Keeping it REAL in Tai Chi training

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Stig, very well put. Of course even when training Taiji in a non-martial environment, it is possible by the virtue of developing listening power via tui shou, to sense an attack or an intention before it actually gets expressed. I get this a lot, especially at work (where I can sense how/what someone is going to say or react) to specific situations without a single word being spoken. Is it energy or is it body language (sensitivity to subtle shifts of the body, posture, breath)? Probably a little of both...


My teacher always says that two-person practice is essential to be able to get rid of the "My space" issue we all live with (and learn as we grow older). For an older lady to allow a sturdy man to "invade her space" without getting flustered or defensive, to stay calm by building up relaxation slowly and steadily until when faced with a real life situation one can actually "not react" in a typical fashion (ie freeze or over-react).


I see it with older women who train with my teacher. First time I worked with an old lady (perhaps 60-65 yrs old) doing simple hands attaching and single-hand push, I could sense the fear and defensiveness build up as I invaded her "space", muscles stiffening, breath speeding up, etc. With time this has changed into soft pliant, yin approach -- letting the hand collapse into her space, of redirecting the force and turning things around. These ladies are a long way from defending themselves from really bad situations (hopefully they will not have to get into any such situations), but there is a sense of self-assuredness (simply from learning to balance, to stay calm in face of what might seem like aggression).


Another thing is "sticking power" that comes in not give the opponent space to mount an attack, to stick to him, to suffocate all his efforts at mounting a series of strikes.


The other is just basic things like not double-weighting, to fold at will, at odd angles, to control space by not attacking (simply yeilding and redirecting), all of which will help in real life situations.



Is the "My space" issue describing that space that is without intereference? I mean intereference in relation to energetically.

Edited by Informer

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