Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

A Trend of Violence

It seems to me that violence is on the increase in Singapore. Various explanations have been put up to account for it.

The bad thing about this is that in training Tai Chi Chuan for combat we now have to move into the harder core type of techniques. This means that we avoid the training of movements that basically just shove each other around to no avail. Instead, we now focus on training those techniques that in the eyes of the uninformed seem to be excessively violent response techniques.

When I showed these techniques to a student who used to be a prisons officer he said that the technique could get the user into trouble with the law. Indeed, I know it is so. This is why I have avoided teaching these techniques until now when the winds of change indicate that there is a need to at least have the option to defend oneself effectively if the requirement truly arises.

To me there is nothing worse than a student learning Tai Chi  Chuan, be fed with the tales of invincibility of past masters, be given unrealistic expectation of the deadliness of the style, only to find that when push comes to shove he gets shoved.In the study of Tai Chi Chuan for self defence we consider three scenarios – proactive prevention, preventive control and go-ape-shit. For us, the best response is proactive prevention. However, you never can tell when and what would happen so the latter two options should be studied too.

The last option, go-ape-shit, is one we hope never to have to use, ever. It does not mean that we should not train the various techniques. We should. In that respect, we should also train to control our emotions, our self-control, etc. Knowing when to fight is every bit as important as knowing how to fight. The smart fighter is one who picks his fight, not just lash out at every other person like a rabid dog.

Training go-ape-shit techniques need not always be a life and death affair. Sometimes, it can be fun because to do such techniques properly one must also be able to master good control of the body. This can be an incentive to practice more diligently. For example, how do we issue force that is literally heart piercing? What is the best technique to use? How is the force generated? What are the key biomechanical motions that one must use? How does one maximize the chances of successfully using the technique? How can we implement it into a self defence response to discourage an attacker? Or worse case scenario to injure the attacker?

A rising trend of violence is bad for society. I am glad that our government has rolled out several initiates to control crime. For a long time I hardly see police around. Nowadays, not only do we have CCTVs monitoring our block but also I see police patrolling more often on bicycles. The winds truly have changed and blows colder nowadays on the law abiding citizen.

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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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