Intent is the Driver

In the practice of Tai Chi we say that the mind comes first.

In this context the mind refers to the use of intent. Intent is our desire to do something, in this context, the wish to move in compliance with the principles of Tai Chi.

In Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s Yang style Tai Chi we use the intent to practice the process that he wrote about in his book on the 22 form.

The demo above is a segment from the 22-form showing Cloud Hands, Single Whip, Separate Hands to Kick and Strike Ears with Both Fists.

Grandmaster Wei Shuren is demonstrating this segment from 8:16 to 9:59 in the video below :-

The form does not look impressive nor powerful. However, if you try to do it yourself by copying the movements you will realize that it is a lot more difficult than it seems to constantly issue power in a concealed manner while moving calmly as if pulling silk continuously in a movement efficient way.

For example, in the movement of Single Whip the whip hand itself is issuing power 4 ways before moving into the left palm strike to complete the movement. In practicing the form we define the four movements clearly but we can also perform the movements with barely perceptible outward movements once we have grasped the essence of the movement.

At this stage you would need to be in command of your ability to use intent otherwise you will not be able to reduce the outer movements to the bare minimum required.

2021 Day 2

It started to rain last night.

It kept on raining throughout the day. I woke up to a dark, cold and gloomy day.

Practicing Tai Chi is a good day to get the blood circulating. Some say to circulate the Chi.

Playing the Tai Chi form is a good way to train your ability to concentrate, develop awareness of how your body is moving in response to your mind.

When you can quiet down your mind you can focus so much better. In this way you can reduce the outer movements, concealing the movements that are happening inside your body. This is what we mean by being internal.

Good control of the body allows you to tread like a cat. At the same time your body is moving like a series of gears to rotate and spiral to connect to the ground to generate power.

While it does not seem like it but within the slow, seemingly gentle movements we are working the power generation process.

The Tai Chi in SKD

Here I am explaining a countering movement found in Sao Chui.

This counter is derived from the hook hand movement from Single Whip.

If you learn the form normally you might not see this connection due to the timing of how this movement is taught.

It is when we change the timing that this appliction becomes obvious.

SKD Short Talk on Body Structure

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.

SKD Short Talk on Wing Chun Dummy

SKD is designed around the principles I learned from different styles.

We learn the techniques of Master Leong’s Pok Khek Kuen first because they are easier to pick up, relatively anyway.

However, despite seemingly looking like external techniques we do pay attention to the “internal” principles.

Today I decided we should pay more attention to getting the technical part correct otherwise the neutralizing, or blocking to use an easier word to say, will not work as well as it should be.

I used the Wing Chun wooden dummy to explain about the principles involved in neutralizing.

The short talk began with an explanation on how to actually use the dummy instead of banging away at it as is commonly seen today.

More detailed covereage of these principles are in my eBooks “The Ip Man Questions : Kicks, power & strategies in the martial art of Wing Chun” and “2 Dots : Six Learning Steps for Mastering Wing Chun’s Kicking Model“.

Since I am not teaching Wing Chun anymore I may teach parts of the 2 Dots learning model in SKD as part of our plug and play module.

Resolving Double Weightedness

One of the topics from our SKD online lesson on 11 Jul 2020 is on the importance of not being double weighted.

In this clip you can see the principles of Tai Chi at play in SKD to solve the problem of double weightedness.

In this instance, I am explaining the application of the “2 4 points” in the use of footwork to illustrate why it is important to avoid double weightedness as it affects our ability to move.