A condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced or unchanging system.
Mental and emotional balance; poise.
Physics : The state of a body or physical system at rest or in unaccelerated motion in which the resultant of all forces acting on it is zero and the sum of all torques about any axis is zero.
Chemistry : The state of a chemical reaction in which its forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates, so that the concentration of the reactants and product remain stable. Equilibrium is a concept that embodies some of the highest attributes of a effective martial arts discipline. It is uniquely embedded in the intricacies of Taijiboxing as it demonstrates the essence of the art form.
In many forms of Taijiquan they often refer to the theory of Yin and Yang, without any concrete example of it in the real world. There is often many references to conceptualized application for both, self defense and energy work or Qui kung training. I believe both are one in the same in the fact that both the idea of softness overcoming hardness can not fully be experience with out real life application.
With this new skill of equilibrium it is possible to be one step closer to the appreciation of simplicity of the supreme ultimate fist theory for health longevity and effective self defense. This can be utilized in the form as a discipline for life and an artful expression in daily Taijiquan practice. In the practice of Tui shui, most people learn push hands in the traditional way and start very gently with one hand, and eventually both. With time, patience and diligent practice, few venture into the competitive area of push hand competitions.
But what does this really teach us?
Most of the players are usually players with some martial arts background, are competitive and don’t mind a bit of contact. The more seasoned the player, the better off they tend to perform.
So, what are they really better at?
I believe that push hands is a skill that is a integral part of Taijiboxing art, a successful addition to practice self defense. When and only if practiced in the correct context, true benefits yield. If push hands is practiced in arena of fixed rules and stipulations, then it is not realistic. As in the natural environment, there are no fixed rules or stipulations. The real world is dynamic and variable just as the practice of push hands should be.
The interpretation of the classic always maintained this: the idea of soft overcoming hard, slow defeating fast, parables adopted by students, observing the masters. Over time, some of these popular statements became included as part of the chronicles of Taijiquan. The reality is if you move fast, I move faster. This claim has little to do with speed alone, but on perception and preemptive movement. This is where the soft skills of listening adhere, stick, follow lead and attack are most useful, through a developed sense of natural equilibrium. These principles were always developed through experience and real time application. Full force full speed, sometimes discomfort, pain or even injury.
Henceforth, the age old adage ‘invest in loss’ doesn’t necessarily mean that Taijiboxing or any martial arts should be become a Macho art with Gladiatorial writes of passage.
Realistic approach to training embodies personal protection, prevention of injury and enlightenment for a better quality of life.
This is what might’ve meant by the title of the Supreme ultimate fist and may have nothing to do with the idea of being the best as the only method designed to achieve longevity.
Maybe the practice of Taiji quan is one of the better ways to stave off disease and live in harmony with oneself, and the environment.
We must try to achieve a state of natural equilibrium that allows us to move with ease, thus balancing our emotions, attitudes and belief systems.
We should know when to be to be strong, when to be hard (if necessary) for self preservation. Soft but supple, compassionate, reasonable, intuitive . . .
The natural way for equilibrium to work is also known as harmony.
This may well have been what the ancients called enlightenment – the ability to utilize the theory of yin and yang
in everyday life . Through the practice of moving meditation the taijiform and the application of principles for
self development, preservation and protection. Equilibrium is the essence of stillness and motion and motion
in stillness, these traits embody the essential tenants of Taijiboxing and Taijiquan for a fuller, more vital lifestyle.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and look forward to sharing and discovering of new wisdom from the
Dennis Pounall lives and works as a flight paramedic in Northern Ontario Elliot Lake, competes (inter)nationally
in Chinese Martial arts weapons and of course Taijiquan demonstrations and competitions. His wife of twenty years, Jana, is a yoga instructor and a novelist.
Peace Sifu Dennis Pounall.