The topic of why we practice Kung Fu slowly in Taiji came up recently. Take for example the Elbow In exercise, what are we trying to achieve with it? Alignment. When the alignment is right, when the elbow is truly in, the opponent holding your hand and wrist will find it hard not to pop and gets sucked into you via your arm. When we practice slowly, we are a) feeling our way to this alignment and b) establishing the habit of being in this Elbow In position during exchanges.
Starting slow and feeling your way and establishing a habit apply to all sorts of learning. Take for example my other hobby, guitar. I certainly don’t turn my drum machine or the backing track to the maximum speed during my first trial/initial learning stage until I have some hours under my belt. When I practice slowly, I find economy in my movement when I have to change chords, it gives me time to digest how to orient my fingers before I need to change chords.
This economy is the same with the Elbow In exercise. My opponent pops when my body has enough economy, if you will, to facilitate a path for my elbow to move into the perfect alignment. This economy consists of building up your body to allow your Kua to open and turned up to meet your shoulder, while my fingers remain pointing at my opponent’s spine throughout the during of the elbow moving in. At the meantime, for your body to remain still/not moving, we maintain a fixedby imagining the is leaning against a solid object. In my class, our core exercises are Elbow In with the rubber cord; fetch water with the Yoga block against the knee; and the 1,2,3 step.
Give it a try; the results may surprise you!
最近談起打太極拳為什麼要慢。以收肘為例、到底收肘是練甚麼？是練對準。能對準、肘真正的能收就能輕鬆的把對方蹦起而吸到你身邊。 慢慢練收肘是要練 a) 體驗肘要放那個位才是準、b）養成這對準的習慣。