Contained Power Training In Tai Chi Chuan:
Martial Tai Chi Chuan is characterized as a system using the leverage of joints and bone structure coordinated with a flexible yielding power, to neutralize or initiate strategy in combat. The movements may contain elements of constant flexing or relaxed force in a continuous flowing nature. There are different layers of flexed force as well as different densities of relaxed force. We will discuss the Yin energy aspects of Tai Chi Chuan, categorizing the flex of movements which are externally smooth, slow to medium rate and constant, and consisting of contained power development (visually no fajing, or energy release), during muscular flex and torque. In slow to medium rate routine training, one Yin energy flex category used is the “Relaxed Peng Flex”. When training the Tai Chi frame with the Relaxed Peng, the form externally looks structurally sound, expansive, firm, but seems relaxed at the same time. Relaxed Peng is a medium density muscular flex. A more heavily dense Yin muscular flex is the “Intent Power Flex”. This category externally looks more dense and powerful, even though the practitioner is moving at a slow to medium rate. The muscular flex is constant and maximized, every point between postures contains micro coiling and contained power release along the entire plane of the movement or posture. Crucial to Yin energy training methods, the Intent Power Flex needs to be contained or linked with the other Yin energy methods for martial stopping power in Yin training. The Intent Power Flex is important to train foundationally before jumping straight into less dense Yin energies of the “Relaxed Peng Flex” or “Dissolving Flex”. It is a common misunderstanding that relaxing the flex is always the best way to achieve smooth and continuous fluid movement. By flexing more densely, one may grind and polish the tense external muscular layers faster, which results in a truly functional yet polished muscular flex, or relaxed power. The third Yin energy category is the “Dissolving Flex”. This flex method transitions between Relaxed Peng Flex density to a moment of quick complete relaxed flex, and immediately back to Relaxed Peng. The Dissolving Flex externally looks the most yin of the three discussed Yin energy categories. The posture or technique with the Dissolving Flex may fluctuate between spring-like density to that of water.