Tai Chi Chuan Revelations


Extracts 1: Chapter 8

Explanation of the Slow Movement without Physical
Strength in Tai Chi Chuan Practice
Page 103:

Chinese proverb:

(Man Gong Chu Xi Huo)

Slow work produces detail and quality goods.

Many doubt the usefulness and power of Tai Chi Chuan because of its slow movement and because it does not rely on the use of physical strength. However, Tai Chi Chuan can in fact be extremely effective - but only if one first studies the principles. Only when one understands these principles can one then learn the method. When one becomes proficient with the method, one can then apply it. If one is unable to apply Tai Chi Chuan, this is only because one has not practised the art to a sufficient standard. For example the process of making steel first starts with pig iron, which then becomes wrought iron before being turned into steel. This takes a long process of treatment before it reaches the required stage. When practising Tai Chi Chuan, one has to be relaxed and natural. The emphasis is on intention rather than using physical strength or holding the breath. Such actions will cause one to be sluggish and cumbersome. Hence, it is important to sink the Chi to the Dan Tian and keep the body relaxed.

Extracts 2: Chapter 12

Extract from Wudang Gong Fu Series
Page 120

The slow overcoming the fast.

According to the principles of mechanics, centrifugal force is most effective because it comes from the centre. If we consider a wheel of a three feet radius with a foot radius shaft in the centre, when the wheel shaft turns 45 degrees, the inside wheel only turns through a circular distance of less than 4 inches. The external wheel will travel through a circular distance of more than a foot. Therefore, there is a ratio of 1:3. For three turns at the centre, the outside wheel turns one revolution. Hence using the waist as the centre, applying the same principle using "time dimension", the distance travelled in a second at the centre will cause the circumference to travel a greater distance. In the above example, it would be three times the distance. The Tai Chi Chuan classics emphasise using the waist like the shaft of a turning wheel, which follows the principle of the slow overcoming the fast. This can be further expanded in the following usage of Tai Chi Chuan postures:

1. Lu Jin (or Roll Back Energy)
Using the concept of the motion of the wheel in order to spin the opponent round effectively, the presence of contact friction is also required. This is the principle of Lu Jin.

2. Peng Jin (or Ward Off Energy)
If the opponent puts on pressure, there is a danger of the spiral force being compressed and distorted, hence making it difficult to turn. To resist such pressure or to avoid the force being distorted, sometimes hard physical resistance is used so that the spiralling turn is inhibited. In order to avoid this, one must utilise the principle of "hardness within softness". Hence when two forces meet, the softness outside will provide a spring cushion to allow spiralling to take place. This is the characteristic of Peng Jin or Ward Off power.

3. Ji Jin (or Press Energy)
If one comes in contact with a strong physical resistance, one needs to increase the amount of ward off power in order to be able to spiral through. To increase the amount of ward off power is to use both hands, warding off in different directions but meeting at the centre of the opponent's force. This is the Ji Jin.

4. An Jin (or Push Energy)
Because the root is at the feet, in order to turn or move the root or to spiral in and turn the opponent's body, the effective way is to spiral downwards at an angle. This will impose a lifting motion within a focused area to get a reaction without the opponent
breaking free (i.e. the concept of sticking is applied). This is An Jin.

Extracts 3: Chapter 14
Yang Family Old Manual
Page 138:

Tai Chi Juan (Xian Xiang Gong)
Translation : Tai Chi Circle (also known as The Coil Incense Kung)

It is easier to leave a circle than to enter it.
The emphasis is on the hip movement whether front or back.
The difficulty is to maintain the position without shifting the centre.
To analyse and understand the above situation is to do with
movement and not with a stationary posture.
Advancing and retreating by turning sideways in line with the
shoulders, one is capable of turning like a millstone, fast or slow,
as if whirling like a dragon in the clouds or sensing the approach
of a fierce tiger.
From this, one can learn the usage of the movement of
the upper torso.
Through long practice, such movement will become natural.

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