The most pervasive human behavior is rationalization. Rationalization happens after people make a mistake.
Here is an example. On our 2004 trip to China, a Chinese master was explaining a technique to Yaron Seidman. He said that his arm was so rubber-like that it was not possible for Yaron to catch it (usually catch means to render it straight thus losing ability to neutralize). Yaron immediately seized and caught him. He could not get out so, instead, he pushed Yaron out. All present could see that he had failed to do what he preached to do. What he said afterward was very typical, “If I neutralized your move, I would have hurt you so I pushed you out. Whatever you do, I can always push you out.” That is a classic case of rationalization. If only people stop this practice, progress can be made.
Rationalization is a roadblock in the learning of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. Most of the time rationalization seems harmless, but it is a hidden obstacle for Taijiquan learning.
Rationalization has the following characteristics:
1). Rationalization is a way to defend oneself from mistakes one has made.
“You have to follow the rules, but I am at a higher level, I don’t have to”.
“I cannot do that because my body is different from yours.”
2). Rationalization is latent and difficult to detect. If you start paying attention to this phenomenon, you will start noticing how pervasive it is among people.
If rationalization is stopped, learning will take place.
Originally published Nov 2007