It is a God given ability from when we are born we can move stepping jumping , running and the thousands of variations of these. In Tai Chi Chuan we learn to take a closer look at movement and try to control and enrich movement allowing us to among other things interact with others. It starts with the basic drills, hand form pushing hands etc learning to absorb energy and root it to the ground and then return in back to your opponent.
A student asked me “how can I move smoothly”, my answer: some people have a natural ability to do this and others like myself have to train this. First we need to train the ability to be able to take all our weight on one leg so we are able to move easily from posture to posture. We need to make our steps efficient, when stepping sinking (rooting) and transferring root from one leg to the other . In this way we can move smoothly and because we have the ability to carry all our weight on one leg our movement will not need to be hurried.
We learn this movement in our hand forms and drills and transfer it to our weapon forms and applications, the concept of this type of movement means we are efficient in both time and energy, giving us the ability to move quickly and efficiently when stepping, turning and delivering force.
Once we understand what is need we are able to go about our work the right way to achieve it.
Not all that shines is gold but sometimes there is a golden Nugget in the strangest of places.
I am a firm believer that to do something well you need to practice and be diligent. I also believe that what we need sometimes comes from sources that seem very different from our own art. In pushing hands I have felt my teacher counter my technique before I had initiated it. This level of sensitivity is what I am trying to achieve through Tango.
Tango lives in the embrace, relaxed you can feel the essence of the movement. Every movement is made up of hundreds of small ones I want to feel them all. Will I be a great Tango Dancer? perhaps not but I will enjoy the journey. http://the-room.org.uk/events/tango-tai-chi-discovery/
I once had a conversation with Dan Docherty due a to question that someone asked or during a seminar not sure which. What was said by Dan stuck in my mind and has stayed with me ever since moulding the way I think about applications and pushing hands. To remember exactly what he said word for word I can not, so I will not pretend these are his exact words but my interpretation and the closest recollection of what was said. ‘WHEN I APPLY MY TECHNIQUES I WANT TO USE AS MANY DIFFERENT FORCES AS POSSIBLE”.
At the time my knowledge of Tai Chi was not as it is now and I remember pondering on this statement for many months , it had planted a seed that has developed into a greater understanding of movement.
Realising now that in every movement there are many more smaller movements that contribute to the whole.
I have looked at many applications and found and practice many ways of implementing this; some techniques both in pushing hands and self defence require one movement with several different forces used simultaneously. However the ones that seem most effective are more like a continuous string of forces bonded together by the opponent’s reactions.