Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

The Craziness of Analogies 2

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In the previous post I put up The Song of Push which I am reproducing below :-

How can we explain the energy of Push?

When applied, its like water in motion

But within its softness there is great strength.

When the flow is swift, the force cannot be withstood.

Meeting high places the waves break over them,

And encountering low places they dive deep.

The waves rise and fall,

And finding a hole they will surely surge in.

Did you try reading it to see if it makes sense or do you throw up your arms in despair? Or do you resort to excuses such as “its not important”, “its too academic”, “its not practical”, etc. I want to point out something interesting – is your art one that is scientific? How so? How scientific is your art? If it is scientific then how come The Song of Push makes little or no sense to you?

Let’s take a brief look at the science behind The Song of Push. I am not going to explain in great detail and some parts I won’t explain as these are the parts that we transmit only to long time students who have reached that level of understanding.

How can we explain the energy of Push?

Yes, indeed. What is Push? Many say Tai Chi Chuan is a sophisticated art yet the same many are too eager to dumb it down. Why?

Is it because they want the prestige yet because they can’t explain the Classics they have to find excuses not to have to explain it. Hence, they advance simplistic explanations that do not do full justice to the traditional explanations.

When applied, its like water in motion

Why water? Many will say its because water is soft and pliable, a natural force. Yes, true but simplistic. Notice that the principle refers to water in motion.

Why water that is moving? Its because when water moves it does so in spirals. Yes, you read correctly. Water moves in spirals, plural and not spiral, singular. You don’t have to take my word for it. I urge you to go do your own research.

There are also other properties of water that is relevant to understanding Push but I won’t go into them.

But within its softness there is great strength.

A perennial question that I get is how can there be strength in softness. Yet, water that is soft contains great strength. How so?

I postulate that the ancients were great observers of nature and they generated and applied insights from their study of nature into the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Over the past 10 years we have had natural disasters and there are video clips on Youtube that we can watch to see how devastating the power of water can be.

haiyan

However, just watching the clips of natural disasters alone won’t improve your Tai Chi Chuan. You have to identify the core principles at work and put it into your practice if you don’t have it already.

When the flow is swift, the force cannot be withstood.

We can see the devastation wrought by tsunami and flood waters generated by super typhoons. But we are not water and we can’t be like a tsunami. So how is this principle relevant to our application of Push? Hint – a human body cannot resist two forces acting on it at once.

Meeting high places the waves break over them,

This doesn’t sound like something we can do, right? More so if we are shorter than our opponent. So how does this work?

The answer lies in one word – intention. Take a look at the diagram below. Its self explanatory. If you still don’t get try learning how to use your mind to control your body and all will be clear.

SongPush1

And encountering low places they dive deep.

This refers to the use of the energy of Ward-Off within the posture of Push. In our style of Tai Chi Chuan the energy of Push is the counterpart of the energy of Ward-Off.

SongPush2

 

tsunami

The waves rise and fall,

This is referring to the sinuous nature of movements which is typical of all types of movements in nature. It also tells us that Ward-Off and Push can be used together, at least in our style of Tai Chi Chuan this is possible.

And finding a hole they will surely surge in.

This is a teaching that touches on advanced use of intention so I won’t explain it.

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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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