Friday, May 24, 2013

The Importance of Form Training

So why do we even do form training in the first place? Can't we just keep pushing hands and learn how to use taiji from there?

I think form training is still very important. It provides the basis, the foundation, for taiji. Taiji's force comes from the legs; form training is about how to manifest that force into something that we can use.

In form training, power comes from the legs. We use the power to turn the kua, which must be relaxed in order for it to turn, and through the turning of the kua, the torso turns too. The turning of the torso then brings about movement of the arms, allowing us to utilise the force generated by the legs.

Through such training, we learn to relax our kua, we learn to push with our legs, we learn how to link our arms to our legs, our hands to our feet. We learn how to move continuously without breaks. We are actually learning about some of the basic principles of taiji. And this will then help us during pushing hands. It allows us to practise taiji and get better at it without a partner. And I guess that is why form training remains an important part of taiji.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Using Circles To Return Force

I like to tell my fellow pushing hands students that pushing hands is about moving continuously, to keep turning and moving. It is about being dynamic; once static, it is resisting, you are being rigid.

This reminded me of two previous posts:

When you feel force contact you, turn it back towards your opponent. That was how I used circles to return force towards my opponent. For example, when my opponent pushes my forearm, I peng and turn my forearm outwards, maintaining contact with his force and turning it back towards him.

Relax to draw his force in and stick to it. Then turn it back towards him to use his force against him. I am going to experiment with this idea for a while.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Relax Kua to Relax Shoulders

My teacher used to tell me that the key to relaxing the shoulders is actually to relax the kua. I have always wondered why, but I stuck to his teaching and focused on trying to relax the kua. Today, I have an inkling of why.

For us to move our arms, we usually end up using muscular strength, which starts from the shoulders. But if we can relax our kua and use that to move our torso, and use the moving of our torso to move our arms instead, then we can move our arms without having to use muscular strength. Instead, the movement will originate from the legs, using the torso as the transmission medium, to end up at the arms.

And in order for us to be able to use the torso as a transmission medium, first, our kua must be relaxed, so that we can then use our legs to turn our torso. And therefore, once you can relax your kua, you can use your legs to move and that movement will be transmitted by the torso to the arms, allowing you to move your arms without muscular strength, which means your shoulders won't be tensed up.