Monday, February 17, 2014

Reading My Blog Posts

I was thinking about how one can use the experiences that I have written down as I go about my taiji journey. After all, that's what this blog is about, for me to write down my experiences and share with others.

But reading more doesn't mean knowing more. Taiji is a very personal thing, and no matter what, everyone has to experience it for him or herself. While I can share my experiences, it may not be meaningful to everyone. However, it does serve as a reference for people through their own learning journeys. So I am going to share my thoughts on how I think reading my blog can be useful, and how to read it right.

There are many stages to learning taiji, and as we progress through the stages, our experiences and our understanding will differ. Even now, as I read what I have written in the past, there are some slight differences with what I experience now. So it got me thinking... am I sharing the right things?

Yes. Because I am sharing what I experience at each stage. And thus, in order for what I share to be meaningful, it also means that you, the reader, has to read at the right stage. My taiji journey started in 2005. On average, I practice 4 to 5 times each week, about 2 hours each time. That means I accumulate about 450 hours of practice each year. You, the reader, should thus be reading blog posts at similar stages in my learning journey. So for someone who practices about the same frequency and amount as me, if you started learning in 2005 too, you should be reading my more recent posts. If you started in 2007, you should be reading my posts 2 years before.

Otherwise, things would either be too simple for you, or beyond your understanding. Just as our teacher would teach us differently at different stages, we should be reading differently too.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Inkling: You Can't Push When You Are Stiff

Why can't you push when you are stiff? Because all that strength is being used to maintain that stiff structure. Instead of generating force moving towards your opponent.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Science Behind Relaxing the Contact Point

Something that I have been taught, have read, and even experienced for myself is that if I relax at the contact point when my opponent uses force, he will temporarily fall into emptiness, feel like he is floating and thus lose his balance for that short while. So far, I have only been told to practise like this, because this was how my teacher has been practising. He was teaching me as he learnt it.

In my scientific mind, so used to the principles of modern science, I have been trying to figure it out in terms of physics. And I have not been able to figure out anything even close as to the reason why. If I move away from the contact point, and my opponent follows, he will eventually move his centre of gravity beyond his base and thus lose his balance. That I can understand.

Yet in all that I have been taught about relaxing at the contact point, it is not about moving away. It is simply that, relaxing at the specific point in time and space. The opponent's centre of gravity is still well within his base. So what causes him to actually feel like he is floating? What is the physics behind all that?

Do I keep seeking the science behind this, or do I just take it in good faith and practise as my teacher teaches?