A Xingyi Encounter 3

The perennial topic had to come up. Power.

Lucky for KT just the week before I resurrected something that I had not done for a long time – issuing power using principles from Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s method. So goody, time to shed the rust.

I explained and showed what is the difference using typical rear leg pushing, dantian rotating and plain using intention. Since we were in a small hotel room with a glass table behind him and top to bottom window on our side we did everything cautiously. I asked him to place his hand on my body at certain parts so he can feel which part moved when I slowly increased the power to my hand that was in contact with his body.

I wanted KT to feel what power is like when trained using intention, particularly its non-directional feel, how it can be amplified in a split second without telegraphing – I made sure he paid attention to the fact that my hand was not lifted off his body and stayed in contact when I generated the power.

The fajing process can sound mystical but its not. Today, I was watching the Part 2 of a clip from Season 2 of The Martial Man. Its obvious that the persons being interviewed had skills judging from their demonstration. I only wished they didn’t do Chinese martial arts a disservice with how they explained what they were doing. That stuff about giving and taking can be easily explained using fulcrum placement.

CMA is not easy to learn as it is. Mystifying and cloaking it in ambiguous, contradicting models do not really help its promotion. Selling and promoting the art in this manner can turn the skeptical off. We should not fear explaining what is really happening because without practice the listener will also not really understand and can never use it.

In learning any skill theory should go with practical. If you know but do not practice you still won’t understand the theory. On the other hand, if you keep doing without making attempts to tie the theoretical constructs of the art to what you are doing then you could be doing many things wrong without ever realizing it.

Every art is good as long as you know what makes the art what it is supposed to be. Practice. Check. Ask. But do not jump to conclusions or make smart assumptions too early. It is too easy to get things wrong. Many teachers will let such smart students be because over-smart is an obstacle to learning.

Whilst I can show and explain the type of power that is in our Tai Chi without the necessary and sufficient practice such skill will be forever out of our grasp.


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