Thinking of Mountain

In a post dated 16 May 2016 on Mastering Intention – Yang Style Tai Chi Secret Transmissions I mentioned about the similarity between Fujita’s microburst and something Grandmaster Wei Shuren wrote about the practice of qigong or to be more precise the Skill Set.

The Skill Set is said to be practiced by Yang Jianhou in the evening in lieu of the form. The Skill Set captures the essential principles of the 22-Form in a simple, short, easy to practice set. The Skill Set is not meant to be practiced by beginners; rather it is more for the learner who has spent some years on the 22-Form because once the learner has made some inroads into the 22-Form the Skill Set will help push his mastery forward.

Coming back to the question raised in my Facebook post……..

When the word mountain is mentioned what typically comes to your mind? Perhaps an image like the one below?


And if I say geometrical shape of the mountain would you think of the image below?


In the practice of the intention part of the Skill Set it is said that we must use intention to move the hands along the mountain character. This will give rise to puzzlement if you are thinking of the mountain from a Western perspective.

In ancient China the mountain was originally thought of as two small humps with a central mountain as shown below :-


Over time the pictograph was simplified to the character we see today – 山.

Now let’s take a look at the diagram of the microburst which I had put into the Facebook post :-


Do you see the point about similarity which I made? Yes? No?

If no, take a look below where I superimpose the Chinese character for mountain on top of the microburst diagram :-


If you are not a practitioner of Grandmaster Wei’s method of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan this will probably make no sense to you. For those who are practicing it and have learned the Skill Set you may ask if the microburst is really applicable due to the fact that the mountain character is only brought up in the part of the Skill Set that trains opening and closing of the arms.

I would say yes. Despite the mountain character being mentioned only in the Intention section of the Skill Set it is not the only section that uses it. There is another section that does and it is in this section that I would say understanding the microburst would enhance the development of your body structure. There is actually another ancient Chinese martial arts principle which connects up the use of an analogy that I would opined is close to what a microburst is about.

The key to Master Tai Chi Today is not by blind learning. Instead, you have to look beyond the obvious to penetrate to the heart of the art. There you will discover the true wonders of the art. Fujita’s discovery of the microburst merely demonstrated that there are things that science didn’t know about for a long time. Even after Fujita made known his finding it was not accepted widely until proven years later. The microburst showed that what may seem like a nonsensical practice without scientific basis in the Skill Set may in fact be scientific.


Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Tai Chi Yang Style (TaijiKinesis) lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s