Mittwoch, 28. Februar 2018

The Power of the Paradox

by Martin Boedicker

Just thinking about a quote of Wu Yinghua:

"Never let the slightest idea of attack enter your mind."

This is the skill of going along with - to give oneself up to follow the other. It is the noble art of waiting for the other to attack. I have been working on this for decades.

And then ... we are training yin-jin, the tempting jin-power:

Tempting-jin is for when an opponent is not moving, tempting them to move.
Or for when an opponent is already moving, tempting them along a path of your own choosing.
One tempts the other with action and if they react to it, they will fall into the trap.

What now???

Should I be inactive, wait and then follow or should I become active, take control of the other by tempting them into a movement, they originally did not intend to do?

How paradoxical! How beautiful!

Once yin, once yang. That is the Dao.

This is the foundation of Tai Chi Chuan. The change between inactivity and activity, between stillness and movement - one of the great skills of Tai Chi Chuan. By applying the power of this paradox, one overcomes the other with greater skill and less force.

Montag, 26. Februar 2018

The Intention (yi)

by Martin Boedicker

One of the central requirements in Tai Chi Chuan is:

Use the intention (yi) and not muscular strength.

(Foto of Ma Jiangbao by Manos Meisen)

This sentence explains us one of the highest ideals of Tai Chi Chuan and it emphasizes the importance of yi. Yi is already in the classical Chinese philosophy a technical term, which covers a wide range of meaning. One can say e.g. that yi is everything, which one has in mind, what one is thinking. Zhuangzi points out:

What can be verbalized is the coarse of the things.
What can be in the mind (yi) is the fine of the things.

Yi In the epistemology of Xunzi is best translated as imagination. But yi can also be mood, inclination or intention, like the intention of a painter preceding his brushwork. This is called bi-yi the intention of the brush. This 'intention' is also often attributed to nature, e.g. when one feels the end of the summer, with a chill in the air. In Chinese this is called chu-yi, the intention of the autumn.

There term yi is often found in the Classics of Tai Chi Chuan, e.g. in the Song of 13 Basic Movements:

Yi and qi as the ruler - bones and flesh as the servants.

In some translations of this sentence one finds often the word spirit or mind for yi. Even though yi is close to spirit (shen) and the heart-mind (xin) one should know, that the spirit and the heart-mind are not identical with yi. One says:

When the heart-mind moves, the yi is also moving.
The heart-mind orders, the yi implements.

To place yi below the spirit and the heard-mind and to take the special meaning of yi in Tai Chi Chuan in account, it is best to translate yi as intention.

Donnerstag, 15. Februar 2018

Mittwoch, 14. Februar 2018

The Haystack

In Pushhands one should be not active but reactive -
well may be like that:

Don't waist time looking for a needle in a haystack.
Jump around in the haystack. Let the needle find you.

Dienstag, 13. Februar 2018

The Unknown

Do not just clever rearrange the techniques you know.

Wait - go along with - follow - into the unknown.

Then get inspired by what comes and get creative.