Student Notes – Learning to Master Tai Chi 2

Click here to read Part 1.

So did you manage to figure out the connection between chess masters and the Tai Chi novice aspiring to be a master?

Let’s take a look at the information again :-

If anything, the masters searched fewer moves than the novices. But they could do one thing the novices could not: memorize a chess position after seeing the board for less than five seconds. One look, and they could reconstruct the arrangement of the pieces precisely, as if they’d taken a mental snapshot.


Yet they saw the chessboard in more meaningful chunks than the novices did. The superior performance of stronger players derives from the ability of those players to encode the position into larger perceptual chunks, each consisting of a familiar configuration of pieces, ….

Let’s break up the findings above in easier to digest chunks :-

i) A chess master can memorize a chess position easily

ii) A chess master sees positions on a chess board in meaningful chunks

iii) A chess master can see larger perceptual chunks made up of familiar configurations

When this is applied to the learning of Tai Chi we can rephrase the three simplified findings as :-

i) A Tai Chi master should be able to recognize a position (whether attacking or defending) easily

ii) A Tai Chi master should see his position relative to the opponent in a meaningful manner

iii) A Tai Chi master should be able to recognize familiar positions in terms of tactical and strategic advantages within the fast pace of a flurry of hands jockeying for a superior and winning position

Does the above make more sense now? Anyway, this is what I expect students to be able to do in order to Master Tai Chi Today.


Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Yang Style Combat Tai Chi lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today at the link here.

1 thought on “Student Notes – Learning to Master Tai Chi 2

  1. Pingback: Student Notes – Learning to Master Tai Chi 3 | Master Tai Chi Today

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