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Fine tuning and harmony are the way, not brute force

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As I have repeatedly said, brute force is never the way to go, no exceptions. Fine tuning and harmonization are the way to deal with conflict, stress, feeling down, and perceived threats. When addressing the foregoing challenges, I incorporate leasons from the Chinese internal martial art of taijiquan, which I have been practicing for 18 years.

Summertime in the D.C. area is always amazing for taijiquan practitioners who join Master Julian Chu (a very modest and stratospherically accomplished and selfless master at that, who works at the Defense Department by day, and gives at least weekly time to teaching taijiquan on Sundays) for Sunday morning practices at the David Chen memorial taijiquan court at Cabin John Park in Potomac, Maryland. 

August 26 ended the summer gatherings with a bang for me, where I practiced, relearned, and was reminded of the following with some of the group’s most accomplished practitioners who are devoted to seeing their fellow practitioners rise as they rise:

– Do not let the opponent know your intentions when advancing and withdrawing. This in part involves being relaxed — never collapsed nor stiff — and soft, just as water is soft but devastating as a tidalwave. 

– Use no more than three ounces of force in advancing and withdrawing. 

– Use fine-tuned fluid adjustments in withdrawing. This is critical in dealing with all of life’s challenges, conflicts and threats.

– In withdrawing, include deflecting, adjusting, and sinking into the legs. Keep the legs strong for this, including correct daily taijiquan practice. 

– When pushing, keep connected to your root in the ground. Keep your pushes connected. Practice pushing from a low position to cause the opponent to be pushed upwards and uprooted. 

– Relax at all times. Relax and sink into each move. Relax, relax, relax. Practice, practice, practice. Thrive, thrive, thrive. 


– September 15 is the date for a local push hands gathering coordinated in full or part by Wuwei t’ai chi, Montgomery County, Maryland. 

– Julian Chu’s fall classes resume September 22 at Li Ming academy, Julius West Middle School, Rockville, MD. Starts 10 a.m.  $60 for the semester; doubled if attending both morning sessions. 

– Master Ben Lo teaches the weekend of September 29. Information should be at the Wuwei t’ai chi website. 

– Never be double-weighted, not even in the mind.