Here is a post I wrote today on the BojiLite Learning Group. It may be about Pok Khek Kuen but the general thrust of the message can be applied to the learning of Tai Chi. I have modified it slightly to conceal the member’s identity.
Post of 12 May 2018 (BojiLite Learning Group)
Ask wrong question, get wrong answer.
Ask right question, may still get wrong answer but at least the investigation is on the right track.
Vague ideas like too tight or too loose only work if you have hands on guidance. Also, its not easy to teach vague concepts. Instead, a more logically approach works better.
However, outlining everything clearly promotes laziness in thinking for oneself so I prefer to outline the issues and let each one think through the issues, analyze it and learn from the exercise in thinking.
What’s X’s problems? Anyway, not important because anyone else could end up with the same problems as follows :-
1) Unable to punch fast with optimal coordination
2) Unable to punch at a fast speed without instability
There are different ways to punch. Every teacher will give you a reason why they follow a particular method. It is up to you to decide if it is a method you want to go with after you practice and apply it.
The problems of combat are simple :-
a) How do you not get hit?
b) How do you hit back?
c) How fast can you hit back?
d) How powerful can you hit back?
e) How can you hit back and not get hit?
In Pok Khek we have our methods to address these questions. The practice of combat can be divided into :-
a) Solo – get things right on your own, first in form, then when hitting a static target
b) Partner – practice against a partner to check and verify your ability to implement the method
In Pok Khek the solo training is meant to learn and solve the following problems :-
a) What is a good structure that allows you to be rooted whether momentarily in-place or when moving?
b) How do you generate power?
c) How do you deliver power?
d) How do you bring the power to hit the target quickly in an optimal manner?
e) How do you avoid the opponent’s techniques?
To this end, we study the following :-
a) Basic posture to understand what a good structure is
b) In-situ body turning to generate power
c) The arm pulley model to deliver power
d) The Yum Chui to hit the target
e) The body turning and parries to avoid the opponent’s techniques
A good technique, in this case Yum Chui, must enable you to strike quickly, with penetrating power while allowing you to avoid getting hit.
X’s problem areas :-
a) Punching arm movement – unnecessary pulsation movement; mind you its not totally wrong because you see Chen style Tai Chi doing it, but its not the Pok Khek way because we want to hit the target quickly
b) Body turning – inherent instability during turning that affects ability to deliver chain strikes
c) Extraneous movements that can potentially affect stability during execution of Yum Chui
Now that we have a list of problem areas how do we solve them. Let’s just focus on the first two items :-
a) Study carefully how we move the arms when doing Yum Chui. There is a scientific concept here which I have mentioned before – the pulley. This is just the base concept but its good enough for now.
Investigate how to do the arm movements without body turning. Just stand in basic posture. No doubt your body will turn a bit, let it be.
As you become more familiar go read my post of 2 May again (this is referring to a post in the BojiLite Learning Group). This time a certain passage may stand out and should a light bulb go off in your head then you will be like Mahākāśyapa when Buddha held up the lotus flower to test his understanding……
b) The problem of instability is the same as when driving and cornering. How do you prevent the car from turning too fast, resulting in loss of control and flipping over. By using the brakes, of course.
But what if you don’t want to use the brakes? What do you do then? Solve this analogy and you have solved the problem in instability during in-situ body turning……..
And when all else fails, eat more fish cause as mothers would say its good for your brain…..