Tuesday, March 30, 2010

6 Steps to Developing Your Own Secret Weapon Move in Kung Fu and Tai Chi

Many Kung Fu masters have developed unique signature moves that are known as their "secret weapons." Master Guo Yun Shen, who practiced Xing Yi Quan, the ancient, classical "internal" style of Kung Fu is famous for his Beng Quan or "Half-step Crushing Fist." He can release power in a short distance with this famous punch. Grandmaster, Cai Longyun, called "The Big Dragon with the Magic Fists" is known for his signature move, the “Golden Leg Hook." He can throw his opponent off-balance in seconds with a single leg kick. My Grandmaster, Cai Hong Xian, nicknamed “Fast Leg," has a great move called “Wind Following Palm.” He can hit his opponent's face with his palm four times in one second. He can also use his leg to joint-lock an opponent's arm.

These moves all sound so incredible, but what if it was possible to have your own secret weapon?

When you practice your Tai Chi form, do you have a move that you do best? Which move you are so familiar with that you think you don’t have to spend more time on it? Or do you have a particular movement in mind to which you want to devote more attention? If you do, maybe you can spend more time concentrating on this move. Here are some tips on how to start developing your secret weapon:

1. Practice it often! When you have identified your signature move, repeat it 300 times or more every day, so you can do it even without thinking.

2. Sharpen it up! Make your move unique by adding some of your own flavor. Think about smaller or bigger turns or a change of direction.

3. Test it out! If this move is for fighting, test it on partners. (Make sure do it slower at beginning and use good protection, so that nobody gets hurt.)

4. Get Feedback! Improve your move by getting feedback from your partners, classmates, or teacher.

5. Combine it! Combine your signature move with other movements. Do you ever repeat the same move in a fight or performance? Secret weapons often reveal themselves in fighting situations. Familiarize yourself with all the movements of your signature combination.

6. Give it a good name! When others start saying that you have a secret weapon, make sure you are ready with a good name. But remember, just as the grandmasters never called themselves Kung Fu Master or Sifu (teacher), you never announce that you have a secret weapon. The word has to come from other people’s mouths.

Copyrighted by Huan's Tai Chi 2010

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