Continuing … the next point from Blog 1 …
What’s the point of 2-person work?
Tai chi is about change and adaptability; this is not obvious when doing solo tai chi, but when you work with a partner, you become very aware of it.
Change & Adaptability This is about spontaneity. When playing any game/sport, e.g. football, tennis, cards, chess, etc., your play needs to be governed by your opponent’s last move. Aside from the over-all plan of either enjoying yourself or winning, you might have various intermediate or short-term plans in mind whilst playing; but if you stick too rigidly to them, ignoring any moves your opponent might make, you rapidly become unstuck.
2-Person Tai Chi is the same; how you move is completely dependent upon your partner’s move, e.g. such factors as, where his weight is, how sunk his qi is, how tense he is, whether or not he has inadvertently collapsed the structure of his legs, whether he is leaning, etc.
Being vulnerable implies an awareness of the possibility of change and therefore the need to be adaptable. The frustrating part for some people is being unable to respond to that change.
So, you can plan as much as you like, and try to read the signs, but you’re not really going to know until it happens .
… Continued in “2-Person Exercises in Taiji – Maintaining Your Integrity (4)”.