Thursday, April 24, 2014

Inkling: Absorbing His Force

An inkling while pushing hands. At the point of contact, I felt my opponent's force. I imagined myself relaxing the point of contact, and then absorbing his force, drawing his force down through my arm and down into my kua. And then I shifted my weight forward towards him, pushing at him slightly and lightly. He bounced back a few steps.

My teacher keeps telling me about relaxing and then pushing back slightly and lightly. I guess the part about relaxing is not just about relaxing my body, but also about relaxing to absorb my opponent's force. Something to think about and work on.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Inkling: Taiji is About Change

The concept of taiji, about yin and yang, is about change. It is about continuous change, it is about cycles. One state flowing into the next, ever changing. And thus it is a fitting name for a martial arts in which one of the principles is about not being stiff. For in order not to be stiff, we have to keep moving, we have to keep changing.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Stages in Learning to Relax

As we practise our routines, we learn to relax, but it starts with conscious effort.

First, we need to learn the movements. Get the movements right.

Then, consciously try to use less strength in moving when trying to achieve each movement. At this stage, you are still moving your body in individual parts using muscle strength, just that you are trying to use less muscle strength to achieve the same movement.

The next stage is to try to move your body as a whole to achieve that same movement. This part is about linking your legs to your arms, so that you use the force generated by your legs to move the rest of your body, by relaxing your joints. It is still conscious effort to move your body as a whole using the force generated from the legs. And this is the stage in which you need lots of practice, to make it second nature.

And once it becomes second nature, you will then reach a stage in which, by thinking about the movement, your body will respond automatically to achieve the movement. This is when you are able to use intention to move your body.

For me, it is back to practice...