Archive for the ‘Taijitube’ Category

Taiji, Fajin and Not All Niceness and Cultivation Stuff

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

There have been numerous posts recently on how to do fajin, and we’ve received quite a few emails about how the fajin can be used in a more self-defense and combat context. So in answer to all the questions:

1) Yes you can use fajin to issue power, but doing it in a combat context is a different avenue of study to that of cultivation. When you’re learning it you can use it to cultivate both but there comes a point when you have to decide within your training session either to train power issuance, or train cultivation.
2) No it is not a method to crush bone and smash all and sundry in just 7 days. Crushing said bone is just a by product of being able to generate power. Proper fajin, in that I mean, fajin that isn’t going to injure you or your training partner is the result of careful training. Power as they say, is nothing without control and developing just the power bit is not going to help you to crush aforesaid bone. You also need to develop accuracy and control to deliver the goods where and when you want to
3) Yes, cultivation and self defence are two different avenues of study, both have many common elements to begin with but quickly branch off. You can specialise in one or the other or spread yourself over the two depending on your own training goals
4) There is a two man form in taiji, and parts of it are what you see in the video above. If there is a way to perform it for health we don’t know it, for us, cultivation is mainly done via forms and qigong, we save the paired exercises for trying to bat each other senseless.

Fu Zhongwen’s Fajin

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

One speculation as to why Fajin was not emphasised in the modern syllabus of Taijiquan is because elderly people may find it more difficult to do. Well here’s a counterexample. Fu Zhongwen, Yang Chengfu’s student doing Fajin at the ripe old age of whatever he’s at when this was shot.

Notice how springy his arms and body are. This Fajin may not be for martial purposes, but you can see that it’s keeping him supple and limber despite his age. Taijipedia believes that you need to have some fast and hard movement to balance the soft forms that are practised so often, and practising Fajin softly like in this video is certainly the way forward.

Fajin doesn’t always have to be the big issuance of energy to destroy everything in your path. Fu Zhongwen clearly isn’t out to kill anyone with what he’s demonstrating here, although I’m pretty sure that it’d hurt if he went for you. It’s very clear how the power is manifesting in his hands, and the core is moving, even though you may not be able to see it easily because of his clothing and, er… chi belly.

The great thing about this clip is that anyone can take a look at it and start to practise Fajin by themselves. My advice is not to do too much of it, don’t exhaust yourselves. Practise maybe 5-10 minutes of it if you’re new to it. Increase the time as part of you Taijiquan practise as you get better at it. The key to good Fajin is relaxation, you have to be relaxed enough for the power to flow.

The other key is being gentle. There is no need to go hell for leather if you’re doing this for health. Gently, softly, easily is what you should be aiming for.

My last bit of advice is that it feels a bit like a sneeze. It’s a sudden shake of the body that produces a wave into the hands.

Zhao Bao Taijiquan

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

This one is in here for curiosity’s sake.  This guy is clearly very athletic, and the stances are brutally low.  He is clearly a professional at this and as such is someone to observe and learn from, rather than someone you should emulate, that is unless you yourself are a Taijiquan professional.  His movements are very smooth and he is moving from centre in a way that I’ve not seen in someone so young for a long time (he could be older than he looks by the way.  Hard to tell with these Taiji people sometimes!)  You don’t need to be anywhere NEAR this good to get a lot of good health benefits from Taiji.

As it happens, whilst being able to do this is really great, you won’t be able to do this forever.  Just watch some of the video clips of old masters doing Taiji or Bagua and their stances are nowhere near this low. If you go back to the Bagua video clip of Master Sun, you’ll note that you d0n’t need to have stunning flexibility and gymnastic skill to be good at the internal arts.

At is happens this dude has both, and lots of it too.

Chen Xiao Wang – Chen Taijiquan 38 Form

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Chen Xiao Wang is an.. um.. Chen style Taiji Master.  This display is rather recent, either 2007 or 2008 I think.

The date at which it was taken doesn’t matter, nor does the slightly jittery camera work.  Master Chen’s movements are focused, solid and powerful, he has that “flavour” of the movement and his fa jing is superb.

What I took away from watching this is that although his core does not appear to be moving that much, it must be to be able to produce movement like that and fa jing that explosive. You’ll never look like that just waving your arms without your body being involved.  So this means that what might feel like big movements of the body, can look like they’re very small or nonexistent.

The other thing to note is that his movement is so great because he has mastered the art of making his body movement small.  His centre is clearly moving, to power the form, but you can only see its manifestation clearly in the hands and feet, you’ll have to look very closely to see how he’s moving his core.

Master Sun Zhi Jun – Ba Gua Zhang

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Whilst it is ironic to post a Ba Gua video on a Taiji site, this video is really rather illuminating.  Sun Zhi Jun is the teacher of Jing Li, one of our teachers and friends.  It is interesting to note that despite his age, and the complexity of the movement, Master Sun still moves from his centre and all his movement are obviously relaxed and powerful.

What I find most instructive about this video, however, is the fact that it is possible to move like that.  It may take years to achieve, but it is possible to flow like that, and to be in such good shape when you’re that old.  I find it rather inspiring actually