Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pushing Hands is Not About Pushing Your Opponent Out

「推手时要细心揣摩,不可将对方推出以为笑乐。务要使我之重心,对方不能捉摸,对方之重心,时时在我手中。」  董英傑《太極拳釋義》

A reminder by a taiji master. Let's not forget what pushing hands is for.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Inkling: About 粘黏连随


I think this is about the stages of contact.

First is establishing contact, then remaining in contact. These two stages are more in the physical realm.

After which is becoming connected, and moving together. This is more in the conceptual domain, although moving together manifests itself in the physical realm too.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Inkling: Force from the Legs, Control from the Waist

An inkling I got while reading a book written by a Japanese martial artist, who was explaining about aikido's use of force through aikiage. The feeling described by the author kind of like struck a bell in me, and I could see how it is similar to my own experience with taiji and pushing hands. It helped me to better understand force and gives me a new focus for my own training.

Basically, the force comes from the legs, which moves the body's centre of gravity, and the waist area is actually where that centre is, and moving that centre of gravity (using the legs) allows one to achieve more force that can be applied to the point of contact (such as the hand), compared to just using muscular force from the arm acting on the hand.

Will be focusing on understanding this better during my own practice.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Explaining Taiji with Modern Science

The human body is a complex mechanical and chemical system, so it is no wonder that people try to explain taiji in terms of modern science. I am not against it, although I think it is a difficult thing to do (see other blog post here). But I do think in terms of modern science. I believe that taiji is really about how to move your body in the most efficient manner, using the least force to achieve the biggest effect.

But trying to use modern science to explain taiji is not easy, because our bodies are just too complex. We learn about levers in mechanics, but the human body is not a simple set of levers. We have so many levers interconnected, working together and against each other, that it is very difficult for the human brain to grasp.

So while using modern science to explain taiji can help us to better understand taiji, understanding the science behind it does not mean we can actually put it into practice. The only way to do that is to actually practise, and feel it for ourselves. Only through practice can our bodies actually move in the way that taiji requires so that we can achieve the biggest effect with the smallest force.