Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

Slash My Neck

For the fun of it I asked my student how he could respond to an imaginary machete cut aimed at his head. He demonstrated a response which would look good for a stage demonstration but for actual application is dangerous because its inviting a cut to the neck.

Sometimes, certain applications don’t look nice and fail to appeal to our idealized version of what constitutes correct application. More than a decade ago when Master Leong taught how to defend a swinging movement I didn’t think much of it because at that time I was still learning Wing Chun.

But today, when I look back what Master Leong taught is more practical because it dealt with a number of factors that are present in a strong, chopping move of a machete. For example if you do not use enough power in the cut, something common in class practice, you may think you can stop it. Try asking your partner to take a harder swing and you might find your defence crumbling.

This is why its fun to learn self defence techniques but given a choice to stand and fight or run, I urge students to run like the devil is on their tail.


Author: ZenMindSword

Mushin is a practitioner, researcher and trainer for Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. He is also author of The Ip Man Koans, The Ip Man Questions and TaijiKinesis series of eBooks, as well as co-author of Complete Wing Chun.

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