Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Practise Slowly As It Helps To Build Up Muscle Memory

Recently, while practising routines (especially Chen style) and single moves, I realized my fa jing has significantly improved. It is no longer stiff, it doesn't feel like I am overly trying, it is just a natural transmission of force from legs to where I want to express my force.

I think this is due to the way I have been training, focusing on imagining how the force is transmitted from my legs to the hands and arms every time I practise. We all know that muscle memory comes from training. But there is a theory that says that muscle memory comes from the amount of time that the brain tells the body to do a certain action. What this means is that practising 100 times of the same movement quickly in 10 minutes is the same as practising that same movement slowly for 10 times over 10 minutes. Which is basically what taiji training is about. Instead of practising the same movements quickly for many many times, taiji is about practising those same movements correctly more slowly and therefore less repetitions. But the amount of time should work out to be the same. In fact, given that you are not over-exerting yourself, but taking those movements more naturally, you probably end up training for longer periods of time than if you had been practising those movements quickly.

The important thing is to focus on getting things done correctly. In taiji, that means thinking about how the force is transmitted from legs to arms and hands. About the brain sending that same message to the body over and over again in the right way, linking up the legs and arms in the right manner. I am going to continue on this track for a while to see how far it leads me.