Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

What’s Shaking?

I told my student that there is a video biography of a famous Wu style master demonstrating fajing. In it there is a part where you can clearly see his arm trembling before he issued force. This is clearly a symptom of using muscular power. Yet this master, overall, gave several good demonstrations of power in this video. I like them all except for this one small part.

I do not know why the master despite his good background, experience, lineage and style still exhibited this problem, albeit minor. This master wasn’t just any master but a high ranking, lineage holder. I remember reading his biography where he mentioned that because he didn’t play mahjong he could not join his master in the game and instead spent his time practicing. So what’s shaking master?

To me this is a  problem with Newton’s 3rd Law, specifically the inability to solve it. You cannot run away from the laws of nature. However, you can find ways to deal with it. It not a problem that cannot be solved. On the contrary the solution is there in the Tai Chi Classics.

I was just telling my student how similar this was to the problem of why the trout preferred to jump upstream rather than downstream when startled considering that intuitively it seems easier to go downstream than upstream. So what did the trout know that we did not? It took scientists a long time to find an explanation to this.

What the trout did and what we do in Tai Chi is uncannily similar. However, I don’t expect many readers to know what I am alluding to even after they read about the trout unless they happen to have learned the same Tai Chi that I did. Maybe one day I will write an eBook about the similarity between nature and Tai Chi.



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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