I read a discussion on this clip below on the net. The question was: ”Master William Chen speaks on ’having no muscles. in the arms when doing TCC; I wonder how many here agree with him?” The question is slightly provocative, but also, the question comes from a student of teacher Chen which means that he surely knows the answer.
Now, you can’t really “have no muscles”, you have muscles regardless what you want. The clip is about connecting the fist with ribs without any interference from other muscles, involuntary movement etc. If you want to connect the movement of the hands with the dantian, one method is by engaging the ribcage. Or I would say that in Tai Chi, you can not really do it without connecting through the ribcage. The lower ribcage and the muscles there connects directly to the ”back” of the dantian. Now, I like William Chen’s methodology. Instead of speaking about qi, Dantian and this kind of things, his method is about doing. Anyone can learn to feel this connection between hands and ribcage by relaxing. And, IMHO, ”no muscles” is even better than soft and relaxed, because if nothing is there, it implies the feeling of emptiness whoch is what a Tai Chi.
Anyway, Master Chen really knows what he does and makes it work. Many people says that his punch is the best they have felt. One of my own teachers studied briefly with him and taught me a few methods from him, and surely I can tell you that they work just fine. And ”without muscles”.
If you have experience in tai chi methods, how do you feel about Mr Chen’s way of describing things?
And please also read about Mr Chen’s “Three nails” theory and rooting, and about Dan Tian and Qi-circulation. Also, for this subject, my post on body methods in Tai Chi on movement and connecting might be interesting.