Is it okay to sweat during taiji training? I’ve asked this question before, but I’m starting to think about this again. Lately, I’ve actually been trying to avoid sweating during my forms training. Why? I’m starting to feel that if I am sweating, then I’m engaging too much musclular strength and not relying on the frame of my body for support. I’ve been told that with correct alignment, very little muscular strength will be required to support the weight of the body. Also, the importance of this alignment assists in the transferance of any incoming force during applications.
So why do I sometimes still sweat? That’s really quite easy, the answer is because I want to go low in my forms training. I’m pretty sure the problem is that I’m not relaxing my hips and kua enough so I bend at the knees instead resulting in more muscular usage of the thighs. However, this does not explain why I want to go low in the first place? Sure, in combat, lowering one’s center of gravity can be optimal, as seen in many western football players, but is there more?
This will sound strange, but I have often related something about chen style that makes me want to go lower, more so than when I practice yang style. I don’t think it’s a fault of the chen style, but a fault within my own ego and self image when doing chen. I often see masters going low and in my mind I think.. wow.. they look cool. Plus, my background in contemporary wushu and the goals of going lower to the ground than the next guy, doesn’t help either.
Working on the hips/kua aspect will be easier to address in my practice than the ego aspect. Thanks to Shang Lee’s Post on Peng, and ZenMindSword’s prose on Sung, I have even more things to think about during training!!! All joking aside, I do thank them as revisiting this topic has revealed some core topics for me to address. Thanks, guys! 😉