What do you think is the best way to deal with the static pressure being piled on you by your training partner?

I mentioned “static” though it could easily be a dynamic situation in which case it would be much more difficult to deal with it.

Some would think that how they deal with the scenario will depend on the technique that is used on them. Yes and no. Sometimes it matters, other times not as much as thought.

Say I apply a strong, steady Push on your leading arm. You try to get out of it by turning your waist to flip my leading arm into a defensive position for you to counterattack. Except it didn’t quite work out the way you envisage it because my Push is strong enough to pin your leading arm to your body and prevent you from countering. You continue to try different measures but you cannot overcome my strength. Does this mean that my Push technique is invincible?

Obviously there is no invincible technique, only effective technique, relative to the person applying it and the person it is applied on.

However, the counter I mentioned above is how most students whether with previous Tai Chi experience or not would try to counter a Push attack whether slow, fast, light or heavy pressure. And every time they would find that though this response would work for them previously it would not work with me because of non-compliance with good physics.

A good turn of the waist with a strong flip of the leading arm makes for a powerful counter. But if the pusher is equally strong, if not stronger then the response would fail because it is essentially trying to use hard strength to counter.

The Tai Chi Classics call for us to use relatively less strength, a lot less in proportion to that being exerted on us to counter an attack. This sounds so silly, unworkable in real life because to overcome a strong strength you need even more strength as many would claim. Yet, when your response fails does this mean you are not using enough strength or you are using too much strength? Which is it?

When I say and show that a better response is not to resist but to accept, to move lesser, to use a lot lesser strength most of the time this explanation would be met with mental resistance because it runs counter to commonsense even when commonsense fails. As Sherlock Holmes would point out once you have ruled everything out what is left no matter how improbable is the answer.

What students thought is counterintuitive is in fact not. The answers are right there in the forms and if you do some checking against the Tai Chi Classics and a book on physics I think you will find the same answers I did there too. Of course, it would help if my teachers taught the same or similar things, though they would not typically use science to explain their approach.

A suggestion to Master Tai Chi Today – if you keep doing the same thing and it keeps failing to give you the desired result is it because you have not mastered it or it is that what you are doing is not scientifically correct in the first place? Which is it? It is those who dare to kill Buddha on the road who stands a higher chance of mastering the art.


Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Tai Chi Yang Style (TaijiKinesis) lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today

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