On the Tai Chi Secret Movements page there was a debate which culminated in a call to “Stop the Hop“.
I once encountered this phenomena when I was asked to do a photo shoot for a Chinese magazine. This chap, X, who was learning from a Master-P was my dummy. He did a simulated attack and with a flash I sent him flying back. X was surprised that I managed to send him back before he could even react.
However, the demonstration was also too fast for the camera man so I had to do it again. This time it was my turn to be surprised because before I could even exert any power on X he had voluntarily jumped back. I asked him why he did it and apparently it was something they did when acting as dummy during Master-P’s demo.
So here is my thinking on this type of voluntary hopping :-
i) It might look impressive but it is also ridiculous as hell and an insult to intelligent viewers. Did the demonstrator think the viewers are gullible or were they themselves a victim of their own self-perception disorder as to how powerful they really are?
ii) The student who partakes in charlatanism may end up also perpetuating the fakery when one day they themselves become a teacher, contributing to the down slide of the art
iii) The student who falls for this fake practice should hopefully never wake up otherwise he will be angry and disillusioned at being taken in and in the end lost his time, effort and money
iv) The student should pray that he never have to use such hopping type of fajing for real otherwise he may be in for a rude surprise when the opponent does not hop away and instead jumps in to whack him instead. When this happens excuses will not save you even if you are a disciple of some great dead master or you yourself is a proclaimed master just because you studied from a well known master who may not be a party to this charlatan practice in the first place
v) Saying that others who don’t agree with hopping do not understand the art is another BS excuse thought up by those hoppers who are unable to justify their approach.When this argument failed they turn to throwing childish insults and attack the character of the person who criticized them
If you are a serious student of Tai Chi you should be aware of the pitfalls of learning a style that thrives in sensationalism, fakery and asking you to believe in the impossible.
Tai Chi’s method of fajing even that as intriguing as the approach of Grandmaster Wei Shuren has a scientific basis behind it. However, unless you learn and master it you will never quite understand what the scientific principles are. People who know may not always want to explain what the scientific principles are for whatever reasons though I normally make it a point to explain it to serious students because it is part and parcel of teaching Tai Chi properly otherwise how to Master Tai Chi Today.
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