Heavy Hands

Most of the time when a Tai Chi practitioner talks about fajing he is referring to a force that has a long pulse.

In our small frame Yang style Tai Chi we focus instead on short pulse fajing because for combat use this is more practical. I mean, there is no point to push a person away only for him to get up and come at you again.

Instead, we prefer to impart a short burst of energy through our strikes to inflict internal injury. At a certain level in push hands training we learn to strike accurately where we want to hit with a certain amount of power against a resisting opponent who is putting up a defense.

This is because if you do not try it this way you don’t really know if you can do it against a much stronger, faster and harder resisting opponent.  In order to cause internal injury sometimes in our training we hit each other’s arms instead. Below is a picture of an aftermath, taken a week later. It is truly a black and blue affair.

File 29-8-17, 20 37 04

In our long form we learn the fundamentals of how to generate power by not learning to generate power. Instead, we focus on develop control of our body using the 3-Count and 5-Count mechanism.

Below is an example of basic fajing training using the 3-Count. You can almost feel the heaviness in the dropping of the hands. Notice how the elongated wrist and sphere holding principles are observed even as the arm is whipped gently with heft.

If you have sharp eyes you might notice a dark patch on the whipping arm – see below :-

Image 6

This is the result of us testing the palm strike on the arms to learn how a correct strike should sound and feel like.

The movement of the arm looks simple, not impressive until you see the bruises. However, when you read what is behind the movement you will understand. For those who have TaijiKinesis Vol 2 – Learning the Taijiquan Form I would refer you to pages 58-59, 89-91, 99-100 and 105-110.

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1 thought on “Heavy Hands

  1. Thanks again for this post and also for this important point: “Notice how the elongated wrist and sphere holding principles are observed even as the arm is whipped gently with heft.”

    I was getting excited about working this but I noticed it’s easy to have habit of “rocking wrist” like doing iron palm strike or something. And taiji is supposed to be soft art. So I at least needed reminder about not breaking my own wrist. ☺️

    But how to avoid limpy wobbling without adding tension? Sphere holding seems to help. No one throws ball with limpy wrist, result is bad. So this was a useful lesson.

    I seem to remember something about egg-smashing force that might be pertinent, but that’s another story. Gotta practice bird in hand.


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