The Practice of Tai Chi Long Boxing
by Peter Lim Tian Tek

Foreword

I'd like to share some of the aspects pertaining to the practice of Taiji Long Boxing. It was an advanced form taught by Yang Cheng Fu to supplement the main form. It must be noted though that to achieve combat capability and health results, practice in the main form is all that is necessary, the Taiji Long Boxing is simply a more active method of practice. There are six characteristics to note when practincing Taiji Long Boxing:

1) Loosen And Open All The Joints, Loosen All The Way To The Bottom

Loosen all the joints and extend them to enable ease of motion, this should be done from the head to foot. At no point should a joint be tightly unextended.

2) Chin Comes From The Foot, The Whole Body Acts As One In Coordination

Chin comes in two forms, grounded chin which makes use of the ground or objects attached to the ground as a base and ungrounded chin which makes use of the centre of mass of the body as a base. In TCC, for the most part uses grounded chin. It is generated from the ground and passes through the body like pulse, the body's joints transmit and amplify it with coordinative usage of musculature. The chin is thus focused and efficient strength refined thus to achieve the purpose of the move.

3) Use Internal Chin, Don't Use Brute Strength

Chin which is not obvious from external observation is denoted as being internal, for example if you push a rod against the wall, the rod can have strength which push it upwards instead of straight perpendicularly to the wall but that upwards strength vector is not obvious. So in TCC the internal flow of directed, efficient strength is more important than the external appearance. Don't use inefficient, unrefined, loosely focused strength.

4) In Looking Backwards Don't Break Or Lose, Continuous And Soft Without Breaks

In turning of the head to look backwards in some postures, use a small circle to turn the head without using the upper torso to effect it or you will break and lose the chin connection and coordination of the rest of the body, the turning of the body should be done with the feet and waist in conjuction, any defect in the posture can ultimately be traced to his. Movement should be continuous to retain efficient usage of momentum and soft without hard muscular tension. Tension occurs when muscles fight against one another and this reduces the efficient usage of the musculature which should be used coordinatively for maximum efficiency.

5) Testing Chin

Here is where the teacher lightly holds or attaches his hands to that of the student to detect any mistakes like not generating the chin from the legs, any postural defects which would cause a weakening of the structure, that the strength is not brutely used, that it is continuous and relaxed, etc.

6) Seek Insubstantiality And Calm, Use The Mind And Not Use Strength

One must seek calmness and emptiness in practice, to be one with the posture and unagitated so as to respond appropriately to any situation. Use the mind to focus the body and its actions and not just use brute strength to crash through.

Use the mind along each point of the movement, you'll be surprised how many 'dead spots' there are when you try doing that.

The Yang TC Long Boxing is an agile form with movements done quite fast and there is fa-jing inside.


All comments are most welcome.

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