Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

The Secret

OK, you owe me $10,000 for the secret. This was after my student received a teaching that was previously unknown to him. Hence, unknown = secret.

Actually, it was not unknown, just that he wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was showing him over a long time so I had to explain it. I would rather let the principle seep into his movements overtime so that his mastery would be organic rather than forced.

But sometimes, the movements in Tai Chi Chuan are too minute to notice so I had no choice but to define what it is exactly. The downside to doing this is that one can end up with too many things to have to pay attention to and practice. The art of Tai Chi Chuan is actually simple – do the core principles correct and the rest will take care of itself. However, if you fail to get it then a lot of things will seem to be secret.

This secret, I’ll call it secret for the purpose of this post, is something that we do in our 13-movement form. But because the form is practiced without the presence of an opponent the student will have a hard time seeing the principle. This is why Tai Chi Chuan is an art for the grey cells. When you practice using intention for a long period of time they will awaken you to realize what they are and how they can be used in many, many ways.

As I demonstrated to my student this secret is interesting because when he tried to defend his front door by positing his hand in the center he found it going off and he could not resist his hand being swept aside. I did it a few times more and he still couldn’t hold on to his center. I told him that this is a useful principle to use against people who love to put their hand on to guard the centerline.

When measured out in terms of positioning vis-a-vis the opponent this principle validates the movement of Cross Hands as a technique with not obvious application possibilities.


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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