YELLOW BEE SUCKS POLLEN
Wong Foong Kun Yu
Realizing Taijiquan as a Martial Art
Many Taiji practitioners today do not realize that Taijiquan is a martial art. In fact, the term “quan” is a shortened form of “quan-fa” which means “kungfu” or “martial art” Hence “Taijiquan” means “Taiji Kungfu” or “Taiji Martial Art”.
But realizing it as a martial art is one thing, being able to practice it as a martial art is another. Many Taiji practitioners would like to be able to use their art for self-defence but have little idea of how to do so.
We conducted a regional Taijiquan course in Andorra in August 2006, and another one on the Blue Mountain in Costa Rica in January 2007 to address this topic. It is heartening that all course participants, including some fresh beginners, could apply Taijiquan in free sparring after a few days of the courses.
We composed the main instructional material into a set, called “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” after the pattern of the same name. This set, “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens”, is a parallel set to the simplified Shaolin set, Single Tiger Emerges from Cave. Hence, Wahnam Taijiquan students may use “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” as a base to practice combat application with Shaolin Kungfu students who use “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” as their base.
Some people may complain that our Wahnam Taijiquan as shown in “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” looks like Shaolin Kungfu and not like “Taijiquan”. That is their opinion and we don't have to bother ourselves with it. They are often the same people who perform Taijiquan slowly like a dance. But for our own students, it is good to know that classical records in writings and in pictures show Taijiquan like Shaolin Kungfu in both solo practice and in combat.
Please note that “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” and “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave”, which are composed of eight combat sequences each, are taught at regional Taijiquan and Shaolin Kungfu courses. At intensive Taijiquan and Shaolin Kungfu courses where there is more time for training, twelve or sixteen combat sequences respectively are taught, and these combat sequences, which are more advanced than the sequences taught at the regional courses, are composed into four Taijiquan sets or four Shaolin sets.
Those who have attended intensive Taijiquan or Shaolin Kungfu courses should have no problem learning “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” or “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” and their respective combat applications from the videos provided.
“Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” overcomes a slight setback in the twelve basic combat sequences taught at intensive Taijiquan courses. Can you tell what this slight setback is?
There isn't a side attack and its counter in the twelve basic sequences. This does not mean that course participants of intensive Taijiquan courses would be unable to execute or counter side attacks, but it is an improvement in our sparring methodology to formally add them in. The side attack is found in the pattern “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens”, and its counter in “Punch Below Sleeves”.
- The “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” Set (Picture Series)
- Combat Applications of “Yellow Bee Sucks Pollens” (Video Series)