Sunday, November 25, 2012

Train As You Fight, Fight As You Train

Something which came to me while practising pushing hands. A simple principle, to train as you fight, but I came to realise how important it really is.

When practising your forms, it is not just about making sure you have the principles of taiji correct (such as keeping your body upright, relaxing the kua, sinking shoulders/elbows, linking upper and lower body, etc.) but also, you must keep in mind how you are going to apply each move. This constant thinking about how to apply each move is the intention (意) part of taiji. So you are constantly making sure your body moves in the manner you want, while thinking about how to use each move.

Then, when applying taiji, not only must you be thinking about how to use each move, you must still continue to make sure that your body is moving in the manner that you want (or rather, have been trained to do). Thus, while thinking about how to push someone, you still need to continue to check to make sure that you are moving in accordance to the principles of taiji.

Otherwise, your practice will be form with no meaning (just an empty shell), and when applying taiji, you may end up being overly obsessed with the end effect and not really apply taiji (end up using brute force because you are too focused on the pushing part, and not pushing in the taiji way).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Getting Worse From More Practice

After all these years of practice, I don't seem to be getting any better. Recently, I felt that I have been getting worse, in fact. I don't seem to be making progress, and I notice myself making more mistakes. At first, I thought it was because I was not practising enough. But then, recently, a friend of my teacher mentioned to me that, the more you learn, the more aware you are of your mistakes. Maybe that is what is happening to me. As I learn more and become more aware about myself, I start to become aware of my mistakes. I start to become aware that my posture is not as straight as I want it to be, my kua is not as relaxed as I want it to be.

Of course, it could also be that I really am not practising enough. So in order to know if I am indeed making progress or not, I need to do some soul searching and ask myself, have I indeed been practising enough?