Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 06 2008

8/6 park

I’ve decided to keep writing in this account, at least what I feel appropriate, for now. If this means omitting a few things here and there, so be it. I’ll just have to decide it myself.

Little Mountain Pig, Weeble, Guo, Teacher X and his son were all at the park last night when I got there, relatively early at 8:30. Usually nobody shows up until around 9. I warmed up with the form while Weeble and Guo went at it. After that, Pig got out his wooden swords, and we practiced “tuijian” or “pushing swords”. Basically it’s just tuishou with swords. I used to do it before with another sword student friend of mine who disappeared, but that was many years ago, and I’m really rusty at it. It was interesting and instructive, though, complementing the form as tuishou does, in that it’s more real-world and interactive. “Not bad,” Pig said afterwards. “You’re not afraid of the blade, anyway.” I had to switch hands every so often as my shoulders got tired, even though the wooden sword is much lighter than either my real sword or my practice sword. I don’t get tired doing the sword form, but tuijian lasts a lot longer, and you’re actually dealing with another person’s force.

Pig tried to get Guo to practice with me, but he refused, insisting that he was just learning sword. I found this odd as Guo was practically teaching Teacher X’s son the sword form. Weeble was game, though he would only use his right hand. I was a bit wary of Weeble; if it was anything like his tuishou, he’d be doing quick surprise thrusts that could hurt someone, even with just a wooden sword. Fortunately, he never got his weapon into position to do anything of the sort. He started to run around in order to get into an attack position, but I called him on it.

After that we put down the swords, and Weeble and I practiced normal tuishou. Weeble is still very rigid and unyielding, committed to pushing with pure force. I asked him why that was, and he told me “someone” told him he was too soft. “That’s hard to believe,” I said. “No one in our group, I hope?” He said it was someone outside our group, in another group. “Why are you listening to them?” I asked.

“Because I want to compete!” he said, trying to get me to attack with more force. He highly recommended going around to other tai-chi and other tuishou groups and trying them out. While I’m interested in experiencing different styles, etc., I’m not remotely interested in competitive tuishou. It just seems like the antithesis of the whole idea behind tai-chi.

posted by Poagao at 11:22 pm  


  1. I am as advanced as you in taijiquan, but I start to see tuishou as the real part of taiji. The form is the frame and the real practice is the picture in the middle. You need both to be complete. Hence, I believe that practicing tuishou with a lot of people will help me refining my form. If you practice always with the same guys you get used to their specificity and you learn to answer only to those.
    Competition can be seen as just a way to pratice with a lot of different people/style.
    That cannot be bad in itself …

    Anyway that’s just my point of view, don’t take it too seriously 🙂

    Comment by Cyril — August 7, 2008 @ 8:20 am

  2. Oups, please read the first sentence as “I am NOT as advanced as you in taijiquan…”

    Sorry for that 🙂

    Comment by Cyril — August 7, 2008 @ 8:24 am

  3. Heh, you probably are more advanced than I am, not that that’s a big deal.

    Comment by Poagao — August 13, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

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