ZenMindSword has often written about the differences between muscle supported structure and intention/qi supported structure on his Taiji@Stagmont blog. In addition, we’ve had some interesting discussions in the past about the role of muscles in applications as well as the role of intention in applications (redirect vs intention-based neutralization, Waist Independent of Hips?)
In a current post, ZenMindSword addresses the issue of whether low stance training is necessary for cultivating ‘Rou’. In this post, he outlines some points to consider during taiji training:
– calm mind
– relaxed demeanour (wujimon’s inner smile?)
– using little effort to move the body
– swimming on dry land flavor of movement
– focused mind intention
– mind over body flavor
– unified body movement (6 harmonies)
– balanced movement
– minimal effort and body movement between different postures
– one part move, every part moves principle
– relaxed hands
– little effort to turn the body even on a weighted leg
One of the points that really hit something for me was this idea of “using little effort to move the body” and “minimal effort and body movement between different postures”. We’ve all heard of using 4 oz to move a thousand pounds, but what about using only 4 oz when we move?
Everytime I think of something like this, I get taken back to my days of Yang training under the TT Liang camp. I know I’ve mentioned this time and time before, but it keeps nipping me in the bud. One of the things I asked while training was, Is It Ok to Sweat During Taiji Training? At the time, I got a little smirk and the following response:
. . . sometimes it’s good to sweat and other times it’s not. He then went on to talk about how it’s ok to sweat if you are trying to rid your body of toxins, etc but not normally.
I put a little emphasis in the part that struck me. He tried to tell me that normally, it is not ok to sweat, but I just didn’t get it. Was he trying to tell me that if we only use 4 oz to move, then we will not sweat? Was he trying to tell me I was using too much muscle and not enough intention? Come to think of it, I really regret not spending more time at this school b/c my mind was too busy trying to chase the chen bug. But come to think of it, I was just not ready to accept the teaching at the time. My training was not prepared for it. My cup was not empty.