Friday, April 5, 2013

雲手拳 Cloud Hands Set







When the great Zhang San Feng entered perfect tranquility, his chi started to move. In Taijiquan terms, this is expressed as “Extreme stillness generates motion”, and is a manifestation of yin-yang interaction. As he let go, his movements became more vigorous, and were poetically described as “liu shui xing yun” (“lau shui hang wan” in Cantonese) or “Flowing Water, Floating Clouds”.

Later this great kungfu and Taoist master stylized these flowing movements into patterns which were later linked in a set, called “Wudang Thirty Two Pattern Long Fist”. This Wudang kungfu set evolved into Taijiquan.

In Taijiquan the flowing movements, I believe, came first; stylized forms came after the flowing movements. In other words, originally Taijiquan was preformed as a continuous flow; individualized patterns were later invented for the convenience of learning.

It is also significant to note that in Taijiquan, originally it was chi flow that generated forms, and not performing forms in the hope of generating chi flow, as many modern practitioners do, or hope to do. This does not mean that it is wrong to perform forms to generate chi flow (in fact we do this often), but if we understand the original concept and are able to put it into practice, we can bring our Taijiquan to a remarkable high level within a relatively short time.

Our Shaolin practitioners have a parallel concept. In the historical development of kungfu (including Taijiquan), combat application came first; individual patterns came later, and not vice versa as many modern kungfu practitioners believe. Hence, asking whether kungfu patterns can be used for combat, is irrelevant. Understanding this and being able to put it into practice will enable us to be combat efficient within a relatively short time.

Our Wahnam Taijiquan Simplified Set was composed with this flowing movement concept as one of the main considerations. Other considerations include functionality and comprehensiveness.

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