This is going to be, for some, an upsetting article on tai chi chuan. I’ve never taken instruction in the art of Tai Chi Chuan, you see, but my tai chi is the best. I don’t mean to be self serving, but let us see if you can find fault with me after you have read how I came up with my tai chi. I began learning tai chi with a book, Modified Tai Chi for Health by Lee Ying Arng. Every night I spent hours memorizing the form, trying to figure out the applications, trying to figure out the meaning. And, tell the truth, it didn’t mean much. So I went through books by Chen Man Ching, and I read Chen and Yang and Wu and Sun, but they all spoke this gobbledegook that didn’t make sense. So I began doing my Karate, I had near ten years experience in Kang Duk Won karate, and the thing started to resolve. I was using good, old karate power to juice up the form, and it worked, and then I was able to make what was happening into Tai Chi power. More important, I was neglecting all the mysticism and bushwah philosophy in the books and using physics. The martial arts, you see, as taught through the oriental method, are taught through the memorization of random strings of data. In physics you look for a reason, and a logic, and that will lead you to a concept. Now, ancient stories claim tai chi was created in a dream by san feng after he watched a fight between a crane and a snake. Or, it was created by an old, retired general in a village who wanted to make up games for the children. Neither of these concepts can be proven, but we can’t just discount them out of hand. Maybe the general in Chen village was old, couldn’t do the martial arts the way they should be done, careful not to hurt himself, and actually came up with something. And the vision of the snake and the crane, though I espouse physics I would not disclaim the value of visions, which are the dreams and inspiration of the human race. Still, whether rehabilitation of the aged and injured, or big dreams, tai chi does not make sense without the application of physics. So this is what I want you to do, I want you to go to a library and get a book on physics. Make it a simple book, kids pictures for illustrations, that sort of thing. It would really help if it was about a motor. Now, go over that book, and make lists of the terms are the same as in tai chi chuan. Rooting is grounding, what are these things called leads, where is the generator, and so on. Do that, and when the deep innards of your tai chi chuan start to reposition, do not come complaining to me.
Al Case has studied martial arts 4O+ years. He began Tai Chi Chuan in 1974, became a writer for the mags in 1981, and originated Matrixing Technolgy, which is the study of physics in the martial arts. You can get a free ebook on Matrixing at Monster Martial Arts.