Sunday, March 02, 2014

Fast and Slow

In taiji, it is said that when your opponent is fast, you have to be fast too; when your opponent is slow, you have to be slow too. This fast and slow should not be taken literally, though. It is not about the physical movement, in other words. It is not about how fast or slow we move.

Rather, it is about intention. After all, one of the things that we learn about taiji is that it is not about force. We are told to use our intention and not our physical force. Similarly, this thing about fast and slow is not about the physical but rather the mental. It is actually about how fast or slow we change our intentions so as to match that of our opponent's.

Intentions translate into actual action/behaviour. But it is the intention that leads, not the action. By making sure that our movements follow our intentions (instead of being instinctive/reactive), we become the masters of our bodies, and we are able to control our actions and our reactions. And that is what sets a taiji master apart from the average Joe.

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