A Study in Being a Meat Hook

Our arms made contact and I tried to slide my arm up to my student’s neck. His left arm automatically came up to intercept me. Good.

I stopped and whipped out my phone to show him a video which I have put up in the Clips folder under 5. A Study in Being a Meat Hook. As usual, you can access the folder by using your TaijiKinesis Vol 2 password.

I wanted to show my students two major items :-

a) How a strong shoulder stroke could be devastating

b) How using a posture without understanding the pros and cons can expose one to this type of sudden, powerful attack which as can be seen in the video is quite devastating and injurious.

This is why it is important to pay attention to what Yang Chengfu said about not being a meat that hooked onto him (Yang Chengfu). However, the way most players use their posture go against what Yang Chengfu said, making them vulnerable to being hooked. As can be seen in the video being a piece of meat hooking on to an opponent that is taller, bulkier and stronger made them so much more easy and open to this type of shoulder stroke attack.

In addition, though many would like to think that the way they use their Tai Chi is scientific the video shows a sore absence of sound biomechanical principles. For example, a proper base is sorely missing making the person being pushed so much more easier to send flying.

The final player in the video shows the danger when one becomes a piece of meat that is hooked onto a strong opponent. The danger is compounded when the person being thrown is shorter and smaller than this opponent. As can be seen in the video that was a very hard fall even on a padded floor.

So if you don’t want to be like those “meat” players in the video you would do well to re-evaluate what you do in push hands. Don’t just take anyone’s word for it that their approach makes sense because as you can see in the video everyone practically followed a similar approach which failed to slow down the attacker, much less prevent the attack.

If you want to Master Tai Chi Today cast off your blinkers and see things as they truly are and not what you think they are. Better still read the Tai Chi Classics. Advice such as not hanging onto your opponent as he is not a meat hook is important and you ignore it at your peril if you ever try to use your art against opponents  who are bigger, taller and stronger than you.

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