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Yangstyleintention

Begin your mastery with our 3-step approach to learning the art.

a) Our teaching commitment

i) Step 1 – We tell you what you are learning; why you are learning it and how to learn it

ii) Step 2 – We teach you how to practice the principles using our forms. We also show you applications to help you understand how to do the forms properly

iii) Step 3 – We use push hands to train you how to respond dynamically using the forms you have learned

 

b) Your learning commitment

i) Keep an open mind to learning

ii) Commit necessary time to daily practice

iii) Be persistent to succeed

 

c) Lesson format

i) 1-to-1 private lessons, minimum once per week

ii) Conducted in English

iii) Teaching customized to learning ability of each student

 

We are located in the south-west region (Yew Tee) of Singapore. Lessons in the evenings week nights or whole day weekends.

Contact us today using the form below to take the first step towards your mastery of Tai Chi Chuan.

 

LogoBegin your journey to master Tai Chi by clicking here.

 

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SKD Training on Slack

As the end of 2018 draws to a close it is time to take stock of some of the things that have been achieved over the year and how to move ourselves forward in 2019. 

Over the past few months I have seen Paul for whom the art of SKD was created for make progress (if you are wondering what SKD is about read it here). He has applied himself diligently and made decent progress in his basics.

The Facebook SKD Learning Group has been fun but I find it a pain in the neck to search for topics or organize them particularly the video uploads. In the past I had looked at Google+ and Patreon so see if there was a better way to organize the information and disseminate the knowledge. 

After keeping the Facebook SKD Learning Group closed to the public in 2018 I am going to open it to the public in 2019 but will run it within Slack. I’ve used Slack before for work and I’m going to use it for the SKD Learning Group as of 1 Jan 2019. The Facebook group will still be there for current members to refer to the material that have been posted.

I have already set up the basic framebook for the Slack SKD Learning Group and still tinkling with it but anyone who is interested can sign up now. To join the Slack SKD Learning Group you just have to sign up here. On clicking the link you will see the window below – just follow the instructions to sign up. Slack is also available as an app for iOS and Android.

New members will join #general and #skdlevel1 where the learning takes place. Be sure to introduce yourself if you want to make friends with other members. You can also share your practice videos with members and discuss with each other on how to improve.

Three rules in this group :-

Rule 1 – do introduce yourself in the channel #general or #skdlevel1 on joining the group. Let members know your name, training background, reason why you want to learn SKD, and any other information of interest that you would like to share

Rule 2 – keep discussions cordial, offer constructive criticisms, do not engage in personal or racist attacks, do not threaten violence, and keep the politics out.  Everyone is here to learn so being wrong is part and parcel of learning. Members who violate Rule 2 will be deactivated without warning

Rule 3 – to keep the group vibrant we would rather have a small group with active members than a large group with many inactive members. An inactive member is defined as a member that shows no sign of activity, does not post training videos or take part in discussions within the last 30 days. We will periodically cull the group of inactive members by deactivating them

Members who need to have guidance and critiques can sign up for them in the group. Guidance is offered for those who want get a leg up in their training with a view to mastering the core basics of SKD. More information will be posted in #general in the coming weeks.

So that’s it for SKD. A Slack Tai Chi Learning Group is in the works if the SKD group works out. We’ll see how it goes.

Work That Kao!

It was an afternoon of rain, thunder and lighting. A change of weather from hot in the morning to cooling in the afternoon.

And a change in emphasis from using the hands to the body in push hands. This allows for a different insight to be generated. Kao is a powerful technique and working it can teach us how to use it.

In case you are wondering Kao can inflict pain. Just take a look at 0:48 in the video below :-

The Kao above is not as painful because the force is not focused to minimize the pain. To have stopping force the Kao should be used as shown in the video below.

The use of Kao can give rise to different training ideas such as how to use Kao to give a workout to our close range techniques as shown below :-

To test our Kao we pile on a bit of pressure by seeing if we can hold our position while the other person tried to do what he can to move us off.

Too many Kao can be boring so we end the training by working on strikes. The video below is continued in Video 12 of 12.

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The Secret

If there is a secret in Tai Chi it is knowing how to liberate the self by having the right mental model.

I’ve been trying to get students to stop using too much strength when doing push hands. If they do so then they cannot apply techniques properly because the proper usage of techniques call for the right amount of strength. Too little and you can’t get the desired leverage; too much and you end up resisting yourself.

Giving up the use of excessive strength is not simply a matter of relaxing. Everyone knows this but still everyone uses too much strength. Obviously, asking students to relax will not cut it. So what is the solution?

The solution is easier than thought. Have the right mental model to begin with. Then get into it and practice. And voila! Instant result. 

Yes, instant result. Not after an hour of practice but immediately. As soon as the model is planted into the mind, just follow and do it. I didn’t make a “before” video but here is the “after” video :-

I tried the model with another student who also typically uses too much strength. It worked just as well. 

This is why Tai Chi need not be a skill we acquire. Instead, it is a skill that is already in us, that we just need to find the right key to unlock it.

Altered Traits

I’ve learned a new term “altered traits” from reading a book on meditation. In Chinese martial arts we simply use the word “characteristics” to refer to altered traits when we ask if a practitioner is able to embody the characteristics of their chosen style.

I was teaching push hands to my student. I emphasized to him three general things he must have when doing push hands. Halfway through he wanted to ask a question. He showed the position his hands were in relative to the person he was doing it with. 

His question was how to avoid the other person applying a certain technique on him. I recognized the technique he described as a Wing Chun Lan Sau application. The first point I made was why did he stopped in that position thereby giving his partner a chance to apply Lan Sau.

OK, maybe he couldn’t help but stop there. Not a problem. The next obvious thing he should have done is simple. Actually, its ironic since its something I have mentioned many times and its one of the three things I brought up earlier in the lesson.

But then this is a common problem when students don’t pay attention and observe due diligence of key basics. It does not matter how many times I say it – if you do not ensure that you practice essential basics then you will never, ever get them. The root cause of many problems that arise in push hands and even application of techniques can be traced back to the absence or lack of key basics. Period.

Back to the second point. One of the three essential general things that we must observe is position, more particularly a way to have a good position, which I won’t mention specifically what it is but all of my students learn this in their form and push hands. Whether they can actually do it is another question but its one of those things I keep harping on.

A good position in this case makes it difficult for the other person to apply Lan Sau. Should the other person try to do so he will walk right into a trap. I showed my student the counter to Lan Sau, a counter that is difficult to run away from or block because of the way its applied. 

On the other side of the fence I showed him how a lapse in not keeping this one thing made it easy for me to apply a Lan Sau on him, followed up by a free knuckle sandwich.

This of course begs the question – how to learn key basics. The answer is easy – practice form over and over again, each time ensuring that you work to remember the essential requirements until one day they become a permanent part of you. Or to borrow the phrase your movements change permanently to altered traits.

Yang Family Chaos Formula

Technology is wonderful particularly Google Translate. It allows me to capture the text in a book and translate it easily. OK, maybe too easily. But what the hell, I ran it over the Yang Family Chaos Formula and voila!!!!

Granted it is not concise but beggars can’t be choosers. I know the translation is off because I have translated Chaos Formula before and it can be a bit of work using a dictionary. Since I practice this style all the more reason I know when a translation is not spot on.

This Yang Family Chaos Formula appears in the first book on our Yang style Tai Chi authored by Grandmaster Wang Yongquan. The formula has 8 lines with the last 4 lines added by Grandmaster Wang based on his insights.

Yang Family Chaos Formula

乱环法术最难通,上下随合妙无穷
The chaotic ring spell is the most difficult to pass, and the up and down is wonderful

陷敌深入乱环内,四两千斤着法成
Entrapped in deep chaos, four or two thousand pounds of law

手脚齐进横竖找,掌中乱环落不空
Hands and feet are looking into the horizontal and vertical, and the palms are not empty

欲知环中法何在,发落点对即成功
If you want to know what is going on in the ring, the right point is successful

双环一套十字生,十字四端皆弧形
Double ring set of crosses, cross four ends are curved

惟有当中是实点,还要围绕环边行
Only the middle is the real point, but also around the ring

十字交点一错位,四两千斤亦可乘
Crossing point is a dislocation, four or two kilograms can also be taken

掌中乱环横竖找,乱环法术在于通
The chaos in the palm of the circle is looking for it, and the chaotic ring is in the pass

The Chaos Formula represent the overall key to the application of our Yang style Tai Chi techniques and power.

I just used Google Translate on the Chinese words. When I have the time I will offer a more concise translation that is based on what I learned, practice and apply.

For example, this line 十字交点一错位 is translated as “Crossing point is a dislocation” but the translation should mean :-

十字 – these two words mean Chinese character for 10 but in this context it refers to a vertical line intercepting a horizontal line. Or put another way a vertical line placed on top of a horizontal line, thus forming a cross looking like + and it so happens + is also the Chinese character for the number ten written as 十. Now you know why Chinese translation can be a pain in the ass.

交点 – refers to the point at which the vertical line overlaps the horizontal line.

一错位 – Google Translate interprets this as “a dislocation“. In the context of application this means to move position.

Thus, the entire phrase 十字交点一错位 means when a vertical line crosses with a horizontal line you must move the position at the point of contact. If you have practiced Tai Chi or any good Chinese martial arts (particularly the internal styles) you would know what this mean or this will spark an epiphany in you.

If you are still scratching your head I guess you need to practice a lot more because it is a very simple principle and can be easily explained using physics but I will leave it to you to go have some fun puzzling over it.

SKD Meetup 17 Nov 2018 Part 2

All the clips for the SKD meetup on 17 Nov 2018 have been uploaded.

The later clips moved on to standing discussions such as the one below :-

You can also see examples of SKD partner practice for the first basic strike below :-

Then there’s monkey stealing peach – did you spot the peach being stolen in the clip below?

I also explained the front part of the 24-blocks form and its use including the biomechanics of power using swallow-spit and push-pull mechanics.

SKD Meetup 17 Nov 2018

I have begun uploading the clips from the meeting with SKD member, Melvin, on 17 Nov 2018.

Over the 2-hour meeting I shared info with Melvin on SKD and related topics. One topic is that of close range bridge arm which SKD Level 1 does not address. I used Hung Gar of which Melvin is a practitioner as an example to talk about the subject.

We also talked about the two strikes in SKD Level 1 and application :-

Of course, we also talked about power which is everybody’s favorite topic. Except in this case its the power developed from SKD Level 1 rope pulling exercise :-

In SKD the power needs to be functional in that it is integral to the use of the technique. In this case, this would be the Yum Chui where the exercise enhances the power and use of the technique.

Not to forget that all strikes must go with blocks. At the end of the clip below is a short demo of SKD’s 6-blocks.

For more information on SKD check out the page here.