太極拳 武術の虚実転換
Insubstantial / Substantial in Martial Arts


Understanding “Substantial / Insubstantial” leads to learning the essence of martial arts.


No matter how powerful strike ability you have,

If you could not hit the opponent, you could not get the effect.


A punch delivered intentionally to beat the other can be easily escaped,

Unconscious punches are hard to be avoided.

Here is the difficulty of martial arts and the depth of artistic elegance.


So what does it mean to be unconscious?

Let’s talk about the essence of martial arts.


In Tai Chi, “insubstantial and substantial” are “yin and yang”, which is a pair that means one is not in existence without the other.

Let’s take an example of Cloud hands to explain, which is learned from the first stage of Tai Chi learning. Cloud hand is a basic movement in which the left and right hands are alternately rotated in front of the body.

While the right hand sticks to the opponent with the intention,

The fingertip of the left hand returns to the tip of the nose without consciousness.

And there is an insubstantial / substantial change between the left and right hands.

This insubstantial / substantial change is the basis of the guard response and the basis of the attack.


If you want to hit the opponent with your right hand, take the timing with your left hand.

When the left hand becomes substantial, the right hand becomes insubstantial and unconsciously launches out.

I think this is an eternal truth in any martial arts.


Bruce Lee stands on the fight to the Karate fighter O’Hara in the movie “Enter the Dragon.”

Bruce Lee’s back fist bursts into the face from the each other’s static posture stance.

He is timing his left hand in action and unconsciously moves his right hand.

It’s an exactly martial arts movement based on the theory.


Bruce Lee is the first person to bring the martial arts timing to the movie world as far as I know.


The moment you touch your opponent, you would realize that you have punched out. That would be the martial artist.