Sometimes I come across explanations that are created to explain something. Whilst this seems normal, what strikes me is that the one explanation does not necessarily fit in well with explanations for other parts of the style.
In our Yang style which was transmitted down by Grandmaster Wei Shuren I noticed that the explanations of principles are not only wholistic but jells well with the principles listed in the Classics. For example, the model of the Large Chi Sphere is simple yet complex enough to explain the basic 8 Jings (8 Forces) of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan in a satisfying manner by showing how they are linked to each other instead of a disparate lot.
Let’s take a look at Press in this post. I have previously written about The Song of Push here.
How can we explain the energy of Press?
Ah yes, the teasing question ….
Sometimes we use two sides
And so we do too if we examine the model for Press using the Large Chi Sphere below :-
To directly receive a single intention.
This is referring to a principle in Grandmaster Wang’s version of the Song of Chaos that explains about receiving and neutralizing force.
Meeting and combining in one movement,
This is referring to receiving the opponent’s force and using it back on him. How this is possible is through the use of our Large Chi Sphere to initiate Rollback as shown below :-
We indirectly receive the force of the reaction.
By using the Large Chi Sphere the opponent’s force can be received by us without having to confront the energy head-on. As you can see depicted on the diagram above the opponent’s force can be split and minimized through proper use of the Large Chi Sphere.
This is like a ball bouncing off a wall.
After the opponent’s force is neutralized we can return it using a combination of forces. This explanation is on how the force of Press can send the opponent directly backwards to bounce into and off the wall.
Or a coin dropped on a drum,
But if the opponent tries to stop our force we add in the force of Push to formulate a dual force that is aimed slantingly downwards. This combination of forces has been explained in Grandmaster Wei’s book so I won’t duplicate it here.
Which bounces up with a metallic sound.
The net effect of the sum of the forces of Press and Push can cause the opponent to bounce like a coin bouncing off a drum. Take a look at Grandmaster Wei at in the video below. In the first demo watch how the person is bounced off the ground in the manner of a coin bouncing off a drum.
You can see that the person did not jump off the ground on his own unlike some other videos of fajing that I have seen. If you think this is fake try duplicating it yourself and taping it.
Consider that if Yang Luchan possessed such skill but 20 times better than Grandmaster Wei and moreover was able to take on challengers I would not then be surprised that Yang Luchan was bestowed the nickname of Yang Wudi. Someone who grew up in Beijing once wrote that whatever Yang Luchan did it was fantastic enough that until today we are still talking about it. For a long time I could not imagine what that fantastic skill would be until the clips of Grandmaster Wei demonstrating such intriguing skills surfaced.
That Grandmaster Wei had passed on in 2013 is a pity for he was a living treasure of Tai Chi Chuan but very low key because I suspect that such skills won’t be welcome by other masters who would pale by comparison. Such is martial arts politics. We can’t do anything about it because established cliques do possess a lot of clout and can banish to the shadows those they do not approve of. This is why we should just do our part to try to preserve and transmit along the teachings.