Useful lessons in moving the body can be extracted from how we handle the long pole. Shown here are a few moves from Master Leong’s long pole form.
Sometime ago in the pre-COVID 19 era (man, was it that long ago?) someone asked me about kicking in Tai Chi.
I am not demonstrating a Tai Chi kick here. This is also not an SKD kick. Its a kick I modified from one of the eight kicks in the Wing Chun dummy.
In SKD we use Tai Chi body structure.
One of the principles of Tai Chi body structure is 含胸拔背 commonly translated as contain the chest, raise the back.
Here I give a demonstration of what this means and the implication in power generation.
I didn’t hit the dummy harder as I didn’t want it to fall over in case you are thinking that the power is not that strong.
I also kept the demo to this principle instead of involving the other principles so that we can view in isolation the workings of this principle.
At the basic level we use three strikes to simplify our learning.
However, having three strikes does not mean that we are limited in how we can apply them.
From the basic body posture we can also easily shift into the other techniques.
This allows us to easily expand our choice of response as we move up in our learning.
Here I am explaining how we can overcome an attempt to block our strike. We normally explore this as part of learning to understand our techniques.
Traditionally, the teacher will teach us some examples of how to apply the strategies of the art and leave it to us to look into it further.
There is no right or wrong answers, merely investigative questions such as won’t bringing my swinging arm up in the air open me up to a grappler to rush me and body lock me and so on.
The Sao Chui is a powerful strike that cuts through the air in a wide arc.
This means that if improperly used you will inadvertently open up your space to an attack.
So more than ever you must have a good grasp of the fundamentals in order to use Sao Chui.
This is because the wide movement can cause you to lose your balance if you miss.
We also need to look into how to set up the strike quickly and issue power even at a closer range to reduce the striking time.
Because Sao Chui requires a bigger movement this means that you will never be as fast as a linear strike such as the Yum Chui.
So in order to use Sao Chui you will need to investigate how to minimize this weakness.
I introduced a new exercise today to develop diagonal striking power.
We can jazz up this exercise by using a tool that we can get from the hardware store.
Below is an example of how this exercise can be applied as a strike.
In today’s Zoom lesson I explained a bit more about the arm looseness exercises that I had introduced in a previous lesson.
In this particular exercise if we keep practicing and working on relaxing the arm we can move the arm like a chain.
When your arm is like a chain you can use the shoulder, elbow or wrist to strike.
Yum Chui is the first strike we learn.
Yum Chui is likened to releasing an arrow. How to do this is a combination of using body rotation and legs springing to generate the quick release action.
This arm swinging exercise involves the use of minor body rotation while opening and closing the arms quickly.
This is one of the warm up exercises we do to loosen up the arms while training the ability to hit quickly and with power.
This is the use of body sway in forward / backward direction to generate horizontal power.
This is used in our Wang Chui.Think of it as a halberd cutting horizontally.