Three Competencies Help Softness Beat Hardness, Part I Written by Wu RH, translated by Tang YY
The eight hand methods (ward off, rollback, press, push, pluck, split, elbow, and shoulder) and the five sticking methods (which boil down to always engaging but never resisting) are the first two of three core competencies that all pushing hands practitioners should strive to master.
The ability to stick (keep in constant contact) effectively gives you a radar to listen in on his intentions and strategy.
Effective sticking is possible only when you are light and agile, which in turn is possible only when you relax your joints, which can be achieved only after you have completely let go of all mental attachments, such as a desire to win.
When you are free from attachments, you are ready to cultivate holistic, whole-body energy and momentum. Then the eight hand methods allow your softness to triumph over his hardness.
The most fundamental of the eight hand methods is ward off, from which you may change to push, shoulder, press, elbow, rollback, or pluck.
Your arms, in a ward off position, form a protective shield around your body. Your hands lightly and nimbly stick with your opponent—always staying in physical contact with but never offering resistance to any movement of your opponent. When you resist or lose contact, he can use the opening or the resistance to either fajing or lead you to lose balance. Ironically, you are defeated not by him but by your own mistake: You lost contact or you resisted.
Following all of his movements, even those ruthless and relentless offensive moves against you, while always not losing contact with him and not resisting him in the least may at first glance appear spineless or useless,
© but it is quite reasonable and useful: While you follow his movements, you are waiting for or creating your chance—much like passing the basketball around waiting for an opening—to score.
© but it is also quite an achievement: Few people can reach this level of competency. It can be achieved only by practitioners who possess all three core PH competencies, two of which are discussed above (1. who are gentle and nimble in the upper body when executing the eight hand methods, and 2. who have no desire to beat the other guy when sticking with him by always staying in physical contact and never offering resistance). The third competency—solid strength in the legs—will be explored in Part II.
標籤： Teaching Note