Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 23 2006


“When you dribble a basketball you can’t use too much force,” Teacher Xu said last Wednesday. “If you pound it too hard you lose it. The force you use in tuishou is the same way. Just a light touch is all you need.”

We had more people than usual that night. I was getting back into the swing of things after my trip to China. In line with Teacher Xu’s words, I seem to get better results when I’m too tired to put any effort into the pushing of the hands. “The hands don’t push themselves; the energy has to come from somewhere, from your body,” he reminded us.

“Try to be like a floating ball,” he said. I didn’t get that one at all. How could a floating ball be rooted? But maybe that was the point: don’t concentrate on your form, just let it happen. Sounds like something I read as a teenager in The Inner Game of Tennis, which made a great deal of sense at the time. My efforts at that point were focused on the trumpet, but I suppose it’s good advice for many different aspirations.

Speed is another confusing aspect. How fast should one push? According to Teacher Xu, one should let your opponent set the speed. So a little slower than that? Sometimes Mr. V lets out a flurry of fast readjustments in directions, hoping to catch me off guard. It seldom works because it’s easy to anticipate.

One of the older students seems easy to push at first, but after a few bouts things become much more difficult. I wonder if his strategy is to lose on purpose for a few rounds before really starting to push. If so, that’s not a bad idea, actually. You learn more by losing, by sitting back and observing what your opponent is doing before taking action before starting in for real. I may try that one myself.

posted by Poagao at 3:51 am  

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