Mar 30, 2010

In A Master's Eyes



Couldn't leave this one out. This clip is from the movie Taiji Master we showcased earlier. It shows Taiji Master Yang Lu Chan facing his first opponent, a taekwondo master, in a seven level pagoda challenge. Though a seven level challenge sounds like a fun watch, it turned out to be mostly chop-suey action, so we won't be playing it here except for the first level. To the uninitiated, this clip looks like having some neat moves, but in a Master's eyes, much more could be discerned:
The Taijiquan master was fighting with a master from Cho-sen, which is the old name for Korea. Notice that Yang Lu Chan mainly retreated to avoid the fast and powerful kicks from his opponent.

The patterns used by Yang Lu Chan were Jade Girl, Cloud Hands (reversed movements), Fierce Dragon, Low Stance, Single Whip, Playing the Lute, Thrust Punch, Double Punches, Closing, Push Boat, Carry Tiger and Ground Kick. Except for the last pattern, all these patterns can be found in our Taijiquan. Nevertheless, Ground Kick is found in our Shaolin Kungfu as Spiritual Monkey Tests Cave.

As in Wahnam Taijiquan too, Yang Lu Chan often used Low Stance to avoid the opponent's kicks. At the end of the combat, while the opponent were panting, Yang Lu Chan was calm and unruffled, which is also the case in Shaolin Wahnam.

There are, however, some differences in combat philosophy between that shown in the video clip and in Wahnam Taijiquan. We would not spin around the way it was shown at the beginning of the combat when responding to a series of round-house and reversed round-house kicks. We would also not block a round-house kick using Jade Girl.

Rather, we would respond with Low Stance, or if we are skilful enough, spin into the opponent following his turning momentum so that we would land behind him. Moreover, in using Low Stance we would prefer a Reversed Bow-Arrow Stance instead of a frontal Horse-Riding Stance.  [edited, from Shaolin.org]
Experienced masters could quickly distinguish fighting patterns and would have ready counters at hand.

Related Posts: Taijiquan vs BaguazhangTaiji Master, The Finale

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