This is a very fast and powerful punch and is quite difficult to block, as it is not quite straight or round. It is like a curved punch but on a much less arc.
Once again you block to the left, Photo No. 149. Then the right fist flicks out due to the turning of the waist and turns so that the small finger is upward upon impact. Photo No. 150.
In this section I have covered only a few of the easier punching techniques from t'ai chi. There are others of course but they should be taught personally. I have covered more than enough punches to cover any situation. Practice on a bag by yourself at first to understand about timing and don't go too hard at first. Learn about relaxation and centrifugal force. Then ask someone to throw a few different attacks so that you are able to try them out in a more realistic situation. Keep in mind though, that nothing will prepare you for a real fight. So just because a few of your techniques start to work don't become over-confident.
Power is the most important aspect of any technique. If you are unable to knock an attacker down with your first punch then you will have to re-think your art. When you practice with a partner, try to
punch right through his blocks so that you are able to lightly touch your target. This will also give your partner good practice at blocking more realistic attacks. This is most important as many martial artists only ever have practice in the school where-by the students don't throw full power punches. This is also where great control is necessary so that you do not knock your partner out. You must of course pull the attack short of the target so that no one gets hurt. Or, you could invest in some GOOD protective equipment but even then control is necessary, as nothing will stop percussion from a really strong attack.
It is important for martial artists, especially of the 'internal schools' to be conversant with all of the regular kicking techniques in order to know how to defend against them. Too many Tai Chi practitioners use the old 'cop out' of "if it isn't in the form, I won't use it". What happens of course is that his opponent uses a kick that he is not familiar with and so he is struck! I don't believe in using high flashy kicks but I do think that it's necessary to know how to use them. The most devastating kicks are low to the legs; these are almost impossible to defend against especially if used in a defensive mode.
T'ai chi does have some of it's own kicking techniques. These are usually kept low and simple and only used when we know that they will work. Usually we will use the excellent hand techniques for some time, this puts our opponent at ease in thinking that we do not use kicks, then we will put in a stomach heel kick or one to the chest and it usually works.
Continue reading here: The Front Heel Kick
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