Leaking Roof

I read a complaint on Facebook about water leakage in the new DTL stations. I have seen pails on the floor in the Botanic Gardens station on the DTL side and didn’t think much about it. Today I saw a pail again, looked up, saw what seems to be cable conduits and wondered if they had used thermal imaging to check for leakage before accepting the handover.

Anyway, thinking of the leakage made me think of last night’s push hands training. Sometimes we play push hands like two bulls trying to gore each other. However, sometimes we play it like rain assaulting a leaky roof.

Push hands training does not have to be one dimensional. We can vary it according to the learning objective. What seems like a right way will seem wrong when against a method that can counter the right way like playing the game of paper-scissors-rock.

When we play push hands fast and furious it is in imitation of a torrential rain lashing the roof hard. So if our roof (i.e. the arms) is leaky the rain will get through and we will be soaked by the water (strikes). I had to laugh when my student said he will continue taking the strikes until he learns to plug the holes up.

The holes in his defense is a consequence of improper implementation of principles. For example, he considered a sunk and closed elbow as affording proper protection but it actually made it easier to open up his arms. The closely sunk elbow only works against an opponent whose elbow is either too open or sunk not quite closed enough so the elbow becomes unstable.

The Tai Chi elbow is one that is open yet closed, a contradiction but it is part of the paradoxical principle of being open and closed at the same time. It does not work on its own but part of the alignment of the entire body. This is why if you want to Master Tai Chi Today you must learn the form properly because this is where we begin the journey to learn the principles.


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

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