Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 435

Stability and Mobility

The concepts of stability and mobility are the foundation of the internal arts. Stability implies something resistant to change or something that maintains equilibrium. Mobility implies something that is easily moved. These are the yin and yang, the opposites. Yang is fiery and explosive, always ready to to affect change in things in which it manifests, whereas yin is slow and deliberate, more resistant to change. Stability is more yin, mobility more yang. Of course, yin and yang are just part of one whole continuum, there is never an absolute one or the other. We are talking in relative terms. When we want to send out energy out (yang), we need a firm and stable base to support (yin) this movement. When we throw a punch (yang), we need some internal energy to move downward (yin) to support this outward expansion. Visualize the the strong base that holds the space shuttle in place for its take off.

In the internal arts we need mobility to set up situations and avoid collisions with incoming forces. We need to move fast to be able to change instantly. Tai Chi players generally don’t move that well, as most of their training in martial applications has to do with fixed step push hands. And not many Tai Chi styles practice quick stepping, relying more on solid base of support. Aikido players are much more mobile, and need less stability even for their throws. Arts like Tae Kwon Do are all about stability for their hard kicks and blocks.

So no matter what what art you practice, seek out those parts and movements that require you to work with your less used skills, and make sure you understand how to utilize these abilities so you can be well rounded. You want to be mobile and stable depending on the situation.

Tough Week

I ended up in the hospital with a case of Covid. It was no fun. Three long days just lying around practicing my breathing. I have to wear a mask for the next few days, then back to work. I’m so proud of Stephanie and the rest of the Tai Chi Community for stepping up. Best wishes to all.