Infinite Dao – 偶识太极 Taiji by Chance

Extracts from Patrick Kelly’s book ‘Infinite Dao’ Chapter 1. (Part 1)

偶识太极 Taiji by Chance

我按师傅的建议研读了中华武术类书籍后逐渐意识到,禅宗的基础是折合佛教与道教于一身的禅(中国佛教),而某些更深层次的东西更有可能在中华武术(日本武术的基础)中找到答案。那个年代并没什么教授中华武术的课,但碰巧当时有名中国学生要在校园开个小型武学班,我听说后就起来转学的念头。对此,我的空手道老师鲍勃·麦克鲁姆毫不反对,这为我的修行之路开了一个好头,对他的支持,我也毕生感激。就在那一年,没什么练习经验的我,带着从神学图书馆书本里领悟出来对内修的那点理解,坚定地踏上了灵修之路。With that information in mind and after investigating the martial arts of China as advised, it became apparent that some deeper inner content would more likely be found in these Chinese arts (which were of course the basis for the Japanese Arts). I understood also from my reading that Zen was based on Chan (Chinese Buddhism) which was itself an eclectic mix of Buddhism and Daoism. Though classes in the Chinese arts were rare, seemingly by chance I heard that a Chinese student was about to begin teaching a small class of some such art at the university. I informed my Karate teacher, Bob McCullum, of my decision to change. He was fully understanding about it and I was forever thankful for the start he had given me. That year, with its inefficient practices and minimal inner-understanding gleaned from the books in the Theosphical Library, had nevertheless set my feet firmly on the Way.

Beginning Taiji

1973年我开始学习太极。虽然我当时并不明白太极是什么,但我相信它能助我在灵修上取得进步。我的太极师傅姓周,他的父亲是马来西亚古晋人。我后来才知晓师傅的父亲曾是黄大师训下的一名资深弟子,其实黄大师当时就住在古晋。只上了一节太极课,我就知道这是门更有深度的学问。最初课堂上只有三名学员,上课以普通话进行,学习的内容包括:松身五法,短式太极和长式太极,以及基础对练(太极推手)。So in 1973 I began Taiji, not knowing what it was. I only trusted that through it I could travel a little further on the path of inner evolution. It transpired that the teacher, Mr Choo, was the son of one of Master Huang’s senior students from Kuching, Malaysia, where Master Huang, unknown to myself at the time, was then living. From the first class I sensed that this was a teaching with more depth than I had met up until that point. Initially there were just 3 students in the class. We were taught in Mandarin, learning the 5 Loosening Exercises, the Short Taiji-form and Long Taiji-form and the basic two person exercises (Taiji Pushing-hands).

Mr Choo

19731974年,我都在跟周先生学太极,1974年我也终于完成了数学学位的学习。只可惜周先生自己也不过是个只有六七年太极经验的年轻人,所以一段时间之后,他对我就已经教无可教。我急需一个有长时间深度修行经历、经验丰富之人,一个能为我答疑解惑的指路人。为了更高层次的学习,我开始做长期计划安排,准备拜访生活在马来西亚的黄性贤大师。I continued to learn from Mr Choo throughout 1973 and 1974, while finally completing my degree in pure mathematics. Although the art of Taiji gave me a beginning, still Mr Choo was only a young man with 6 or 7 years’ Taiji experience. It became apparent after a time that the art was not enough in itself. I needed someone with long and deep experience on the path of inner development whom I could trust to answer my questions and guide me on the path. I began to formulate some long range plans to visit Master Huang Xingxian in Malaysia in order to continue my training towards the deeper levels.

pk2web克利 Patrick A Kelly

began Taiji with an experienced student of Master Huang Xingxian in 1973. In 1977 he moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he studied full time in Master Huang’s school. In 1979, following tradition, Master Huang accepted Patrick as his personal disciple – the only non-Chinese to ever enter Huang’s inner-school. From that time Patrick Kelly travelled and taught beween Asia, Australasia and Europe while continuing to learn personally with Master Huang untill his death late 1992. Simultaneously Patrick worked closely both with the Naqshibandi Gnostic Sage Abdullah Dougan for 14 years until Abdullah’s death in 1987 and for 30 years with the Raja Yogi Mounimaharaj of Rajasthan who died in 2007 at more than 105 years old.

1973年,派瑞克利开始向黄性贤大师的一位资深学生学习太极。1977年,他来到马来西亚吉隆坡,在黄性贤大师的学校全日制学习太极。1979年,遵循传统惯例,黄性贤大师收派瑞克利为徒,他成为了黄性贤大师唯一的非华人入室弟子。自那时起,派瑞克利往来于亚洲、澳洲及欧洲教拳,同时继续私下向黄性贤大师学习,直至大师于1992年末去世。同一时期,派瑞克利还跟随纳什般迪派和诺斯替派哲人阿卜杜拉多安学习十四年,直到1987年阿卜杜拉去世,跟随拉贾斯坦的胜王瑜伽大师穆尼玛哈拉吉学习三十余年,直至穆尼大师在2007年以105岁高龄去世。

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Infinite Dao – 灵修启蒙 Spiritual Initiation

Extracts from Patrick Kelly’s book ‘Infinite Dao’ Chapter 1. (Part 1)

灵修启蒙 Spiritual Initiation

大量的内心自我反省下,我虽未通过大部分的学科考试,但我找到了心理平衡发展之路,思维也转向了对生命终极意义的探索。我发现现代艺术圈的创作都很感性且以自我为中心,而我早年为探索灵修所读的道家和禅宗等传统类书籍所追求的,是更高深的东西。At the end of that period of intense self examination – which incidentally resulted in failures in most of my university
exams – having found a path forward in terms of psychological balance, my thoughts turned to the ultimate meaning of life. My spiritual enquiry had been activated in that previous year by the reading of books on artistic creativity within the Daoist and Zen traditions. There it was clear that they aspired to something more subtle than the highly emotional, self-obsessed creativity, obviously apparent in the modern artistic world.

Toward a spiritual dimension

就这样,年方21岁的我重新踏入了灵修的探索领域。虽然我并不确定以能量和神灵为载体的内在世界是否真实存在,但凭着当时有限的探索智慧,我就已经认识到:如果一切的一切仅仅是肉体(包括大脑),那我以怎样的方式修行都无所谓,因为死亡会带走一切;但假如肉体之外确有这么一个世界,那么漠视它的存在而虚度人世就是彻头彻尾的愚蠢。我坚信自己的灵魂终能听到内心所愿,至今我都还清楚记得自己从觉悟最深处发出有人能将自己带上灵修之路衷心祈求的那天。回顾过去,我的灵修之路其实正始于197112月的那个时刻。So at the age of 21 my efforts were re-directed towards the spiritual dimension. It was not certain to my superficially enquiring intellect that the inner-worlds of energies, spirits and gods really did exist, however it was bright enough to realise that if all there was, was the body (including the brain), then it didn’t matter much how I proceeded as all would be gone when I died, but if there was this world beyond the body then to spend a lifetime on the surface of existence, as if that inner world did not exist, was pure stupidity. Reasoning that my Spirit could hear my inner wishes, one day, still now fresh in my memory, from the deepest state of consciousness I could generate, I sent a heartfelt plea for help to be led on the inner path. Looking back now to that moment in December 1971, I realise it was the moment I began.

Continued…..

pk2web克利 Patrick A Kelly

began Taiji with an experienced student of Master Huang Xingxian in 1973. In 1977 he moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he studied full time in Master Huang’s school. In 1979, following tradition, Master Huang accepted Patrick as his personal disciple – the only non-Chinese to ever enter Huang’s inner-school. From that time Patrick Kelly travelled and taught beween Asia, Australasia and Europe while continuing to learn personally with Master Huang untill his death late 1992. Simultaneously Patrick worked closely both with the Naqshibandi Gnostic Sage Abdullah Dougan for 14 years until Abdullah’s death in 1987 and for 30 years with the Raja Yogi Mounimaharaj of Rajasthan who died in 2007 at more than 105 years old.

1973年,派瑞克利开始向黄性贤大师的一位资深学生学习太极。1977年,他来到马来西亚吉隆坡,在黄性贤大师的学校全日制学习太极。1979年,遵循传统惯例,黄性贤大师收派瑞克利为徒,他成为了黄性贤大师唯一的非华人入室弟子。自那时起,派瑞克利往来于亚洲、澳洲及欧洲教拳,同时继续私下向黄性贤大师学习,直至大师于1992年末去世。同一时期,派瑞克利还跟随纳什般迪派和诺斯替派哲人阿卜杜拉多安学习十四年,直到1987年阿卜杜拉去世,跟随拉贾斯坦的胜王瑜伽大师穆尼玛哈拉吉学习三十余年,直至穆尼大师在2007年以105岁高龄去世。

Infinite Dao – 前半生 Previous Life

Extracts from Patrick Kelly’s book ‘Infinite Dao’ Chapter 1. (Part 1)

前半生 Previous Life

时间回到距离此次初访四年前的1973年。当时的我在即将结束新西兰惠灵顿大学学业之前,就已经开始学习黄大师太极。我从小练习格斗术,而太极就是我的巅峰格斗术。随太极而来的,还有后来令我兴趣倍增的深奥灵修术。自十岁起,住在父母农场里的我便开始学习西方拳击和摔跤;12岁,全家搬到一个小镇,我还在学拳击和摔跤。到了16至18岁,面对高中期末考试以及大学入学准备的压力,我暂时将格斗学习放置。19岁时,我离开父母搬到了惠灵顿继续数学学位的学习。Exactly 4 years before this first meeting, while approaching the end of my university studies in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1973, I had begun training Master Huang’s system of Taiji. That in itself was the culmination of many childhood years training the fighting arts, together with a more recent interest in esoteric spiritual arts. From the age of 10, while still living on my parents’ farm, I trained in western boxing and wrestling. At the age of 12 we moved into a small town where I continued that training. From 16 to 18 my training lapsed as I completed my final exams at high school and began University. At the age of 19 I left home and moved to Wellington, where I continued with my mathematics degree.

Intrinsic motivation

打心眼里我就对个体的内修很感兴趣。生活中的人们往往会避开自身不足,偏重自身优势,这让个人的平衡承压。狭隘的大学环境令很多教授迷失自我,可我并不想成为其中的一份子。于是我去学心理学,却又发现那些肤浅的学术研究对我没有任何帮助。长时间以来,我一直苦苦思索着自己今后的人生道路。With an intrinsic interest in the inner-workings of the individual and having noticed how people oriented their lives towards their strengths while avoiding their deficiencies, thereby increasing their personal imbalance, I recognised a danger of losing myself in the narrow university atmosphere – as so many of the professors obviously had. In vain I included some courses in psychology, but the superficial academic approach negated any benefit. I thought deeply over that time on how to direct the rest of my life.

Developing emotions

很明显,我的情感部分在标准化教育体系下并没有得到良好发挥。为了解决这一困境,我阅读了大量创意类和艺术类书籍,思忖着它们能助我增强情绪状态。但坚持了近两年后,我发现它们的帮助并不大而且也过于以己为中心。再往下走的最好办法,就是要在日常生活中与周边人做更深入的情感互动。据此,我决定将方向重新确定。原来的我在大学环境下,走是纯学术化、知识型的方向;现在的我,要视一切以人类互动为前提的生活为目标,自觉激发平衡生活追寻之路上的不足。It was clear that the emotional part of myself, due to the standardised school system, had been under-exercised. As a possible remedy to this I read many books on creativity and the arts and seriously considered the potential of these fields to enhance my emotional state. But after pursuing the arts for almost 2 years, I decided that the emotional development resulting from the fine arts was in general too limited in scope and too egocentric. The best way forward, it appeared, was to involve myself more deeply in the daily emotional interactions with people about me in normal life. I decided from that point on to re-orient myself from the purely academic, intellectual direction, towards which my university experience had been pushing me, to a life where human interactions came first and all other things second, consciously invoking my weaknesses in pursuit of a balanced life.

Continued…….

pk2web克利 Patrick A Kelly

began Taiji with an experienced student of Master Huang Xingxian in 1973. In 1977 he moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he studied full time in Master Huang’s school. In 1979, following tradition, Master Huang accepted Patrick as his personal disciple – the only non-Chinese to ever enter Huang’s inner-school. From that time Patrick Kelly travelled and taught beween Asia, Australasia and Europe while continuing to learn personally with Master Huang untill his death late 1992. Simultaneously Patrick worked closely both with the Naqshibandi Gnostic Sage Abdullah Dougan for 14 years until Abdullah’s death in 1987 and for 30 years with the Raja Yogi Mounimaharaj of Rajasthan who died in 2007 at more than 105 years old.

1973年,派瑞克利开始向黄性贤大师的一位资深学生学习太极。1977年,他来到马来西亚吉隆坡,在黄性贤大师的学校全日制学习太极。1979年,遵循传统惯例,黄性贤大师收派瑞克利为徒,他成为了黄性贤大师唯一的非华人入室弟子。自那时起,派瑞克利往来于亚洲、澳洲及欧洲教拳,同时继续私下向黄性贤大师学习,直至大师于1992年末去世。同一时期,派瑞克利还跟随纳什般迪派和诺斯替派哲人阿卜杜拉多安学习十四年,直到1987年阿卜杜拉去世,跟随拉贾斯坦的胜王瑜伽大师穆尼玛哈拉吉学习三十余年,直至穆尼大师在2007年以105岁高龄去世。

Infinite Dao

Earlier this week I contacted a friend of mine living in Shanghai. I connected with him with the intention of reconnecting and finding out if he had any marital arts articles to share. At present he’s training at 9 Clouds Taiji in Shanghai under Patrick Kelly. Immediately, he connected with Patrick Kelly who give me permission to publish the preface and first chapter of his book Infinite Dao. So here is your first instalment.

《无极·道》作者:INFINITE DAO

前言 PREFACE

虽然,人们对各种灵修的历史发掘的越远,对其发展的认知就愈发扑朔迷离,但这一研究却能让我们清楚地意识到以下两点:首先,经过德才兼备的师父对虔诚弟子的精心传授,这些灵修的思想精髓得以绵延不断地传承至今;其次, 要表述和传授这些精髓的玄妙所在,每位师父就必须创作出自身独特的教学方法。教学传授,要么向外蜕变,要么向内衰亡。The further back in time we look, the more obscure becomes the history of all spiritual traditions, yet from the study of this past, two things become clear – first, that the inner-essence of these traditions flows down through genuine teachers to sincere pupils in unbroken chains, and second, that each teacher must devise his or her own training system to express and pass on this impersonal inner-essence. The teaching is bound to evolve outwardly or die inwardly.

本书记录了19722006年的35年间,我与道家、苏菲派和瑜伽派等派内一系列“杰出人物”的会面与修学。写作伊始,我本想就自身所获进行细述。但随着落笔的深入,我意识到自己想要传达的信息与其所处各种诱因状况以及那些帮助过我的人们的生活之间,具备着不可分割的联系;再往下写,就需要将更多的学习经验纳入到写作中。如此,我愈发认识到,相较于通过学习获得的简单事实,现实生活中的交互影响以及自身对这些影响的感受其实更为重要。而那些影响和经历,锤炼并锻造了我的认知基础。This book records my meetings and studies with a series of “remarkable people” within the Daoist, Sufi and Yogic traditions, during the 35 years from 1972 to 2006. When beginning to write, my intention was to describe in detail just what I had learnt, but during the initial writing I realised that this information was neither independent from the situations that gave rise to it, nor from the lives of the people who had helped me. Continuing to write, while including more of those learning experiences, I gradually realised moreover that those real-life interactions and resulting experiences that formed the anvil on which was forged my understanding, were even more important than the plain facts of what had been learnt. 

在学习与传授中,对己对人我都一贯力求扶持个体的心灵进步,做到日积跬步的进步,并促进内心的升华。在形式上,我倾向于道家的开明哲学和细化的培训方法;但内心里,我知道正确的道路只有一条,而那是一条超越你的思维、引导你穿越层层自我带你回到内心最深处的道路。My direction in learning and teaching has always been to support the spiritual process in myself and in others, both in the sense of gradual evolution in daily life and accelerated inner refinement. Outwardly my inclination was towards the open philosophy and refined training methods of the Daoists, but inwardly I knew there has only ever been one true Way. That is the Path that leads back through the layers of yourself to the deepest regions within – beyond the mind.

太极可以说是道教原则中最玄妙的一项。意识到这点后,我便义无反顾地投身于其中,以期发掘出太极深处的奥妙所在。命运让我与本书提及的最重要杰出人物 — 我的导师黄性贤大师相遇,也正是黄大师的太极成就了我35年来的心灵之路。而期间出现的另一位重要人物,苏菲派的谢赫·阿普杜拉·杜根大师,也同样成就了我这一心灵之路的无相精要。 除了为我构建心灵根基的这两位大师,我还遇见了其他许多拓宽并深化了我的视野的卓越人物,这其中对我影响时间最长、最终对我影响同样巨大的,就是沙漠瑜伽大师摩尼·马哈拉吉。Recognising Taiji as potentially a most subtle practice of Daoist Principles, I jumped in with the intention of diving to its depths – fate placing me for guidance in the care of Master Huang Xingxian, the principal “remarkable person” of this account. While his Taiji methods gave form to my inner journey throughout those 35 years, the formless essence of the Way was equally influenced by another remarkable person, Sufi Shaikh Abdullah Dougan. With these two as the base, further remarkable people helped my own vision to broaden and deepen, the most enduring and finally equally strong and influential, being the Desert Raja Yogi, Mouni Maharaj.

上述三位大师及诸多杰出人物的理念形成并酿就了我35年来的心灵成长体系(见《道家原则之践行》),如今我将之浓缩于本书之中。在他们的指导下,我的实践与教学随着自身内在认知的发展而不断演进。引导他人从最初对导师的依赖走向最终对内心真实自我的依靠,这一心灵的演变进程,就是我的授业目标。My system of inner-development (Daoist Principles in Practice) that has emerged and matured over that 35 year period, within the vision of these 3 remarkable people and more, is condensed and contained within this book. Under the direction of these teachers my practice and teaching has evolved with the growth of my own inner understanding. Leading others through this same gradual process of inner evolution, from external dependence on a teacher to internal dependence on their Real Self, is the aim of my teaching.   

时至今日,我的太极拳教学都表现为以精神、情感和体质系统等为基础的教学,但它的精髓却是独立的,并远超太极拳道的表象之外。学习者会在适合自己所需级别的太极拳学习中获益,其学习的动机也因个体的不同而千差万别。太极拳在予人健康方面,具备很高的价值。通过不断的练习,太极拳践行者能拥有行云流水般的行动力,宁静致远的内在平和力,以及清晰镇静的思考力。太极拳对力道与能量的运用艺术不仅令人着迷,其实用性也非常之强。Externally, until now, I have based my teaching on the mental, emotional and physical system of Taijiquan – but the essence of my teaching is independent of and goes far beyond the obvious methods of Taijiquan. People benefit from it on the level that suits their needs. The motivations to practise are almost as many and as individual as there are Taiji practitioners. The health aspect of Taiji is of value. The increasing ability to move freely and naturally, feel calmly and deeply, and think clearly and quietly is appreciated by all. The art of dealing with forces and energies is profoundly interesting and practically useful.

对初学者而言,我的太极拳教学法能让他们免受各种生硬规则的束缚。其实,除了规则,世上还有各种经改良后会随着学习者的进步也不断演进的教授方法。太极典籍虽制定了各种原则, 但我们每名学习者还须亲身再次体验这些原则的真谛所在。对这些基本原则的领悟并不是一成不变的,因为随着太极的发展,那些领悟也会出现更加微妙的变化。而一旦寻得某种真谛,你就一定要将其融入到实践中。如此以往,你终将做到自我依靠下的独立学习。My presentation of Taiji has been designed to free people from the restrictions of the various rigid rules commonly taught to beginners. Rather than rules there exist various training methods that are programmed to evolve as people develop. The principles are laid out in the Taiji Classics but each person must re-experience their truth for themselves. The understanding of those principles is not static – it necessarily becomes more subtle as our Taiji progresses. However once you find something true for yourself then you must incorporate it into your practice. This way you gradually take responsibility for your own learning.

由于师从郑曼青大师,师公又是杨澄甫大师,黄师父门下弟子众多,但这并不是说,成为其弟子多年就一定能习得其太极艺术的精妙所在。“我没料到你会学到那么多”,这是师父给我的临终遗言,它一语道出了这一不确定性。As with his teacher Grandmaster Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-ching) and his teacher’s teacher The Great Yang Chengfu, Master Huang had many pupils, but just the fact of being his student for a long time did not ensure success in learning the subtlety of his art. There were no guarantees. Even the last significant words Master Huang spoke to me before his death, “I never expected that you would learn so much”, clearly expressed this uncertainty.

无论是在实践中还是在生活中,即便是在写作本书时,我都重视、牢记并尽可能地,在以自然规律为中心下,让自己对平衡、勇气、品德,以及外柔内刚等的运用,都达到最理想的境界,虽然这一切都还有待臻善。In writing this book, as in my own practice and in my own life, I valued, remembered and made my best, though imperfect, attempt to apply, the ideals of balance, courage, integrity, external gentleness and internal strength, all within the embracing principle of naturalness.

作为指南,在阅读本书时,请谨记道家这句名谚:忘心忘境,忘我忘人,不著一物;住于虚无,方可入道。As guidance to reading this book, remember the Daoist saying, ”Behind the words is a picture and behind the picture is the intention. When you get the picture forget the words and when you get the intention forget the picture – then you will be close to the reality.” 

Continued………

pk2web克利 Patrick A Kelly

began Taiji with an experienced student of Master Huang Xingxian in 1973. In 1977 he moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he studied full time in Master Huang’s school. In 1979, following tradition, Master Huang accepted Patrick as his personal disciple – the only non-Chinese to ever enter Huang’s inner-school. From that time Patrick Kelly travelled and taught beween Asia, Australasia and Europe while continuing to learn personally with Master Huang untill his death late 1992. Simultaneously Patrick worked closely both with the Naqshibandi Gnostic Sage Abdullah Dougan for 14 years until Abdullah’s death in 1987 and for 30 years with the Raja Yogi Mounimaharaj of Rajasthan who died in 2007 at more than 105 years old.

1973年,派瑞克利开始向黄性贤大师的一位资深学生学习太极。1977年,他来到马来西亚吉隆坡,在黄性贤大师的学校全日制学习太极。1979年,遵循传统惯例,黄性贤大师收派瑞克利为徒,他成为了黄性贤大师唯一的非华人入室弟子。自那时起,派瑞克利往来于亚洲、澳洲及欧洲教拳,同时继续私下向黄性贤大师学习,直至大师于1992年末去世。同一时期,派瑞克利还跟随纳什般迪派和诺斯替派哲人阿卜杜拉多安学习十四年,直到1987年阿卜杜拉去世,跟随拉贾斯坦的胜王瑜伽大师穆尼玛哈拉吉学习三十余年,直至穆尼大师在2007年以105岁高龄去世。

Timing, Placement and Power

by Sifu Adam Mizner

When I am teaching classes or workshops on taijiquan I always emphasize the three principles of timingplacement and power.

These three skills are not only fundamental to acquiring real world taijiquan skills but are fundamental to the successful application of any martial arts technique.

TIMING

Timing Placement PowerBruce Lee and other famous martial artists often talk about speed as one of the most important attributes of a successful martial artist.  This is not untrue, though I would say that timing is more important than mere speed. It is certainly possible to miss the mark because one arrives too early or is too fast.

Understanding this we should strive to master timing rather than just speed. When we arrive “on time” in this way, our opponent is where we perceived him to be and our technique is neither early nor late.  In tai chi chuan this ‘correct time’ is when the opponent has “fallen to emptiness”, he is off balance and frozen or double heavy.  This is the right time to attack and finish the confrontation. Many attacks delivered with the wrong timing are not as effective as one that is delivered on time, whether it be delivered fast or slow.

PLACEMENT

The skill that is most often overlooked in modern martial arts training is the skill of being in the right place at the right time, not just applying the technique at the right time.  This is referring to the footwork, angle of attack, distance and also the impact area. The training to develop this skill of placement is honed and refined in tai chi chuan within the arena of push hands practice. It is here within pushing hands that we can investigate and ingrain all the different body positions and their advantages and disadvantages.

Push hands allows one to train this in a safe way and to get familiar with the up close and personal fighting range of tai chi chuan, a range that is shared by very few styles, somewhere between the clinch range and the striking range. This taiji range gives us the advantage of being able to strike or throw without changing range and keeps us in a range that most opponents simply are not familiar with.

When you placement is correct you naturally exploit the weakness in your opponent’s structure while capitalizing on the strength of your own.   The application of Da or Fa will leave you in a perfect structure, neither confined nor over extended and the placement and angle of the body and arms should make you as safe as possible, whilst still being able to apply your technique on the opponent.

POWER

It is said in Chinese martial arts that Gong Li or power is the most important skill a martial artist can possess.  I consider this to be absolutely true and in my teaching and training I place a great deal of effort into the development of power.

Just imagine fighting with a small child who has many techniques, has good timing and good placement but lacks power. The child would be unable to finish the fight and we, as grown adults could easily defeat the child simply with power, even with little technique.  This illustrates the importance of Gong Li or power in martial arts.

Waijia cultivates Gong Li with many methods, including various kinds of weight lighting and resistance training, striking bags to develop powerful full body coordination and conditioning of the body to make the body hard and resistant to impact.  Within the Neijia schools the development of Gong li is equally important, however the method to attaining it and the kind of force we generate is very different.  This is where the differentiation between Jin and Li becomes important.  While Li is generated by the contraction of muscle and the acceleration of mass, Jin is generated by the release of tension and the propagation of waves of force through the body.  This topic is beyond the scope of this short article, we can look at it in a future blog.

For practical purposes, in taiji quan the jin is cultivated through the practice of standing pole, form practice and sometimes heavy weapons.  Although the jin is cultivated in such solo trainings it is in the partner practice of pushing hands and fajin that we learn to refine this power and how to apply it with timing and placement. When these three skills of timing, placement and power come together, we have the almost magical looking effortless power that tai chi chuan is famous for.

In the below video you can see a demonstration of timing, placement and power.

Sifu Adam Mizner teaches Yang Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), in the tradition of Huang Sheng Shyan and Yang Shao HouWith his Discover Taiji online training programme you will find one of the most complete and powerful traditional Tai Chi Chuan systems available today.  The programme openly provides all of the tools, methods and training secrets his personal students at the Heaven Man Earth Taiji school have been enjoying.