Friday, August 24, 2012

Light Is The Faster Way

Some time back, I wrote about 清能早达, this time, I am going to write about an inkling, that 轻能早达 (read in the same way, but meaning being light is the faster way). Yes, we need to be clear about our path in order for us to reach our destination faster. But in taiji, we also need to be light in order for us to achieve our aim faster. Only by being light, can we be able to sense our opponent's force, can we then use our opponent's force again him. We are all able to use brute force; we all start out being "heavy like stone". Only through training can we become "light as a feather". But when we are light as a feather, we can still become heavy like stone. It gives us a full range of options. The lighter we are, the broader is our range of options for response.

So let's first be clear about the path that we want to take. And then, we need to be as light as we can in order to get there.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Being Modest

The more we learn, the more modest we need to be. For example, just because I have learnt pushing hands for a few years, if I push hands with a newcomer and tell myself, "I have learnt for so many years, I cannot let this newcomer succeed in pushing me," then I will have the "afraid to lose" mentality, which will cause me to tense up, use brute force, resist, and ultimately, lose.

So the more we learn, the more we need to recognise that we are not there yet, there is still a long way to go, and thus even if a newcomer manages to push us, there is nothing to "lose face" about. It just reinforces the "I am not there yet, there is so much more to learn" mentality.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Too Rough!

I almost broke someone's arm yesterday during pushing hands practice.

I was pushing hands with a new student (he has learnt taiji from someone else, apparently, so he is not new to taiji or pushing hands) but his arms were very stiff. During one of the rounds, I managed to get his arm between my arm and my torso. I was going to give a slight twist to see if I can lock his arm... except that when I twisted softly, I heard a crack. I was so shocked; oh no, what if I had broken his arm? I immediately broke off... good thing his arm was okay. I didn't realise that his arm was that stiff, that a simple turning of my torso actually did more than lock his arm... while his arm "cracked" because he was too stiff, I still think it is a manifestation of my inability... that I still have some way to go, because I was not able to discern exactly how stiff his arm was and thus I was unable to use just enough force to lock his arm, without making his arm "crack".