Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

Open Close Form

Kai = Open

He = Close

Open, Close. The Kai He form is the third form I teach to students. Today I begin the learning journey of a student into this form.

The two forms they learned earlier is to enable them to move their body like a series of chain links though the 5-Count. However, it is not uncommon for students to have links that are too loose. So the first order of the Kai He form is to tighten up the links to that the timing of movements is much more precise. Doing so is the key to imperceptible movements. Students frequently say that they can’t see how I do the neutralizing of their power as I don’t see to move very much. Well, when they get to this point they will know which cat it is in the bag.

Secondly, combat requires quick, direct and precise movements. So Kai He with its concise, tight movements provides training in this aspect.

Thirdly, combat also requires the sudden issuance of penetrating force. The Kai He mechanism is a means to discharge forceful power in an instant.

Fourth, learning how to more in a much more exact manner will also transfer across to the practice of the earlier two forms so ultimately all movements should be natural, flowing and of small frame in nature.

Fifth, Kai He trains the body to have a type of stiff structure. Here I am using the term stiff as defined by the engineering field. If you don’t know what it means you should look it up. It does not carry the same meaning as typically meant in the practice of Tai Chi. This stiffness is necessary to train the body’s body to be like a highly strung bow that can send off an arrow in good penetrating power. For an example of what I mean do a search for videos of Master Qiao Songmao and his fajing demos. They are a good approximation of what I am referring to.


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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