On Saturday 11 April 2009 I have the privelage of joining a Tai Chi push hand session in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras. It was both a revelation and a humbling experience! But, it reminded me of my brief tai chi experience 18 years ago, where I was thrown 30 feet back by an old man on top of a rooftop.
That skill is alive and well. It is my wish that it will be kept alive for the next generation to enjoy.
The group is made up of a few "old looking young men". I say that because at the end of very short push hand session with each one of them, I was panting and weezing while they walk around with happy faces and strong vigour! Man, I have a lot to learn still!
However, unlike my previous experience being thrown off EVERY time, I'm now able to respond and sometimes stop their attacks. Keyword is "SOMETIMES"! And I'm no longer thrown off far. They felt very heavy but was manageable. Maybe I have done something right the past 18 years. Or maybe they were giving face. Most probably it was the latter.
I guess what I'm trying to say here are:
Go out of your comfort zone
I found out that I'm not rooted enough! In my own class no one could move me except sifu. I was told by members of the taichi push hands group that if I could root my self more, I would be able to use more body weight and project more power. Hey! I thought I was already doing that! This however, proves that I definitely have not done enough. I need more training!
Go out of your comfort zone and try to experience other arts and see where you can improve yourself! I would never know that there are many more steps forward! I mean, I know there's a LOT MORE but couldn't see what it was. Now Ican see.
But, be respectful and practice giving face. We're there to share and maybe learn. Not fight! Not to show we or the martial arts we practice is better. Remember in the end it is not about the martial arts. its about you! So focus on yourself and improve yourself!
P/S: Thank you all the members of the Bandar Tun Razak push hands training group, Mr. Lai, Philip, David and others for allowing me to join in. Hope to have many more good times ahead.
And thank you for your invitation to train me as a taichi push hands competitor and your comments on my performance. Please allow me to learn more after this!