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30 August 2000

My amazement continues:

Tonight, in t'ai chi class, David was demonstrating "push hands." It's an exercise in balance. Partners push against each other, each exerting force, one of aggression, one of resistance. The interaction teaches you to find your balance. The trick seems to be to direct the chi (energy), one's own and one's opponent's, properly, letting it flow, either from or back into one's "roots," thus... thus strengthening one's... position in either resisting or overcoming one's opponent. Very interesting stuff.

When he demonstrated the technique with me, he found I was a pushover. That is to say, he could, quite easily, push me over. I couldn't keep my "roots" planted. Alas, I haven't found my balance yet. He also told me that I had a chi blockage in my shoulder, which I do, as a matter of fact-- and it's been bugging me for a week now. He's very good at reading chi-- a very good teacher.

But, what was really amazing to me came later when I got to watch him pushing against an opponent. I could see-- though I can't say that's the right word-- the chi, David's chi. It sounds like I'm getting weird, but I promise you I'm not. He was standing one foot in front of the other, leaning slightly forward, left hand relaxed at his side, right arm out in front-- also quite relaxed-- elbow bent, hand pushing against his "opponent." A classic stance. You've seen it a million times. But I bet you never saw the energy flowing. I did. I knew that if I put my hand out close to his body I'd feel the energy, just as if I put my hand up close to a TV screen. Chi.

When class was winding up and we were doing a bit of qi gong-- that's another kind of chi strengthening exercise-- he said that he felt the chi in the room was very strong. Personally, I thought it was his chi that was permeating the place, but later, at Ma's, I was talking this over with her-- and she knew exactly what I was talking about-- I brought my hands together to demonstrate something I was saying, and I could feel my own chi between my hands, strong and real...

I've found an excellent teacher, I think. I hope I get to keep him.


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