If there is a secret in Tai Chi it is knowing how to liberate the self by having the right mental model.
I’ve been trying to get students to stop using too much strength when doing push hands. If they do so then they cannot apply techniques properly because the proper usage of techniques call for the right amount of strength. Too little and you can’t get the desired leverage; too much and you end up resisting yourself.
Giving up the use of excessive strength is not simply a matter of relaxing. Everyone knows this but still everyone uses too much strength. Obviously, asking students to relax will not cut it. So what is the solution?
The solution is easier than thought. Have the right mental model to begin with. Then get into it and practice. And voila! Instant result.
Yes, instant result. Not after an hour of practice but immediately. As soon as the model is planted into the mind, just follow and do it. I didn’t make a “before” video but here is the “after” video :-
I tried the model with another student who also typically uses too much strength. It worked just as well.
This is why Tai Chi need not be a skill we acquire. Instead, it is a skill that is already in us, that we just need to find the right key to unlock it.