The invisible line of Taiji

by Sevastianos Maillis on 2018/06/07

Yesterday I had the luck to assist Master Chen and Pavel Codi in filming a corrections video in Prague. Apart from the valuable corrections received as an observer, later also had the opportunity to touch, see and feel exactly what Master Chen was describing before.

波兰Poland18-2 - 12

波兰Poland18-2 – 12

First thing is to look for the spot and then stretch against it. One millimetre of stretch is enough, but the problem is that we always deviate, at a rate of 100%.

If we want to picture it, it is like the gun. When the aim is fixed on the target, then the bullet has only to go forward and through the barrel. At the same time, in order to shoot we touch only the trigger and not he gun itself. Straight lines can be recognized when we practice the yilu form, but later it can be anywhere, as Master Chen demonstrated, just by finding the target (the contact point) and issuing on the touch or a simple handshake.

Later on Master Chen explained in detail that we need to have a point of contact which touches on the opponent. Then in order to make a line we pick another dot on our body, and simply stretch it backward. The word” simply” does not imply at all that it is a simple and normal process in order to succeed, but is used here to describe that the whole action does not involve a push forward, or any other action.

Prague18-2布拉格 - 04

Prague18-2布拉格 – 04

So, if we need to describe it briefly, it is “No frontal push, only stretch backwards”.

When engaging with an opponent Master Chen demonstrated that he can also move back and forth on this line by closing the distance. This line although invisible it is 100% real and can be felt at the time of issuing that causes the opponent to bounce back.

The method to create this line is by fixing the mind on it and making sure by restriction that the points at the two ends do not move. Moving either spots even a millimetre and then the line is all lost. Staying on the line is exactly the notion of not deviating from it. Master Chen explained it with the image of pulling the string of a bow.

The same principle can also be applied in pulling instead of pushing the opponent, by withdrawing with the elbows and then issuing from the dan tian. Master Chen also demonstrated it and explained that there has to be no back and forth movement of the front shoulder and elbow, as well as the front kua has to be intact in place in relation to the ground. When these restrictions are in place, it causes the opponent to be pulled in and at the same time to be bounced back, without using any extra force from the front leg and front hand. If we need to add more power in order to match the opponent then we can move the rear leg and make our structure longer.

Prague18-2布拉格 - 30

Prague18-2布拉格 – 30

A final point in order to issue, is that the stretch comes from the rear ankle.

The feeling is like a bullet hitting you and this is what is called the magic of taiji. Exactly because it is something that is not physically there, but it pokes through you. All this is of course is much easier said than done and “the final frontier is to stretch”.

 

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