The Tai Chi Fighting Stance (Fighting with Formlessness)

tai-chi-fighting-1Step 2: Signature Stance / Technique (Function NOT Form)

The second step in learning a martial art as efficiently as possible is to define the signature stance, technique or movement of the style and learn how it’s used.

With Tai Chi this is tricky…

…because in Tai Chi goal is to be formless.

One reason there are so many different postures in Tai Chi is to mix it up so you don’t get locked into a specific posture or technique.

The closest physical representation of formlessness is the Wu Chi posture found at the beginning and end of all Tai Chi sets.

What is the fighting function of Wu Chi?

Wu Chi has many fighting uses. The two most important in the beginning are mobility and structure.

Our core Tai Chi strategy is to slip, dissolve, neutralize and disappear from in front of an attacker.

The simplest way to do this is to move.

Anytime the opponent tries to strike or grab simply move their target out of the way while keeping everything else close.

You must be able to move any body part in any direction instantly.

From the Wu Chi position you can move in any direction and become any other shape you need almost instantly.

Any other posture has directions it can move easily and directions it cannot.

The alignment of Wu Chi is also critical in dissolving and neutralizing the opponents attacks as well as providing power for your attacks.

Wang Tsung Yueh references this in “The Classics of Tai-Chi Chuan.”

“Keep the central position: do not show anything substantial or insubstantial to your opponent.”

As soon as you take on another Tai Chi posture areas become substantial and other insubstantial. (Though at an intermediate level you can begin hiding this to a degree.)

How do I learn this?

Formlessness is tough to wrap our heads around.

By definition it’s not tangible.

So many teachers have a tough time communicating it and students have trouble putting it into practice.

In “Freestyle Fighting the Tai Chi Way” Sigung Clear will teach you how to use this.

With hands on drills we’ll break down this formless fighting method and give you an effective way to put it into practice.

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