Sunday, October 20, 2013

Step-By-Step: Learn To Sense Force First

Many people come and learn pushing hands, thinking that it will teach them how to apply taiji. They see progress as being able to push their opponents. After all, if taiji is a martial art, it should be able to be used in the offensive.

So when they repeatedly fail to be able to push their opponents in practice, they start to lose interest. They start to think that they are not making progress. Eventually, they give up and go somewhere else, thinking that the teacher is not good, unable to teach them, or unwilling to teach them.

They fail to realise that the problem is actually within themselves. By focusing on pushing, they are losing sight of the aim of pushing hands. Pushing hands is about learning how to sense force, how to neutralise it, and then use it back. Pushing is only one part of pushing hands, and it is actually a manifestation of all the other parts when done properly.

There are many stages to pushing hands. Only when you make progress stage by stage, taking things step by step, will you eventually get to the stage when you can apply force like a taiji master.

The first step is very important. It is about learning how to sense force. Without being able to sense force, you cannot progress any further. And to sense force, being relaxed is very important. You must not resist force. It goes back to being willing to accept being pushed. Once you can get past this mental hurdle, you will know how to avoid resisting, how to relax. You will then be able to sense force, and slowly progress through to the subsequent stages.

So don't skip steps. Take things one at a time. Start first by learning how to sense force. Everything else can wait, and will come when you get there.

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