Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 24 2007

9/19 and 9/22 Tai-chi

Watching other students pushing last Wednesday, I rather enjoyed watching people’s “post-push poses”, i.e. the stance they assume after a “successful” push when the other person goes flying or loses their balance. The further the person travels, the more elaborate the pose. Usually the hands fall into a relax, Zen-like position, as if the pusher had just attained some kind of enlightenment, and the legs assume a careless, lazy stance. The expression on the face must apparently be as oblivious as possible to the other person, as if the other person weren’t even there.

I’m sure I’m guilty of this myself. I just find it amusing. I spend quite a bit of time watching other people push. That night some of the tree-root group, including Weeble and the Interior Decorator, were going at it pretty intensely, thus the whole PPP revelation.

Teacher Xu said the first thing to do when coming across difficulty in tuishou is to relax; that way you many more options are open to you due to greater flexibility. It’s difficult to do this when your first instinct is to tense up, but it does work. He also said that if you’re not willing to push, be pushed and be “locked” so to speak, you’re never going to learn anything. This is mainly what I’m trying to do, go against my instincts, relax, and be willing to “lose”. That and training myself to “link” and “unlink” the various parts of my body, which allows for greater flexibility. Or perhaps greater flexibility allows for that. Or both.

Teacher Xu also gave me a copy of some DV footage of the other school practicing tuishou, as well as some of us. It was interesting in a sort of parallel-universe way how close we are to the other school in some ways, yet how different in others. Watching myself push, I look like I’m not really doing anything, and I look, to my eyes at least, very pushable, and it’s strange that my opponents in the video aren’t pushing me over quite easily.

On Saturday the balcony was filled with dancing teenagers, leaving us only a tiny corner by the closed coffee stand. The teenagers glared at us from the wall. I started out pushing with the Guy Not from China, who must have eaten more than his fair share of Wheaties that morning, because he was shoving like a Wall Street maniac. I resisted for a couple of rounds, and then just flew wherever he tossed me. It was kinda fun, and I stood less of chance of twisting something by resisting all of his yanking and shoving.

Next was Mr. You, which went much better. Slower, more educational. Little Qin arrived and embarked on a long tale of controversy on his website‘s comment section before going through his stick forms, and I practiced the empty-handed form a few times, then the sword. Later, we pushed for a while, or rather he would “lock” me and I would try to escape, but I was tired by that point and more than ready for lunch.

posted by Poagao at 6:49 am  

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