A thinking, tailored and radical approach to mastering Tai Chi.
Here I am explaining a countering movement found in Sao Chui.
This counter is derived from the hook hand movement from Single Whip.
If you learn the form normally you might not see this connection due to the timing of how this movement is taught.
It is when we change the timing that this appliction becomes obvious.
Sometime ago in the pre-COVID 19 era (man, was it that long ago?) someone asked me about kicking in Tai Chi.
I am not demonstrating a Tai Chi kick here. This is also not an SKD kick. Its a kick I modified from one of the eight kicks in the Wing Chun dummy.
In SKD we use Tai Chi body structure.
One of the principles of Tai Chi body structure is 含胸拔背 commonly translated as contain the chest, raise the back.
Here I give a demonstration of what this means and the implication in power generation.
I didn’t hit the dummy harder as I didn’t want it to fall over in case you are thinking that the power is not that strong.
I also kept the demo to this principle instead of involving the other principles so that we can view in isolation the workings of this principle.
Here I am explaining the connecting between the first part of the footwork we learn in SKD and the similarity in the footwork of the dummy.
The short talk on the Wing Chun dummy continued with explanation on how to use the neutralization principles in Wing Chun itself.
We then move into how to apply these principles to SKD itself with some examples.
SKD is designed around the principles I learned from different styles.
We learn the techniques of Master Leong’s Pok Khek Kuen first because they are easier to pick up, relatively anyway.
However, despite seemingly looking like external techniques we do pay attention to the “internal” principles.
Today I decided we should pay more attention to getting the technical part correct otherwise the neutralizing, or blocking to use an easier word to say, will not work as well as it should be.
I used the Wing Chun wooden dummy to explain about the principles involved in neutralizing.
The short talk began with an explanation on how to actually use the dummy instead of banging away at it as is commonly seen today.
More detailed covereage of these principles are in my eBooks “The Ip Man Questions : Kicks, power & strategies in the martial art of Wing Chun” and “2 Dots : Six Learning Steps for Mastering Wing Chun’s Kicking Model“.
Since I am not teaching Wing Chun anymore I may teach parts of the 2 Dots learning model in SKD as part of our plug and play module.
Just because we limit our learning to 6 basic blocks does not mean we are restricted.
Restriction is sometimes a matter of perspective. If you have less then you are forced to innovate to do more with less.
In this way you actually learn more indepth about how you can use each block.
Once we can remember the sequence of the 6-blocks we learn to do them smoothly. Then we keep on practicing until we can do them in whichever order we want to do them.
The next part of the learning is to add in a strike following each strike.
When you can respond faster then you strike as you block.
This is an explanation on how to use the 6 basic blocks in SKD.
When learning how to use the 6 basic blocks we would need to examine what striking attacks are typically used so that we know whether the 6 blocks are sufficient or we can adapt what we have to fit the attack.
And sometimes the purpose of learning 6-Blocks is not to just teach you how to block…….
At the basic level we use three strikes to simplify our learning.
However, having three strikes does not mean that we are limited in how we can apply them.
From the basic body posture we can also easily shift into the other techniques.
This allows us to easily expand our choice of response as we move up in our learning.
Here I am explaining how we can overcome an attempt to block our strike. We normally explore this as part of learning to understand our techniques.
Traditionally, the teacher will teach us some examples of how to apply the strategies of the art and leave it to us to look into it further.
There is no right or wrong answers, merely investigative questions such as won’t bringing my swinging arm up in the air open me up to a grappler to rush me and body lock me and so on.
The Sao Chui is a powerful strike that cuts through the air in a wide arc.
This means that if improperly used you will inadvertently open up your space to an attack.
So more than ever you must have a good grasp of the fundamentals in order to use Sao Chui.
This is because the wide movement can cause you to lose your balance if you miss.
We also need to look into how to set up the strike quickly and issue power even at a closer range to reduce the striking time.
Because Sao Chui requires a bigger movement this means that you will never be as fast as a linear strike such as the Yum Chui.
So in order to use Sao Chui you will need to investigate how to minimize this weakness.