Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Balloon, Not Concrete Ball

One of the principles of taiji is not to let your structure flatten, something which my teacher likes to refer to as "don't let your balloon flatten". But that doesn't mean you go all out to make sure that you maintain the structure as it is. If you do, it becomes a rigid structure, something very against the "relax" part of taiji.

So how do you relax, and yet don't let the structure flatten? Well, my teacher says it best. The structure is like a balloon! A balloon can be depressed, but it then bounces back into shape. So while you relax and allow the balloon to flatten a bit, you must then work towards "bouncing back into shape", regaining the original form.

So when your opponent's force comes, your structure may flatten a bit, but then you turn his force away, and while doing that, move your body to expand back the balloon into its original shape.

The thing is to be bouncy like a balloon, and not rigid like a concrete ball. With enough strength, you can push away a rigid concrete ball, but a bouncy balloon will deflect your force back towards you.

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