Taijiquan Application: real or illusion?

by admin2 on 2014/09/13

A youtube viewer of video below asked:
Master Chen, how will know if can be used when we can practice 100%? How would we know if it is real or an illusion of our ability?


Please comment on this good question

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Andre September 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Unfortunately in our world everything is relative to the limit of each persons perception of reality.
In that context you could say that any form of skill is real skill. The key thing is how demanding we are in regard to such things.
To defeat someone in combat just as trained as you are, and who is about your size, may be a sign of some skill, or maybe you just got lucky and didn’t know.
Certainly to defeat someone much bigger, stronger than you, and with a lot of training would require a higher level of such skill.

But how about to defeat someone without even having the thought of winning in your mind?
If you reach a level, such that even when you don’t want to fight, you still win, then clearly your skill is absolute. Since it exists even when it contradicts your intention or the ideas in your mind. It exists regardless of opinion or thought.

Like old ones used to say, that which has no feel or color or anything to it, that, might be real.


pingwei September 14, 2014 at 6:59 am

Here are some quotes about hidden mysteries of ikebana (setting flowers) art. They may not relate to the question above. But I hope they can help you to think beyond.
“One must always seek. If you don’t seek, you will never find. There are some things that only you will find. Perhaps you will come across them, perhaps not, but you’ll never know unless you seek.” (In abstract art form, you seek. In martial art/Tai Chi, you practice. Teacher points the way. You must practice.)
“Every way has its own hidden mysteries which must be revered. These secrets, however, cannot be grasped immediately. Understanding them takes time.”
“On one level. one can think to comprehend or know them, but in actuality these secrets cannot be understood or taught. If you are not careful, you will think you have mastered them only to realize that you know nothing about them at all.”
“Secrets are elusive. Thinking you have mastered them, you realize that you know nothing about them, and this makes you all the more interested. The nature of hidden mysteries is that you repeat this process over and over.”
(Quotes from Sofu Teshigahara, The Book of Flowers.)


Andre September 14, 2014 at 9:56 am

Very beautiful Pingwei, thank you a lot for sharing.


Aaron Bartholomew September 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Elegant, concise, and applicable across domains of mastery. I echo Andre, very beautiful Pingwei.

In answer to the question: You won’t know by yourself. There is a strong tendency to think we’re doing better than we actually are. This is why there’s such an emphasis on obtaining feedback in the Practical Method. Given that we can’t trust our perceptions of how we’re doing in practice, the best answer is to find a teacher that can guide your practice, and provide corrections as needed.

Part of the purpose of push hands is to verify that the practitioner is conforming to the principles, form, and alingments. This will help the practitioner know how they’re doing, and where they need to focus further practice. The practitioner should then put in a lot of practice to use these corrections (both on principle and technique) to improve.


Calvin Chow September 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm

If you follow all the rules to practice the method and it works, it is real not illusion. If it does not work, practice more until it works.


charlie wishon September 21, 2014 at 5:19 am

How do we know if we practice 100 %. If we do tai ji at 100 % we should only be fighting for our lives. Because if we can do Tai Ji . Someone will be gravely injured or die if we use 100%. In our practice control must be there. That is why when learning real tai ji we must take baby steps with our opposing partners. Or someone will get hurt. And yes this happens on accident anyway so the idea is that recovery is quick , and these accidents make us stronger and more wise. Its a very good idea to learn healing arts. And use extreme caution we applying this system .


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