Friday, December 25, 2009

Hold Your Ground

There is a taiji saying, 虚则守,实则攻。What is means is that you hold your ground when your opponent doesn't use force, and when you sense him using force, that is when you attack. Why?

I have been pondering this for a while, and what I think is that when he doesn't use force, he is ready to react, and thus if you try to attack, you are actually walking into a trap. His force is empty, yet to take shape, and thus can be formed into any shape. Once you move, he can sense your attack and counter it by shaping his force accordingly.

However, once he has made a move, he has committed himself (his force now takes a certain shape), and thus if you can discern the magnitude and direction of his force, you will be able to neutralise it and utilise it against him.

Thus, before your opponent makes a move, you should hold your ground to see what he intends to do. Otherwise, you may end up walking into a trap. Once he has made a move, you must be ready to discern it and react to it.

1 comment:

Terry said...

I think you are correct when you say; when he’s not attacking he’s ready to react. Though I relate this to intention-mind 意 (Yì). If his Yì is on his attack then he cannot split his mind (& body) to defend at the same time.

The trick –in my opinion- is to not let the saying suggest taking a passive position: That would allow him the luxury of a thought-out attack and put you into a reactionary role (which will be the slower one) when it comes. Instead, encourage him into a corner (i.e limit his options) and then he will be more predictable and easier to counter (-attack). This has to be done in the 則 zé (following) & 守 shǒu (guarding) stage described in the saying.

Controlling through transformation (化 Huà) is an art.