(Could that same high level individual lead someone with not much skill (like me) to an empty place by doing so, causing his opponent to loose his balance and stumble or fall? Surely if he can follow, adhere, stick and listen at this level then he could do this.)
and what ever else they wanted to do.
Not to defend or explain, my point was and is that the same skill sets are required for both types of skills with one being a higher level then the other nothing more. The question really becomes what is being lead or listened to? Answer this and anyone will understand how it is and can build their own practices around it.
In push hands there are three skill levels, each one determines the style and understanding of the practice.
The lowest level is the one most that I see on line talking about that is feeling the force from the bone. When people talk of alignments and such they are talking of this.
The second level is feeling the force from the muscle, this is where most start to understand change the beginning level of feeling and understanding what is meant by jin.
The third level is feeling the force from the skin, at this point the touch is very light and the ability to change with the other is very good. The idea of yin and yang have fused into one and people can be really thrown back with their own force.
These are the physical levels that most people are working on with. In practice they are the work of yrs of training to understand while at the same time ridding your own body of outer force.
The next levels are where what I would say true internal work starts.
Qi, the ability to feel and extend the qi, it allows one to move before the other like a ghost, and at the same time borrow and lead or push against another’s qi directly.
Yi, the use of the will or mind, it guides the qi and is extended beyond ones own body, like a hawk looking far from above. The mind is no longer in the body but ready to move at the slightest instant.
Shen, actually I cant really talk of this but have felt it used. Your sprit and mind have an idea of an action, one who functions on this level can freeze that action. In so doing so your own body mass, momentum have to have some place to go. This can be shaped by the other so that in essence your following though on actions that might have originated with you but now have been changed and amplified.
Look at any high level master of the Wu style, or even what some other styles do and this aspect can be seen at work if you have been exposed to it before. Otherwise it becomes something that can not really be believed.http://www.malaysia-taiji.com/articles/ycf-10-points.htm
(Tai Chi trains the spirit. It is said that "the spirit is the leader and the body follows its command". If you can lift your spirit, then your movements will naturally be agile and alive. Postures are nothing more than solid and empty, opening and closing. Opening does not just involve the hands and feet, but they must work in concordance with the opening of the heart/mind. Closing does not just concern the hands and feet, but they should coordinate with the closing of the heart/mind as well. When the internal and external are unified as one harmonious chi, then there are no gaps anywhere.)
the spirit is the leader the body follows, what if one can lead another’s spirit would not there body follow or stop?
My own thoughts are from having met people who can do this nothing more.
[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-19-2005).]