Looking to Master Tai Chi Today?

Featured

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.

 

Advertisements

Comfort in Form Practice

Today I would like to bring up a basic topic in the practice of Tai Chi – comfort.

To begin let’s take a look at a video. This is a demonstration of Yang style 108 long form by a new student as he learned it.

The low stances are great for cultivating leg strength. I used to practice the long form really slow, taking about one and a quarter to one and a half hour to complete one cycle. At the end I would feel this pain in the knees. My student has a similar experience also.

It is only after learning the Yang style Tai Chi transmitted within the lineage of Grandmaster Wei Shuren that I eliminated the knee pain yet retain good dynamic stability. It all began with my teacher offering a simple piece of advice – seek comfort. Today I teach this vital principle to all students – seek comfort.

The logic goes something like this – you are supposed to relax but sitting low too early in the training only makes your thighs more tense. If you must go lower, then do it progressively after you have attained a high degree of relaxation. Otherwise, if you end up with joint pains then your practice would be counter-productive.

Today I made a video illustrating this point.

Conclusion – in Tai Chi we want to move like a mountain yet be as light footed as a rabbit. How do we reconcile this?

Answer – seek comfort. Then we have the best of both worlds in that we are calm, heavy, solid, minimalist, with constantly connected movements concealing the power of mind and body, yet can move swiftly like the wind.

MTC-Banner-2

Procastinately Yours

Time is a precious commodity. It is also the real cost of training Tai Chi.

If you are learning Tai Chi for fitness and exercise then this is not a consideration. However, when you are trying to learn Tai Chi for combat then this is a different issue.

This is when the cost of time is expensive particularly in its alternative use. Economists put a value on time by considering its opportunity cost, that is the value you could have gotten if you had spent the time doing another task that has economic returns.

For example, I had a student who was embarking on a career in real estate at the time he was learning Tai Chi. In the end, he made a choice to put all his time into his career and today he is a success, having his own agency. If he had put the time into Tai Chi he might not have mastered the art yet. This is the reality.

Today those who work will struggle to find time to train. Those on a career fast track will have little time, if any, to train. Some like me chose a slow career path in order to have the time to train. It took many years but in the end I got what I wanted.

So what do you do if you have little time yet want to master a combat art, if only for basic self-defence. I created, actually more like, extract and reorganized material from an existing system and repackaged it as Sam Kuen Do (三拳道). It is not Tai Chi. You can’t reach core competency in Tai Chi in say 12 months.

However, it is possible to be competent in 12 months with Sam Kuen Do (三拳道). The trick is not to learn too much. Instead, learn core elements and learn in small chunks, become competent before try to bite more off. And it goes without saying train regularly, train consistently and don’t be lazy, don’t make excuses like not having time.

Find the time and do it. Put aside 12 months and start. If you procastinate pretty soon the 12 months would have gone by and you still have nothing. Blink and soon it will be 10 years gone and you are still nowhere. The gods favor those who actually do something about it instead of complaining about no time.

If it is to be, it is up to me. So if you want it get on with it.

MTC-Banner-2

Hammer Time!

The biomechanics of a hammer throw is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you are practicing Tai Chi.

However, you should not dismiss it because knowing it can help your pulling technique. Just last week I mentioned about the hammer throw to two students for learning the same technique.

Today I found a video that is relevant to what I mentioned :-


The part of the video that is an illustration to what I talked about is at 2:32. You don’t need to know the mathematics to be able to benefit from this video. All you need to do is to extract that part of the body movement that is the key to improving your performance.

MTC-Banner-2

Energy Management, What?

Commonsense seems to be missing nowadays. There is a paradox at work here. The more popular a system is the more commonsense flies out the window.

I said to a student that push hands is for learning combat and he said that he thought it was for energy management. I wouldn’t say that he is totally wrong.

Energy management could be a sub-objective of doing push hands. However, I would not say that push hands is entirely about energy management. Consider the following train of thought :-

What is Tai Chi CHUAN? A health exercise? Fitness exercise? Combat art?

What is the purpose of learning Tai Chi CHUAN? Exercise? Fitness? Combat?

If the answer to both questions above is either exercise or fitness then you can stop reading at this point.

If the answer is combat then you can read on.

If we want to train Tai Chi CHUAN as a combat art then how do we do it?

Consider the first question – what exactly is Tai Chi as an art of combat? Is it a wrestling art? Hand striking art? Kicking art? Locking art? Bit of everything?

How do we train the combat part of Tai Chi? By pushing each other around? What is the purpose? Oh, OK, energy management.

So how does managing the energy help us to survive an attack? By pushing the opponent back? By pushing him so hard that he does not want to be pushed any more?

Unless you managed to push an opponent to hit a wall so hard that it knocks him out I don’t quite see the point. More so, if you happen to be fighting in a big space where the nearest wall is 50 feet away.

So all that pushing up and down doesn’t really make much sense. Not unless you are training to put your opponent off balance by using a pushing motion to control him. If so, then why do we need to push opponent so hard when a lesser push is what we need to put him in a disadvantaged position momentarily for us to set up our technique?

To me push hands is a method for training the various factors that are relevant to combat. What are they?

For starters you can train proper distancing. I realized that even students who have learned for over 10 years have poor distance management. If you go too close you may not be able to apply your power, not to mention technique properly. There is a distance at which a technique will work, one at which it will work ineffectively and one in which the technique will not work.

The form trains us to maintain the proper distance in our mind. However, due to our over-excited nature we still need to use push hands to train ourselves to rein in our instinct to rush in as close as we can.

Another thing that push hands trains us is to keep calm. You don’t have to over-react to every movement and if you do react you should learn to react with a good response rather than just push back with a knee jerk reaction that can be used against you.

Learning to be calm can help you to counter fast strikes. If you only ever play with other Tai Chi players who only push you back then this is not a useful skill. But if you do touch hands with styles that may hit you and throw you fast missiles then this will come in handy.

There are so many more areas I could touch on but this should give you an idea why push hands is not just a single objective method of training. It is so much more than that. So don’t restrict yourself. Be critical in your thinking of answers you are given. Otherwise, you will be the one who miss out.

MTC-Banner-2

Take the Step 6

This is the last video :-

This video explains why we learn the raising and lowering of arms as three separate rather than two separate movements.

The benefits can be readily tested with the help of a partner. If you try out the movements you will understand that learning how to fajing does not take years.

Instead, it is the learning of how to use fajing against an opponent, being able to adjust and change to fit the opponent’s reaction and resistance that take years to develop.

If you can keep your focus you will find that you can fajing after only a few minutes of instruction. The key word here is “keep your focus”.

Most students cannot keep their mind focused on the task at mind. Instead, their mind drifts. When this happens they lose their placing, the alignment goes off, the focus goes off and they cannot do the fajing by themselves any more.

Constant and consistent practice of the form is the remedy if you want to be able to do fajing on your own. How long this actually takes depends on how much time you are willing to put into practice and your ability to keep to the quality goals.

MTC-Banner-2

Take the Step 5

The fifth video introduces a basic way of raising the arms.


It is a little less detailed than how I actually teach it. But then the purpose of this video is not so much to teach as to act as a point of reference.

If you read TaijiKinesis Vol 2 : Learning the Taijiquan Form you can use this video as a reference for understanding what the 3-Count is about.

I wish I had a student when I was filming this. It would have made the video a lot more interesting by elaborating how the principles and way of moving affects the quality of power.

You can also see a quick demo of the Beginning Posture from Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s 22-Form. I did it a little bit faster so as not to put the viewer to sleep with the slowness.

MTC-Banner-2