the Tai Chi Ruler style. I told my student that the principle of fajing here is that you shake the ruler to vibrate the dan tian.

Once the dan tian is awakened and shaking it should take over the shaking motion used initially by the arms. You can say that when you started the external shakes the internal. Now that the internal is there the case becomes the internal shakes the external.

As you keep shaking the ruler there are more interesting effects that can be observed. One of them is how the shaking of the dan tian can produce fast and powerful fajing like movements that seems out of your control. The arms will shake violently for some time before it slows down and stops.

Over the years, the practice will allow you to internalize the shaking. Now even if you want to shake your arms violently like previously you won’t be able to do it. At this point you have movement within stillness. If you test your fajing now your partner will feel a strong vibrating force coming from your arms to throw him off balance.

How to explain this scientifically? I have no idea other than the Tai Chi Ruler shaking has somehow enabled the body to release the force in a rapid, short span sinuous wave-like manner that approximates the feeling of being shaken suddenly and violently felt by the partner.

 

P.S.- I tried to find a video on Youtube that shows this ruler shaking exercise but cannot find one. I came across a number of clips on Tai Chi Ruler basic circling exercise and they look more like normal physical exercise whilst holding a gadget rather than use the gadget (the ruler) to engage the intention to train the body’s internal force. This is why the Tai Chi Ruler is also known as Steady Intention Needle. In this case the word “needle” means indicator. Thus, it is a gadget that indicates to you how to train your intention to be usable by focusing it (i.e. keeping it steady).

 

 


Feel

Did I detect a note of skepticism in my student’s question?

If there was a hint it would not be out of the ordinary. After all if you were to tell me that your arm and thigh muscles would relax instead of tensing up when you apply power I would be very skeptical.

But there is nothing like feeling for oneself to see if this was just a BS claim or for real.

Checklist 1 – his right hand pushes my right arm whilst his left hand is placed on my upper arm to feel if there is tensing of the muscles as he applies force and I send him off balance

Checklist 2 – his right hand pushes my right arm and at the same time he places his left hand on my right thigh to check for tensing of thigh muscle

 

(Note – the above checklist is from the draft of “The Mind & The Power : An Introduction to the Intention Method of Generating Force from Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan“)

 

Afterwards he can only shake his head and wonder how this is possible. Yes I know that despite all the talk of relaxation if you actually touch the thighs of many famous masters you would feel the muscle tense up. Case of say one thing but do another. Not to mention that its going against the principles.

However, if you persist in training relaxation in line with the principles you will find that when you receive and apply force you will relax even more instead of starting to tense up. Just because the majority can’t do it does not mean it cannot be done.

 


MRT Fajing Practice

I have been taking public transportation for many months now.

The advantage is that I can use the time spent doing nothing while in the train to research fajing. One simple but powerful method of fajing that can be practiced on an MRT in full view of passengers is one which involves the force model explained on Page 101 in TaijiKinesis Vol 2. Whether the train is crowded or not as long as I get to stand in my normal spot I can do the practice.

In the event, I cannot stand in my normal spot then I will practice another method which is similar to the White Crane Spreads Wings posture from Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s style. The posture may be different but the same model from Page 101 can be used.

There is another lesson that can be learned here and that is how to receive power and return it in conformance to the principle of receiving force do not use wrists, releasing force send it out at once.

Since my student drives, I mentioned about using the steering wheel as an aid in understanding how to generate power.

The key above, as always, is to use the intention to teach the body how to move accurately.


1 Comment

Tai Chi Ruler

2 + 2 = 4.

Earlier in the training session I got around to mentioning about the fajing effect of Tai Chi Ruler system to my student. This is a very little known method of doing Tai Chi. But after knowing it for a long time, I have discovered what those Tai Chi Ruler methods of using training implements and solo exercises mean in terms of fajing.

The method of the long ruler partner exercise is good for focusing the intention and transmitting power over an extended range whilst the shaking ruler method is great for issuing a sudden, vibrating force with an effect as if the person demonstrated on has been given a sudden electrical shock.

After the lesson I heard a tale of sickness and later in the night I remembered that my teacher, Master Leong, mentioning once that Tai Chi Ruler can also help in curing illnesses. True or not, I have no idea as I did not learn it for health reasons.

However, it is my opinion that for those whose health is partly caused by stress doing Tai Chi can be helpful because it calms the mind, massages the internal organs and provides gentle exercise for those whom hard, sweaty and high impact exercises may aggravate rather than help the health.


Wind of Change

Today I should have been enjoying some Ipoh food but a sudden screw-up at work put my holiday plan on hold and I am instead having the same old, same old in SG.

When you think that everything is good to go, there will always be some hiccups; in this case a huge cough.

So the wind that should have blown me north has kept me south instead. Guess I will use this opportunity to continue working on Internal Power of Wing Chun.

 


Teaching of the Pearl

On Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin’s DVD he explained a principle of how to rotate the wrist as if turning a bead inside the wrist.

I pointed out to my student that this was similar to the practice of the 3-Count in Beginning Posture as explained on Page 133-134, TaijiKinesis Vol 2. At the beginner level we do it in a way to eliminate power leakage by observing certain restrictions when moving the hand-arm.

At a higher level when we add in the principle of the 9-Pearls the rotation would be very similar to what GM Chu explained in his DVD.

Its important that we test the flow of our power as described on Page 260, TaijiKinesis Vol 2 to see if we really understand how to do this or our perception of mastery is just an illusion.

So whilst I applaud that my student was able to describe the ground path correctly, however, when I tried the test on him he was not able to issue the power. One reason is because when he did BP(iii)-(iv) the alignment was a bit off thus subsequently leading to it affecting the ability to issue power in BP(vi).

Thus, to learn Tai Chi principles properly do not assume that you are doing everything properly, that if you are even doing everything that you should be doing in the first place. The key to entering the gate of mastery is by doing the principles properly, naturally and in tandem with each other. Sounds difficult but really its nothing but to be aware and focused each time you practice. And of course, practice, practice and more practice.

 

 

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