Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

Paul’s Learning Journey – Commentary on Video of 18 & 19 Feb 2014 Part 2

There is a trade-off in the things that we do. If you want to be mobile you need to keep a high stance. If being stable is more important to you then you go for a lower stance. Neither approach is wrong in itself. The problem starts when the opponent won’ play our game.

For example when faced with a boxer a lower stance might not do us as much good unless we are prepared to charge at the boxer and take him down to the ground. If this is what we should do then we are studying the wrong art.

On the other hand if we are faced with someone who wants to engage us at a close range perhaps even grapple with us in order to secure a good hold to throw us to the ground then a lower stance is suitable.

Given that if faced with an unknown attacker we don’t really know what he will do until the last possible moment unless he starts to pose and gives out clues as to his choice of strategy then we might want to seek the middle ground. The middle ground is to be able to move quickly when faced off against a mobile striker but stable enough to nullify attempts to rock our structure in order to throw us.

So the Beginning Posture, that very first little step, has as its purpose to teach us how to be mobile and stable at the same time. Yet, I am still constantly surprised at how many students never pay much attention to getting that first step correct. Maybe its boring to do it. Maybe there does not seem to be a point to it. Maybe it feels easy externally never mind that the internal parts aren’t correct. I dunno.

The simplest may not always be as simple as it looks. The simplest can conceal a lot of complexity. Without careful training one will never really know what is beyond the simple facade. This is going to be a challenging journey for Paul.



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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