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.
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.
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.