I’ve been wondering how to use or borrow smaller amounts of energy or force. Deflecting 10 lbs actually seems more difficult than deflecting 1000 lbs because the opponent can quickly adjust. The negative stereotypes of aikido are based on the larger force, where people quickly comment that no real fighter over-commits in such an off-balanced way.

A common idea on taijiquan is entice to emptiness, THEN issue. So most people tend to see the style as a counterattacking style. However, it’s also said in various ways about various arts that smaller circles or movements are more desirable than bigger circles and so on until eventually there doesn’t even seem to be any circles. That must mean the “THEN” in the statement above gets incredibly small. The leading then issuing should not be done in a large obvious way. As we get more skilled, it should get smaller. At the extreme, all the legends of internal arts masters have people commenting that on all first touch, they were thrown out. That seems to imply the circles got infinitesimally small until noone actually perceived any circle. If that is true, it seems it’d be hard to perceive a counterattacking flavor vs. an offensive flavor – differences in typical movement approaches in the main internal arts may seem smaller.

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