Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

Brush the Dirt

I had to suppress the urge to laugh.

Each time I landed a kick on my student’s chest he would brush the dirt away. What he was not able to see were my slipper’s prints on his T-shirt.

I wished he could see the futility of brushing the dirt off because no matter how often he did it the slipper’s prints weren’t going to come off soon. But they did look like part of the T-shirt’s picture.

And not only that I wasn’t done yet with the kicking. Today’s after breakfast I was in the mood to talk about the use of the kicks from the Tai Chi long form. This was part of the incentive to get my student to do better in his practice particularly the mastery of his control of balance during transitioning between one movement to the next in Cloud Hands. I had spotted his habit of telegraphing his movements each time he changed and this was bad if he were to be able to apply the technique properly.

The same control of balance applies to the section on kicking in the long form. The ability to kick fast and hard can be helpful. But kicking is one of those things that either you can do it well or you cannot. And if you cannot then you better not use it. If you can then the force delivered by kick is a lot stronger and penetrating than that from punch or palm strike. The force of a kick can literally pierce the heart.

Another problem I brought up is that one must not try to hard to kick because it will retard the speed and force of the kick. The proper way is to use the 5-Count to get the body into position before delivering a kick that is like a flash of lighting.

So each section in the long form has something that we can learn and master. It will take some time but the real fun starts when we start to be able to master the movement.



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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