Elbow and Fist – Part 2
In Chén Style Tàijíquán 陈式太极拳, we always punch and elbow together. The fist is a long-distance strike, and the elbow is a short distance strike. Fist is Quán 拳 like in Tàijíquán. It means it is a fighting skill. Most traditional Chinese Kung Fu have Quán at the end for example Shàolín Quán 少林拳, Wǔdāng Quán 武當拳, Yǒng Chūn Quán (Wing Chun Kyùhn) 詠春拳.
In the Tàijíquán, every punch can be soft or hard and it is up to us how we want to perform it. In the form, when we practise the hard punch, we punch with all our power, and it is like iron bar. The soft punch is like a whip. We swing the fist out and it does not need to go in a straight line towards the target, and we put all our power into it at the end, just like a whip. When we hit with the hard punch, the damage is from the outside to the inside of the body. The soft punch slaps the outer surface, which is not where the damage is, the real damage is on the inside. Also, in Chén Style Tàijíquán, we do not just hit with the knuckles of the fist, we can use any part of the fist, the back, the side or even the palm side of the fist. At the end of the day, any part of the body can be used to attack the opponent.