”Collapse” is when a movement causes the loss of the original structure.
This is a common mistake in the learning of Taijiquan. As long as one moves, one will collapse to some degree. Therefore, it is not possible to get rid of the ill of collapse. One can only learn to reduce this mistake.
Another point about this is that collapse is not restricted to one direction. Normally people only think of downward falling movement as collapsing. It is not entirely true. Collapse is the change of angles in the joints. It can be in any joint and in any direction. For example, when the shoulder pokes up, it is a mistake of upward collapse. When the kua goes lower than the knee, it is a downward collapse.
Collapse can be masked by the presence of power. When someone is very strong, he will not easily collapse even though he might have made the mistakes of collapsing.
Originally published on Nov 26, 2007