Whether to Hop merrily to the forbidden kingdom where some claim to be the land of ‘magical’ power and non-compliant detractors will be hopped to oblivion…Or Not to Hop and stay within the physical boundaries that seem grounded on combat reality…
It’s the most controversial topic in Taiji FB forums today with two opposing views constantly at each others’ throats where dummy spits become the norm from unpleasant and heated personal exchanges!
On one corner, we have the Hop proponents who believe the hop is a real life application which can be used for combat. They insist that it’s the pinnacle skill level to attain in internal martial arts and accuse detractors or ‘haters’ for criticising what they don’t understand; ‘ignorance’ is the common derogation.
On the other corner, we have the Hop critics that demand evident-based application to confirm combat efficacy. Since to date, there is no credible evidence to prove the combat efficacy of hopping, they accuse proponents of being delusional.
IMO Hopping in some instances may not be fake or acting, the Hoppee is indeed responding to a force issued by the Hopper; only thing is there is over-reaction from feeding, deliberate or conditioned, which gives the ‘magical’ effect, especially multiple hops, of a simulated ideal condition. It is very easy to recreate the effect once you know the process behind it and it’s not a pinnacle skill at all! For that ‘magic’ to work in the real world it requires all the ducks to line up as in the simulated ideal condition and it is very difficult to achieve though not impossible with very low probability of success. However the process behind the hop, can help in combat indirectly. The underlying process is actually a training tool for energy and structure work. It can enhance any power system just like ‘icing on the cake’. IMO, that is the right context behind the hop, not combat. For instance it can help reduce clashes when deflecting a powerful punch in combat – it involves good structure and mental projection.
Claiming that hopping is combat application without showing how it’s applied in a non-compliant setting will only invite more satirical tirades. Better to present it in the right context of a training tool rather than combat application, well at least until it can be proven in combat.
Demanding evidence is reasonable but over reacting to a hop demo video is like over reacting to a cue to hop. Our Taiji training is about central equilibrium and any over reaction is out of balance; it is never a good thing. Dismissing anything that is not known in science, despite real life experience, eg healing with acupuncture, doesn’t help in understanding Nature. After all, science theories are constantly revised as more things are discovered eg Quantum Physics plugging the huge gaps in Newtonian Physics for understanding the phenomena of the very small. Furthermore, over reactions can quickly degenerate into personal attacks and dummy spits as we have seen in recent posts.
IMO, when the two opposite sides realise that they are two sides of the same coin and start working together to bring out the real Taiji, everyone will marvel once again at the Supreme Ultimate Art made famous by the legendary Yang Lu Chan the Invincible!…. :):):)
One way the two sides can work together to bring out the real Taiji is to re-examine the original Taiji classics, discuss the different interpretations from different lineages, rigorously test the agreed interpretations in martial arts and life situations in general, then document the findings. I suspect it is possible but probably improbable, hope I am wrong…:)