Hans-Peter, what I saw of Doc-Fai Wong’s hand form was just a few seconds of clips included in the introduction to his Wind Chasing Fan Video. I recognized the style of his form from the clips and recall fajing in connection with some of the heel kicks and a left to right crescent kick that seemed to correspond to where Shi Zi Tui (Cross Kick) falls in the form. I presume the clips come from his video entitled Yang Family Tai Chi 109 Form, Item 1251 from the Wayfarer Publications Catalog (www.tai-chi.com
), which I have not viewed myself.
Louis, thanks for the clarification about the trajectory of the fist. I find it interesting, intriguing, yet still somewhat puzzling. If indeed the fist must come from the hollow of the chest, it would seem that it cannot be fully powered all the way from the hip. I find it hard to envision a force vector that would curve up and inward to the centerline and then outward in a straight line. However, maybe what you are describing is a punch that terminates at the centerline, but only appears to come from the heart. Let me theorize.
In helping to teach the Saber Form, I have become more attuned to the fact that many of the trajectories we envision for the arms are actually incorrect, because we switch our frame of reference back and forth from the stationary floor to our rotating torso. What may be a circle or curve with respect to the floor, may be quite a different shape with respect to the torso, or vice versa. In this case, although we may envision the fist as beginning at our side or flank, it is actually already quite “in front” of the body and near the center line, since the elbow and fist are actually oriented east and west with the fist on the south side of the body, whereas our torso is oriented southeast to northwest. If the fist is “snuck” just a little “forward” (eastward) and up during the beginning of the waist turn, I can see how it is possible to “launch” it with full arm force (on top of the force already being generated by the rest of the body) from the heart and centerline. Does this make any sense?
By the way, this discussion reminds me of a sharp memory I have of Yang Zhenduo demonstrating this punch, probably on the video, but perhaps in person. If memory serves, he was illustrating some point other than the trajectory of the fist. I remember it because I noticed something odd about the rotation and direction of the face of his fist and/or the position of his fist with respect to his elbow. It seemed to me that his fist was not between his elbow and his striking point, but I was unsure if this was deliberate, a byproduct of the fact that he was emphasizing another point, or just an optical illusion. I recall this because what I saw was quite different from the “Karate” principles I understood, but did not match anything I had heard or read yet in Taijiquan. I do not recall noticing this orientation at other times, but wonder now if I was seeing something related to this issue of launching the fist from the heart. At the time, I was most interested in the fact that the fist rotated much, much earlier than I was taught in my Karate.
A perhaps different thought I have is that I have been operating under the assumption that the Yangs have a form principle that dictates that the Jin point of a straight arm always ends up in line with the shoulder and that the Jin point of a curved arm lines up with the centerline. Is this what everyone else understands? I raise this in this context, because I have been assuming that the fist in the Yangs’ form must end up in line with the right shoulder, regardless of its origin.