Tai Chi and Kun Tao

Master Reeders thought that Tai Chi and Kun Tao were synonymous, for both are hard and soft at the same time, both can deliver a devastating strike from a long or short distance, both can attack with lateral movement or attack from any position reflexively.

It is important how the direction of all our movements relate to each other and how and when we use this power. Balance (mental, physical, and Spiritual) is paramount. The effective use of energy and movement towards the weakest moment and position of our enemy is also paramount.

Tai Chi is the formal foundation of the movements. First you learn to move slowly, then accurately, then fast, and then explosively. Kun Tao is the most extreme use of Tai Chi. Master Reeders said it was “Controlled Insanity”. Explosiveness comes in many ways. Differences in use, speed, length, texture, contact point (i.e., shoulder strike, elbow or knee) and focus. It can be used slowly or fast, hard or soft. When we use explosive power there is a fundamental difference between Tai Chi/Kun Tao and other martial arts. We use Chi and never try to meet power with power. Instead of trying to block a strike, we try to deflect or re-direct it. What is important is to always maintain our balance and to unbalance the opponent. When the opponent has lost their balance, they cannot properly block your power or get away from it because they are consumed with trying to regain their balance. Consequently a Kun Tao or Tai Chi practitioner needs far less power to hurt or control our opponent. We may start to dissipate an opponent’s power but turn that into a strike and vice-versa. With the use of our sensitivity training, we become aware as to when to use the appropriate action in each encounter.

When people in other martial arts constrict their muscles to issue power, they lose naturalness and speed. Their movements are easy to avoid and we can stop them from using a counter-attack against us almost without their conscious knowledge. Hard muscles tire easily and lose coordination and endurance. We create an energy with our mind and we use our body momentum as a means of delivering relentless power which flows over our opponent like a torrential river, unstoppable and unending until the battle is over. Master Reeders once said, “As long as you have one finger to move, you have one finger to kill” and “When you move, you fly”.

Momentum is a powerful ally. The pure momentum of a thrown rock is devastating when it hits you, so your hits are “thrown”, not “punched”. Speed and mass and an illusion which hides its intention, and delivery is almost invisible and indefensible. When we increase our speed, we increase our momentum. We always use our body weight to strike. We jump, drop, torque, and so on. We use all parts of our body as weapons. We use our body like a whip and we always want to be at an angle to our opponent, to be at the most advantageous position to do whatever we want to. Before we use the “fruit” of our strike, we want our opponent to be confused and stunned. The upper part of our body is loose and directed by our hips and into the lower part of our body. The same body mechanics that we use are used in other professional sports. If muscle power were totally used, we would be watching Arnold Schwarzenegger play golf instead of Tiger Woods or play basketball instead of LeBron James.

We use a reflexive, supple power similar to how a tiger crouches down before it attacks or when a bow is pulled back ready to shoot. This is achieved with the training of our body, mind and Spirit. Our movements feel effortless, more like an explosion, tornado or a hurricane. We keep our muscles trained with a natural relaxed tension. This stops you from using useless muscular tension. Relaxed does not mean limp, like a rag doll. We need and train body alignment and body structure. We need Chi. Chi is like snapping or whipping a towel, but with water in it. The flow of Chi relaxes the body, thus creating more momentum and speed. The use of Chi has a special reaction when we strike our opponent. The internal organs, not just the external muscles, are shocked.

Maintaining our balance is crucial. We do not lock our body to brace against the attack. We have an energy created by our mind that keeps us constantly moving, internally as well as externally. Having the ability to hit an opponent anywhere on his body should interrupt his electrical flow that should disable him. We do not aim at a particular spot, although we are precise and accurate. We train to penetrate his organs and tissue. This kind of focus is very dangerous and is not taught to untested or untrusted students. Several factors account for this devastating power. Your body should be relaxed, which allows for great speed and the ability to change not only your direction of movement but this ability upsets you opponents vision and timing as well as his ability to counter-attack and evade. You will be able to deliver maximum blows with minimal effort and be out of the way of danger.

If you want would like know more about this system, contact us at The World Kung-Fu Federation.

Reeders' Kun Tao System


Copyright © 2004 by Guy L. Savelli. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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