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sweating is a normal side effect of Tai Chi Chuan and does not necessarily mean that muscular force, brute force, is being overly used in the performance of TCC.
Thanks for the reminder...you're totally right, I thought of two examples of sweating not being about using brute strength, though it can be about that too:
1) In a qi gong book I read about a stage of tai chi or qi gong practice the body goes through a kind of "purification" process wherein the dantien begins to "heat up" as more chi is stored there. You may recall that it's also one of the "Triple Burners" or "Triple Heaters" that are chi reservoirs in the body. The practitioner can perceive the practice as making them feel hot and they are also sweaty.
This is also the stage where the increase in chi "pressure" in the dantien "furnace" can provoke trembling in practitioners who are still releasing their chi blockages. Like a pressure cooker with a rattling lid from steam trying to escape.
Later in the process, as the body begins to "burn" more efficiently, the sweating and subjective personal feeling of overheating decrease. But others, when touching the practitioners hands or feeling the air near the hands can feel heat radiating outward, though the practitioner shows no signs of sweating or exertion.
2) Also, practicing with a deeper stance (but using internal energy to support it--still moving pretty smoothly and letting the chi circulate easily, but pushing the limits of one's personal internal strength) can generate sweat.
But I've also been told that it's best not to get too sweaty, and not to strain oneself and thus dissipate chi through excessive use. My personal policy has been to let what feels easy and comfortable guide me--and this generally means that I don't break a sweat unless I slack off for awhile and have to go through the "burning it off" process again.
But then, I'm on the "relax first and let the rest follow" plan, so I'm coming at deepening my stance backwards, as it were.
[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 01-09-2006).]