When Mind is Ready

When you are not ready to learn something it is difficult to make a breakthrough. But on the other hand if you are mentally ready your body’s willingness will follow.

Learning how to fajing with minimal effort is a problem for many students. It is much easier if fajing is performed with more effort coupled with obvious biomechanical motions.

However, in Tai Chi we want to use less effort whilst maximizing the result. This is only possible with the right mix of effort and movement.

If you take a light punch at your training partner’s stomach you will find that it will not make much of an impact in terms of pain. You would have to increase the strength to inflict pain. However, when you do this you would no doubt notice a few other things happening such as the effect on your balance, the amount of stress from the bounce back and so on; all of which makes for inefficiency and uneconomical movements.

How do you solve this problem?

In Tai Chi the use of a hollow fist is meant to overcome the limitations imposed by the harder method of punching. However, if you try to use the hollow fist with the traditional way of punching you will end up hurting your wrist and you will conclude that the hollow fist method is not practical.

The hollow fist is designed to be used with power generation methods that take into account its strengths and weaknesses. You need to consider the delivery method, the strength of material (your fist formation) and how power is delivered.

If we use the hollow fist with a linear punching method the weaker hollow fist formation will crumple on impact, decreasing the amount of striking force. It will also cause the shock from the impact to be transferred to your wrist, buckling it and causing injury to you.

To overcome this you should use the hollow fist with a method of striking that uses a curving path that whips the fist into the target area instead of thrusting into it. In this way the structure of the hollow fist is minimally impacted, hence your wrist will not buckle and you can still inject the power forcefully with little outward effort. Page 105, TaijiKinesis Vol 2 – Learning the Taijiquan Form has an illustration of a conceptual model of using a curving path to release power.

Some students get a brain freeze when they first hear this explanation. Because it is beyond their comprehension they find it difficult to digest and hence believe in. When the mind resists the body will also resist hence when they try doing it they are unable to do so. However, last week when one student tried it he could do so. This week he could still do it. The path to Master Tai Chi Today is not as difficult as it sounds. You just need a sincere desire to do so.


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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