Friday, April 17, 2009
Esoterica In Tai Chi Chuan
Once again we see that much of modern Tai Chi Chuan practice is nothing as the art was intended. Refering again to Douglas Wile's "Lost Tai-Chi Classics From The Late Ching Dynasty" page 63, discussing the "Yang Family Forty Chapters":
"In the third category of texts we find advanced, even esoteric, techniques that go well beyond the specificity of the classics and beyond what has appeared in print in the twentieth century. These teachings begin with advanced grappling and pressure point concepts, noting especially their physiological effects in terms of traditional medicine. On a more advanced conceptional level, text 32 provides a sophisticated model for analyzing an opponents energy pattern. Taking an opponent's energy as "empty" or "bound", one employs techniques of "breaking" or "rubbing" in order to destabilize the balence of Chi and strength. Text 36 is a catalogue of hand and finger techniques so rich in it's detail and variety as to rival anything in all of martial arts literature".
(D.R.)- So here we understand that hidden within the original forms (as opposed to the 13-movement new-age crap) is the roadmap to joint manipulation, pressure point striking, and studies affecting Chi flow in the body's meridian system. The problem is I haven't met an instructor yet that can transmit all aspects of this advanced knowledge. For the Chin-na locking and joint manipulation, I had to learn Small-Circle Jujitsu techniques from the Jay family system. For pressure point information I had to learn from students of George Dillman and study acupunture theory and the work of Erle Montague's Dim Mak. For Taiji fighting techniques, nobody comes closer to explaining all of the above information than Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming. But finding teachers like Dr. Yang is very difficult, so we take it wherever we can get it.
Douglas Wile continues:
"That martial arts are a system of self-defense is self-evident, and the medical benifits of martial arts exercise is not a great leap. However, Chinese culture has taken the martial arts several steps further, merging them with meditation and inner alchemy, and finally presenting them as a path of ultimate self-realization through the Tao".