A perk of teaching a new student is learning about their background and what they have learned before.
One teaching I have introduced before is the efficiency of the use of force. The question is which is more efficient – to hit with a stiletto or a block of wood.
Mind you, this is not a question of which method does more damage. In this aspect both are relative. For example, if you hit someone in the head with the block of wood whether the damage is greater or lesser depends on the amount of strength applied to the strike.
On the other hand, if you hold a high heel shoe in your hand and you hit with half the amount of strength used to wield the block of wood the damage with the stiletto will be more significant.
This is because strength is used more efficiently when it is focused on a tip rather than over a bigger, flat surface. This is why some styles like to use tip shaped fists (example phoenix-eye fist, dragon head fist, etc) for striking.
In Tai Chi we don’t use tip shaped fists as this will require another area of specialist training. However, by applying sung and a bit of focused intention to our striking fist we can still focus the power to replicate the effect of striking with a tip shaped fist.
So in one lesson I came to a part of teaching where I touched on force. I asked this student who had learned some boxing before to lightly hit his arm with his flat fist. He tapped my arm also so that I have an idea of his power.
My turn came to demonstrate the principle of stiletto force. One tap and oh, I wished I had taped his reaction. I think he had not expected the force to penetrate so suddenly, deeply and painfully into his arm. I hadn’t even apply the force of An which would have magnified the penetration.
To many the use of a hollow fist does not sound practical but if you know how to Master Tai Chi Today you would know understand how it fits in to the principles of the Tai Chi Classics to produce an efficient striking tool.
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