Why we need to read and write and not just perfect our form alone to manifest Taichi practically

Tan Joke Min 2019.4/

I was a hardcore and avid reader of Taichi or Non-Taichi books written by Grandmaster Zheng and Master Wu. When Master Wu passed away in 2016, I decided to do brush calligraphy, word for word on books written by both of them. By doing so, I believe that I will be able to compel myself to slow down my reading and acquire a better understanding of the philosophical thought embodied in their works. In other words, I resort to start my path of Taichi through this boring practice of writing instead of just perfecting the Taichi form superficially. And at the end of the day, it works for a “not so smart guy” like me because I find more time to comprehend their thoughts and are inspired by their true teachings in their writings.

Master Wu elaborated in one of his books that his skill of Jing Fa in later years can be credited to the teaching of Grandmaster Zheng through the latter’s philosophical thought. These thoughts were intentionally incorporated in his non-Taichi books besides books specifically written for Taichi. In other words, Grandmaster Zheng didn’t apply a direct approach in teaching Taichi as a form of martial art alone. He would instead talk about Confucius, Laozi, Zhuangzi and Sunzi. He even reminded Master Wu on how to grow a better orchid flower while Master Wu was seen struggling with his posture of Zuo Peng in Taichi. The brainstorming sessions seemed to have nothing to do with Taichi but it eventually transform our Master Wu into a totally different personality. So the progress he had acquired at the end of the day was not just the marvelous skill of Taichi. It was also the macro philosophy of Taichi that had inspired him to broaden his perspective of thinking in life and his success in the world of Taichi.

Some of us may have overlooked the books that Master Wu had written while he was still available. But it was not until his demise that we have no choice but to go back to his books and to discover with surprise the voluminous valuable advice in Taichi -which are more than enough for us to study and explore this lifetime. When I started my secret mission of writing in brush calligraphy, I had literally found out that much of his teaching in Taichi was initially well written in his books. In another words, what needs to be said had already been said. And almost all his “Secret Weapons” in Jing Fa were either directly or indirectly revealed if not hidden in his books. Therefore, we have to be very slow and conscious enough in our reading and pause if necessary to analyse or else we may miss the “secret” possibly hidden in between the lines.

Some of us may wonder why we find it super tough in achieving progress after years and decades of learning plus training. We have come across many brothers and sisters who used to complain about how to do a better form, push hand and Ba Fa correctly until we are able to acquire the genuine skill of Fa Jing eventually. Generally speaking, the skill of Fa Jing is always upheld by many Taichi learners as the ultimate goal in Taichi which is again subjective.

Lately, there are discussions on FB (Private Group) detailing the likelihood of how Qi can possibly be channeled within the body to enable the internal power to uproot the opponent in a split of a second, as gently and lightly as possible. My personal experience is that Qi in this respect is truly playing a crucial role in achieving the uprooting effect from within the body. But the process of how the Qi can possibly be channeled from the initial point to the finishing point where the uprooting effect can be explosively manifested, continues to remain as a myth to me. I am afraid this is merely my very own experience. To me it still remains as an indescribable feeling. In other words, I may be able to do it, but I may find it difficult to explain how it happens.

We may have read about the Qi (Internal energy) from the books written by Grandmaster Zheng and Master Wu. Currently, our senior brothers are also making efforts to interpret and analyse the existence and application of that hidden power (Qi) from within our body in enhancing the power of Fa Jing. We strongly believe that we are on the right track to narrowing the gap on this “critical” issue especially after the post-San Qing Guan Era. But before a viable and effective teaching method can be fully developed and put into practice, every one of us (not just a handful) are still coveting that perfect moment of glory by sending off our opponent effortlessly via Fa Jing; well before he can detect. Until then, the ideal concept will remain as an uncompleted mission and no matter how it was perfectly conceptualized. The problem is basic. If you cannot manifest it, you cannot justify your conceptualization.

刊登於 2019 年《原幾》雜誌第三期