Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Gentle Lock

Just to share an experience I had.

I have previously talked about the hard and soft applications of the same move in taiji. Last night, my teacher was using me to demonstrate a move. When he used lyu 捋 on my arm, placing one hand on my wrist and another at my elbow, I had the strangest kind of feeling. I felt that I couldn't move. I felt that if I tried to move my arm, no matter which direction, the hands being placed at my wrist and elbow would not allow that movement. And all my teacher did was to place his hands on my arm. It was not like he was locking my arm with force. It was what I call a gentle lock. It is because his "listening" is so good, that every small movement that I make, he was able to detect and move in the smallest/slightest way to counter it, while still maintaining his hands at my wrist and elbow.

This is what taiji is about. Winning without having to fight. Just like what Sun Tzu said is the highest form of winning. Without an overt expression of force from my teacher, I (whose arm was being locked) knew exactly what was in store for me should I try to struggle and fight back. And I knew that I had no way out of it.

It will be a long way (if ever) before I get to this stage. But at least it is something to remember, and slowly work towards.

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