Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
I have begun the process of transmitting the tiger striking method that I had learned from Master Leong within the process of playing push hands. Master Leong had of course learned this from Grandmaster Nip who learned this famous technique from Master Tam.
GM Nip taught these series of strikes to Master Leong as part of the free hand techniques of his Tai Chi system. At first look the tiger strikes don’t look that fantastic or eye catching. Boring even, perhaps.
However, Master Leong taught it with certain instruction on the importance of this training, who to teach it to and why it is important.to observe them. The sequence itself is simple to do and does not seem to have much depth, or at least at first glance or after a few glances. Over more than a decade as my understanding of Tai Chi changes so too does my perception of the tiger striking method.
With a better understanding I now impart it in a manner which is easier to learn because ultimately a sequence is only as useful as well, its usefulness. I start the learning with Method No. 2 because it is easy to pick up. Still, if the trainee’s arm is not relaxed enough then easy is only an intellectual understanding, not a practical fact.
Method No. 2 is relentless in attack and defence. Any one who has practiced it for some time can easily understand how Master Tam made his reputation with this move. And not only Master Tam but also his disciples, some who took to tournaments including the little known one, at least today it is not known widely, where the famous Wing Chun Talking Hands King suffered a public defeat.
Gravity, ground power, penetration, angular advantage, and so many more strong traits of Method No. 2. I have to take my hat off to Master Tam for being the first to elevate this technique to such a high level and enriching our learning journey to Master Tai Chi Today.
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