Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

Setting the Flavor

Every style, every teacher’s expression of Tai Chi Chuan is unique. Sometimes the uniqueness is due to the teacher’s learning habits and personal preference for expressing the principles.

In TaijiKinesis the flavor of our style is dictated by the principles of the Tai Chi Chuan Classics. Take a look at Paul’s latest video again.

When you watch his performance does some of the following examples of the principles come to mind?

T’ai Chi [Supreme Ultimate] comes from Wu Chi [Formless Void]
and is the mother of yin and yang.
In motion T’ai Chi separates;
in stillness yin and yang fuse and return to Wu Chi.

(from The Treatise of Tai Chi Chuan by Wang Tsung-yueh)

When the tailbone is centered and straight, 
the shen [spirit of vitality] goes through to the headtop.

To make the whole body light and agile 
suspend the headtop.

(from The Song of 13 Postures)

The hsin [mind-and-heart] should be calm. If the hsin is not calm, one cannot concentrate, and when the arm is raised, whether forward or back, left or right, it is completely without certain direction. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a calm mind. 

(from 5 Character Secret by Li I-yu)

What is the meaning of Peng energy?
It is like the water supporting a moving boat.
First sink the ch’i to the tan-t’ien,
then hold the head as if suspended from above.
The entire body is filled with springlike energy,
opening and closing in a very quick moment. 

(from Song of the 8 Postures)

When the oral instructions are followed carefully and closely then success is not impossible even if this is but a small steady step forward. In Paul’s learning journey of Tai Chi Chuan we catch a glimpse of why in ancient times students learn one posture at a time.

Learning one posture is not difficult just physical movements which can be easily imitated. The challenge is to use the principles to tease out the flavor of our style which is to have all movements commanded by the intention so that we move in a manner that is best described as deliberate, concise, agile, simplistic and minimalist.


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.

Comments are closed.