Hi Sifu Chen, I really enjoy your videos. I know that different teachers have different emphases and skills, and that some skills are more “practical” in the sense that they don’t require setup or cooperation of the other person in a live situation. That said, there are 2 or 3 online taiji teachers (e,g, Liang DeHua and Adam Meisner) who use “na” energy extensively to capture the partner’s body and push him out. Do you also teach this skill, and if not, why not? Thank you for considering my question.
Thank, George, for your question.
I teach this, but not as a skill. Let me explain.
All fighting must end up with hitting the opponent. The best is to kill. In commercial/stage fighting, the best is a KO.
Hitting has three stages: 1. static/theoretical. 2. Moving/applying. 3. Real/Make it work.
Most of our teaching/learning is theoretical, though many will think what they do is more than that. It is not. We set up a scenario and start teaching, planning, practicing based on that. When done “correctly”, there will be results. All these are “fake”. This is the practice of applying templates. There is nothing wrong with this. This is a necessary step in learning in the modern society.
The second stage includes all competitions and fights that are open to the public.
The third stage is real. “Real” means if you survive it, you cannot talk about it. Very few people have this kind of experiences.
Back to your question. I teach “na” in a hands on manner so that students will understand what it is/feels like to have meaningful contact and grip with the opponent. I don’t call this skill. I call this preparing the body.
Skill is when you engage in fullfighting scenarios with your opponent (though still fake, meaning not real life and death situation).
The above two stages combined is what I call “talking taiji”: the teaching and learning of taiji.
What is learned in talking taiji is turned into real skill by individual students. This part can not be taught.