From Push to Strike

When you do push hands do you end up doing shoving, making the pushing action the objective? Or do you use the pushing as a means to study how to use the techniques of the form whether for striking, locking or throwing?

In the Tai Chi of Grandmaster Nip that came to us via Master Leong we study a series of techniques that are meant for combative striking. In an article in the November 1972 issue of Black Belt magazine it is mentioned that these series of techniques was GM Nip’s secret art which he unveiled to the public to put aside doubts that his younger followers had in the art of Tai Chi.

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In the Black Belt article it was further mentioned that some students who had learned this secret art, named Poc Khek, had taken part in tournaments. One student who participated in a tournament in Singapore in 1969 won the heavyweight division title. In the second tournament held in Taiwan in 1971 a student was the overall champion.

Though Poc Khek may seem like a hard art at first glance it can nevertheless be used in a softer manner by placing more emphasis on the use of footwork and circularity of movements.This was something emphasized by Master Leong. Initial impressions can be misleading. It is only when one has the art carefully explained and shown that the soft-hard nature of the art is apparent.

The power of Poc Khek strikes is something that students take to. They can understand easily the impact especially when they have a fist shooting like a star at them and neutralizing their efforts to block or run away from the strike. However, the movements of the strikes can also function as defensive techniques.

If one understands this part then Poc Khek movements can be used in push hands to practice strikes in a less painful manner. As a student has better control on his use of power he can progress to tapping his training partner a bit harder and a bit faster. From here it is but a step away from freeing oneself from the push hands framework and another step closer to Master Tai Chi Today.

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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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