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Yielding against great forceis not always possible as it requires a great deal of skill or acting ” in the moment ” to turn impending defeat into an attack. It is clear that if you allow your opponent to throw all he has into an attack, there will be a point where he has no more left to give and will decide to retreat in order to attack again. in that moment your victory will be swift .
Entice them forward Why would someone throw all they have into an attack? Well in some ways perhaps it is a magic trick. If you opponent attacks with out thought and all at once, we should be able to divert the attack with ease. In my experience opponents are more cunning… and know that an all out attack will result in defeat they will require a bait. Sometimes the bait is small , not much encouragement is needed for it to be taken.
Perhaps you will give the illusion that you are bringing all you have into an attack the opponent sensing this throws all he has back at you and “in the moment” defeat is swift the illusion unveiled. But this is sometimes not enough the bait not big enough, the possibility of your demise not strong enough (well remember after all it is just an illusion). Entice them forward by giving your opponent what he desires most , your destruction. When victory is eminent when the result is so absolute in their mind, in that “moment” they will give it their all. Only when they have sensed that your demise is but a breath away it ‘s this “moment” you will unveil what you have left they are exposed and defeat is swift.
Tai Chi Chuan uses movements and concepts from the hand form in a practical and efficient way. Push Hands drills and applications go hand in hand to build listening skills, re-directing, good timing, borrowing force among other things.
Free lesson available on Tuesday evening
Strategy of the Five Step Path Before being able to apply the tactics of Tai Chi Chuan in combat, we must first understand the strategy which governs there use.
We must maintain contact with our opponent, remaining sensitive to there
force, movement feeling there weaknesses and strengths .
This allows us to move first and in the moment.
Our reactions to any attack should follow the principle that as soon as our opponent moves our response should be completed before our opponents attack, the time between the start and the finish of our opponents action is lost to them.
Softness When applying the principle of adherence, we should maintain only a soft or relaxed contact with our opponent. The sensitivity thus developed enables us to detect any changes in our opponents intentions. It is an early warning system. Our softness also makes it difficult for our opponent to detect our own intentions.
Once we have detected the direction of our opponent’s force we must go with it, not against it. This is the key to the Tai Chi tactic of using `four ounces of force’ to divert even the fiercest attack into the void. While our opponent is using all his energy to attack us we are able to conserve ours.
Rejection of Brute Force
Arm contact with our opponent must be both soft and continuous. We must neither withdraw the arm nor let it become tense. This constant soft contact enables us to detect change and to make spontaneous response without unnecessarily wasting energy.
By adopting the strategy of the Five Step Path we are able to achieve the ideal of using the minimum amount of force necessary to produce the maximum effect.
To sum up, we must intercept any attack in a relaxed manner, adhering to it while we use only a minimum force necessary to guide it gently away from its original target, and to the void. By doing this we can detect any changes that may occur in the attack and respond to them accordingly. This would be impossible if we used brute force to block the attack. Our actions must be harmonious and continuous.
One of the special characteristics of Tai Chi Chuan is the emphasis placed on diverting attacks and using our opponent’s own force against him. This is why we adhere to the strategy of the Five Step Path.
Adherence is useless without softness as we can only be sensitive to our opponent’s changes if we are relaxed.
Yielding is useless without adherence as we can only monitor our opponent’s movements and know when to counter-attack if we keep in contact with him.
Brute Force used against our opponent’s force will prevent us from detecting his weaknesses and this runs against Tai Chi Chuan principles which demand that we know the opponent as well as we know ourselves.
This then is the strategy we must follow when applying the Tai Chi Chuan combat tactics. These tactics are practiced when we do the `Pushing Hands Exercise’ which is the first step towards developing our ability to apply in a practical way the fighting tactics of Tai Chi Chuan.
Text Taken from : www.taichichuan.co.uk/