Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 362
Duai La – Natural Balance
There is a term in the Chinese Internal Arts – Duai La – which means counter balance of energy. Every effective force issued from our body is met with an equal and opposite force. If we want to push forward, our rear foot pushes down and to the rear, while our forward foot pushes down sending the chi up into the forward hip, acting as a brake.
If the hands are pushing straight ahead, the center of the back expands backward. If we push downward, the top of the head expands upward. When kicking, the kicking foot moves outward, while the standing foot is pressed downward.
It sounds so complicated, yet this is just the natural or instinctive way the body deals with natural balance in moving energy. In Tai Chi and other internal arts, we break down movements until they seem very unnatural in order to understand the dynamics involved, then we put them back together in a natural way, with the possibility that we may have corrected any unnatural elements that might have been present before we started our exploration. I highly recommend that all Tai Chi players take the time, on occasion, to study this important concept.
Patience is a Tai Chi player’s best friend. In the Internal arts, as in life in general, there is pressure to take control of a situation, even before it has matured. It is like picking fruit before it has ripened.
When playing push hands, sparring, or free fighting, you must have patience and wait for the opponent to make the first move. As he comes out of his defensive position, he is much more vulnerable to being controlled. And it is control that we are seeking, certainly not harm. To control our opponent without doing harm breeds respect, not hate and feelings of revenge.
So wait and do the very least you need to do to gain control of the situation and all will be better off.