Day 21: Tai ji (taijiquan)

After lunch today, Maret and other Lotus students gathered in the courtyard of the Lotus building to learn Taijiquan from a two masters. We started with the tradition slow taiji warm-up (it looks a lot like a dance with waving arms).

It looked kind of silly, but then the masters started showing us how it worked (using other peoples energy against them), and it was very impressive. Basically, everyone first practiced with a classmate, then went to spar with a master who, of course, made them look silly, then they went back to their partner to practice more. It was very challenging but very fun.

One of the masters explained that every person should be like water and not use force on the other person and, in tern, not let the other person’s force influence them (for instance, push them off balance). The reason is that if you use force, then the other person can, in turn, use your force against you. There were lots of flailing arms and awkward stand-offs, but it was still a lot of fun. I saw Andy and Evan created their own taiji routine, which included karate chops and no physical contact what so ever. It was quite amusing to watch. I sparred with Austin and ended up doing some very awkward pirouettes, not quite sure what acting like water is supposed to look like. The master walked over to me laughing saying I was doing it all wrong. I glad to say I got better.

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