Thursday, December 31, 2015

Maintaining Balance

I know I am not there yet, because I lose my balance. When doing some of the single-leg stances (like kicks) in the routines, I sometimes lose my balance. Which may seem like a small thing, since I practise on uneven ground and sometimes in strong winds. But after seeing a video on some people practising pushing hands, I got an inkling that maintaining balance is a very important part of training.

Two persons pushing hands. Pulling and grabbing at each other, one trying to throw the other, the other struggling to keep his balance. Not exactly my idea of pushing hands, but still, this thing about balance kept me watching. Yes, there seems to be something in there about maintaining balance.

Then I think back about myself, losing balance sometimes when I practise my routines.

Taiji is practise slowly, because it is only by practising slowly can you pay full attention to all the details. And one of the details is balance. About sensing how you shift your weight, how to maintain balance at all times. With practice comes proficiency, and with proficiency comes confidence. And with confidence, you can relax. You won't be tensed up when facing an opponent, because you have confidence in what you can do, because you know you have put in a lot of effort into training.

With training, everything becomes second nature, including maintaining balance while moving. Knowing your own centre of gravity becomes second nature. Knowing how to keep that center of gravity stable becomes second nature. No matter how you or your opponent moves, you are able to maintain your balance. That is half the battle won.

And that is why I practise. And practise.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Keeping a Training Log

Besides tracking my training in terms of hours and sets each month, I have been writing down the details of my training in a notebook. Not just how many sets of what routine, but also how many repetitions of basic exercises too.

This not only helps me track my training, but also serves as motivation to train too. I am more motivated to train daily so that I have something to write in the notebook. And when I don't train for a day or two, I am reminded of this whenever I flip open the notebook (all entries are dated). Guess this is a habit from a career that worked with logbook entries.

But it is great motivation, so I am going to keep this up for a while.