Instinct or Habit

When pressure is applied on your arm do you tense and resist because its instinct or because its a habit?

This is an interesting question posed by my student. I think its a survival instinct rather than a habit. Or perhaps its a combination of both.

For example, some students are taught to have “peng” in their arms and posture. And because this “peng” is more like resistance the student would take to it like duck to water. Hence, when his arm is pushed he would push back under the understanding that this is the right way. Or is it?

Anyway, my concern is whether the tendency to resist is one that can be broken or impossible to get rid of. This of course leads to the question of if we can’t get rid of the habit / instinct to resist then how do we borrow strength because the act of borrowing calls for you to take but you can’t take if you are pushing it away.

Fortunately, we can learn to control the urge to resist. In fact, given enough time we can even learn to accept being pushed. Its not impossible to do so. It is just a matter of do you have the faith to do the practice and keep at it until you can successfully achieve it.

Every beginner to whom I teach the Dong family version of the Yang style 108 form is taught the important basic key to attaining this. The obstacle here is in one ear and out the other ear. They listened but they never hear and more disappointingly they never do the practice. And when they do the practice they don’t follow instructions to the T. When they follow the instructions closely they turn it into the end objective instead of a means to an end.

Like I always said Master Tai Chi Today is not impossible. Sure, it may be difficult but not impossible. The only question is are you willing to learn it properly and do the practice. As far as this goes the ball is in the student’s court. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.


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

2 thoughts on “Instinct or Habit

  1. Hi Master, Having read many of your postings , I’m keen to learn Tai Chi from you. Can we meet for a discussion or would you prefer to provide further information over the net. Thank you. Best regards, Michael Lim

    Sent from my iPhone



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