Inevitably, the learning of Tai Chi will come to the topic of fajing. I would rather that this be later rather than sooner though I am aware that some teachers do cover it sooner rather than later.
There is a good reason for not diving into the topic of fajing too early. Its basically the age old wisdom of learning to walk before trying to run. If you consider that doing fajing is unrelated to the application of techniques i.e. like saying that learning to walk has nothing to do with learning to run, then I accept that students can learning fajing sooner rather than later.
If you do push hands with the objective of just shoving your opponent off-balance, regardless of whether his hands are in your face or on your body, then you can say that fajing has nothing or little to do with the application of techniques. However, if you don’t then you would want to pay attention to where your opponent’s hands are.
If Tai Chi is to be trained as a combat art through the use of push hands as a training method then it is important to consider that if your training partner can put his hands on your body then in all likelihood if you attempt to use what you trained in push hands during a sparring session you would suffer hits.
In this sense, when beginning to learn Tai Chi we should pay attention to getting the postures right in terms of how the proper position can afford us a better defence whilst putting us in the right place to counter. We need to drill this many, many times until we can do it whilst under pressure otherwise we might as well not waste time learning it in the first place.
Cut to one training session. This student has learned and practiced the same set of movements so its time to introduce basic wave power. Bad idea. In her eagerness to do the power motions the carefully cultivated application-based movements are distorted.
The point is that though the power is there but if the technique cannot be executed quickly while maintaining proper defence then during push hands with a resisting opponent the student will suffer hits on the way in and will fail to get the technique in, thus the ability to fajing becomes useless. A similar situation has been experienced by other students so this point is important to make progress.
In Tai Chi how we do our form is how we do our fajing and how we apply the techniques. We don’t do the techniques in the form one way, use the techniques in push hands another way and generate power using the techniques yet another way. The three ways should be the same. In this manner to train one way is to train all three ways. This is why to Master Tai Chi Today is a process of building your skills layer by layer.
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