LFIAA Taiji Self Defence “Moving Slowly To Move Fast”

When you begin to learn taijiquan be it for health or self defence the guiding principles that are taught to you are exactly the same. For example you are told to remain relaxed, develop correct body alignment, sink your bodyweight and off cause “Move Slowly to Move Fast”. There are many more guiding principles, these mentioned above are just a few examples, that the principles one follows when practicing taijiquan for health and wellbeing are exactly the same for taiji self defence methods (Taiji Zi Wei Fa). So let us just look at the principles already mention above and connect to the practice of taiji self defence.

Remain relaxed. This is very important, but can be the most difficult for some individuals to achieve, especially when being under assault from an assailant. But the more you practice your taijiquan forms and taiji qigong exercises you will naturally develop a more relaxed, loose (Song) body and a calm, focused mind. Which through regular practice and training of the self defence methods of taijiquan you can use to your benefit. Relaxation (Song), is so important as it stops you from panicking and stiffening your body, which can immediately affect your own balance, issuing your power into your self defence techniques etc.

Correct body alignments. Through the practice of the taijiquan form you are told to keep an upright body shape, allowing for your shoulders, elbows and knees to remain slightly bent, to move from your centre the (Dantian) “elixir field” located behind your navel. You must not lean your body in any direction or lock your joints as this can greatly effect your ability to defend yourself.

Sinking your bodyweight. Combines both the ability to develop a relaxed body and correct body alignments together. Relaxation allows the individual to not tense or become still which can force them to raise they centre of gravity. Correct body alignment develops the individuals awareness to sink their shoulders, elbows and knees to lower their centre of gravity into their legs and feet and then into the ground, developing a better sense of stability and connection to the ground, making the bottom half of their body develop a feeling of heaviness that is rooted (Gen) into the ground to allow the taiji individual to also issue great power and strength into their taiji self defence techniques.

Moving slowly to move fast. Everyone whether they practice taijiquan for health or self defence or maybe both. Must start their learning of taijiquan slowly at first to develop their accuracy, timing, precision, reactions, concentration, co-ordination, agility. But to also learn how to relax, maintain correct body alignment, move the whole body as one complete unit, learning to sink their bodyweight to develop power and strength. Once the taiji individual begins to understand these guiding principles and can put them into practical application, then in the case of using taijiquan for self defence they must then simply add speed to issue power (Fa Jin) into their self defence methods connecting both the internal & external aspects of taijiquan practice.

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