Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 24 2008

November pushing

Many years ago I sustained a fairly serious injury to my left knee, and as a result it’s a little weaker than my right knee. Therefore, I’ve been practicing more with my left foot back when doing tuishou than with my right foot back, to compensate. Lately I’ve found that I actually do better with my left foot back than the right. Does this mean it’s recovered? No, I think it just means I get more practice in that position.

“Merge your energy with that of your opponent,” Teacher X told us as I practiced with the UPS guy. I guess it’s the only way to manipulate them.

Last Saturday at 2/28 park was brilliant. The weather was perfect. A really old guy sat watching us practice, the same guy from last time. I keep meaning to ask Teacher X who he is, and then forgetting. I was practicing with UPS Guy yet again, and doing pretty badly, when Teacher X told me to forget about what was going on in front and concentrate on pushing “the skin of his back” instead.

It was like night and day. Using this mindset, I didn’t get all bothered about what was going on with all the hands and elbows and shoulders; it didn’t matter. All I had to worry about was the skin of his back, just that, and suddenly it all became so simple and easy. Of course, visualizing oneself in the same way is harder, and I didn’t do so well with that. But I was pretty happy to have gotten at least that one idea down.

UPS Guy also had some advice. Actually, it wasn’t new advice. People are always telling me to “relax” and pushing will become easier. However, we were talking about just what that word meant, and I realized that it wasn’t just to relax your muscles, though it also does mean that. However, in this context it primarily means to put your body into a more comfortable, stable position, even if that means tightening and moving through less comfortable positions on the way there. For example, if I am being twisted and pushed by someone, I could either relax like a rag doll, but ideally just returning to a stable “default” position instead of resisting or just relaxing works much better.

I will have to look into this idea more carefully in the future.

posted by Poagao at 4:14 am  

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