I had been thinking one should deflect 1000 lbs with 40 lbs first, then 4 lbs, etc. I think that makes sense for the number on the right side of the equation, but also, deflecting a larger amount is easier in a way. Getting the number on the left down is also interesting and seems to be a progression. Say you receive 100 lbs, you match it by yielding in the same direction with 100 lbs, so that there is a net of 0 lbs. Then you add only 4 lbs. The opponent can potentially be “thrown out” with his own 100 lbs + 4 lbs even without going through an “entice to emptiness, then issue” follow-up in a different direction. That is pretty feasible to understand as a beginner. The idea that the opponent really throws himself. What’s really tough is if you only have an “offer” of 10 lbs or 1 lb. The smaller energy and commitment is harder to “listen” to, then deflect with 4 oz. Scaling things down is harder because more sensitivity, sticking, “listening”, and subtlety is required. That requires more relaxation which is harder when there are feints and sudden shifts, not just one direction of clumsy, obvious, overcommitted energy. I think that’s one reason why they say small circles are better than big circles and tiny circles are better than small circles and so on. In that sense deflecting 10 lbs or 1 lb with 4 ounces is actually harder than deflecting 1000 lbs with 4 oz. If you can only “borrow” 10 lbs, you may have to “add” more than 4 ounces because the opponent isn’t as likely to throw himself with only 10 lbs 4 oz.
November 17, 2007
Working with smaller amounts of energyPosted by editor under taijiquan
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