Thanks for the responses.
Gene, Jerry, and Yuri, I may not have been clear about why I was recommending a listen. What struck me was not really any particular insights about push hands per se, but rather a seamless linking of physical principles with mental, emotional, and spiritual principles. This particular vision is not actually my vision of Taiji, but I am nonetheless greatly attached to using Taijiquan in this way.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I also remember a spirited push hands session that you and I had several years ago, where whenever I touched you,you would give me a forceful shove and knock me backwards. I'm still not real clear on how to deal with that kind of force, but I suspect that the solution lies in the legs and waist, and the concept of relaxation/expansion and vice versa.</font>
Gene, I recently had an opportunity to explore this and came to two conclusions. First, Taijiquan is simply not the only source of martial skills. Second, blunt pushing force can indeed by countered fairly directly.
I personally do not like focusing on “resistance” or the lack thereof as a key to Taijiquan. In push hands, the relationship between “resistance” (“kang4”) and “following” (“sui2”) is only one of four different pairs that we are supposed to work on. Also, “resistance” is a contextual term; however, it is easy to forget this and try to use it as an absolute term. The force of a tidal wave, Niagara falls, or the Banzai Pipeline would hardly be thought of as manifestations of “non-resistance,” but they each result from water’s formlessness and downhill flow. If these phenomena can result from “non-resistance,” why should I be shocked about the force of a straight punch to the nose or a shove across the room? I find the concept of “resistance” too slippery as an all-inclusive term.
I have the same difficulty talking about the guy who arrives 5 minutes late every day. The path of least resistant will vary tremendously, depending on what viewpoint we take. The company’s? The supervisor’s? The department’s? The employee’s? Also, what is the context? If a newscaster is 5 minutes late to a broadcast, this is catastrophic, but sometimes an entire department can arrive late with no real effect on their output.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>no the center that I speak of is the center of their mental balance point. Once you find this point, you either cause it to move by using your intent or they move sensing that you found it. in either case you follow and add to there movement.
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attract to emptiness, or lead him to emptiness is at the core of my own training. This means that there is no point that can not change. Some problems are that some may not change inside or not be able to allow the whole body to change.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
David, welcome to the board! I have a question about your approach. What do you do with someone who pushes like a slow moving tank? If they give you energy in only very small increments, there is little to “lead.” If you use only a light touch, how can you overcome simple enertia? If you insist on waiting your partner out, don’t you risk a stagnating interchange where not much takes place? I am discussing the sort of person who is the opposite of what Chris describes: someone who is not willing to move or change much at all.