Sunday, June 28, 2015

Running The Gauntlet

Had a chance to play a game, in which I have to fight through 3 pairs of people to reach the other side, and everyone (including myself) carries a foam stick. I lasted 14 laps before my stamina ran out.

Lesson: stamina is important.

Lesson: one-to-one is very different from handling multiple opponents.

Lesson: it is important to take down an opponent quickly, preferably with one blow.

Lesson: safe = not realistic; with foam sticks and the "no hitting head" rule, your opponent doesn't go down, no matter now many blows.

Although it was a game, there are many things to learn from it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Holding Back

As I look at my teacher practise pushing hands with a fellow student, I realised that in pushing hands, we hold back a lot. Pushing hands is not about the actual application of taiji as a martial art; it is about sensing force, to be aware of our own and our opponent's force.

For example, a simple lyu, but once my teacher has managed to upset the balance of my fellow student, he stops. He holds back. If he did not, and had carried the lyu to fruition, my fellow student would likely have hit the floor with his face, plus have his arm broken, at the very least.

And the trained martial artist knows this. He knows and therefore he holds back. Because the aim of practice is not to hurt your partner. It is enough to be able to do something and know that you can carry it through to fruition if need be.

So while some pushing hands classes may look very cordial, look again. It could well be that those in the class have reached a certain stage to know that they can carry things to fruition. And recognises that practice is just practice.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Inkling: Water Vs Rock

By themselves, water and rocks do not move. When an external force acts on them, it causes them to move. When you push a rock, you are exerting a force on it. When that rock is pushed against a piece of glass, we all know what happens.

When you push a rock at water, the water swallows the rock.

When you push water at rock, water may carry the rock away, or even break it. Look at waves smashing away cliffs over time, or the power of tsunamis sweeping away everything in their paths.

Maybe being rigid or relaxed (fluid) is just like rock and water: they are a medium for transmitting force.