Becoming Yin and Yang
During your TC journey there will come a time when you consistently beat most people while practicing/competing in pushing hands and wrestling matches. Good for you ! Nobody trains to lose and TC should work if practiced correctly.
But after a while you will start to hear that you or your style of TC is too hard by sore losers who are unable to deal with or are frustrated by your “superior” skill.
This is due to a common misunderstanding and a growing problem in many TC schools today of over playing the importance of ‘softness’, which is maybe fine if you 80 years old and just practicing for health reasons.
But if you are already young, strong and fit and want to learn how to actually use TC as it was originally intended it starts to get confusing.
All students have certain natural abilities like speed, strength, body mass, stamina etc which should be increased as much as possible through intelligent training.
Being strong, fast, big and scary is not a curse in TC, it just means the slow, the weak and the timid need to up their game to deal with you, and thats when the moaning comes in, as their training or the lack of it is unable to deal with the realities of contact work. You have to give and receive quite high levels of force before you become enlightened.
To train Yin and Yang we need to reverse engineer to understand it.
1st step. We need to be ‘relaxed’ which means an absence of stiffness in the muscles and joints. We can still be strong and powerful but this force is trained and refined not stiff and dead.
2nd step. We need to be ‘soft’ which means the body and limbs are loose, light, pliable and elastic. But not collapsed or flaccid.
We then combine the 1st & 2nd steps to allow us to follow and use the 3rd step,
3rd step. Match the speed and intensity of the incoming force. If they are slow we are slow, if they are fast we are fast, if they are light/heavy we are light/heavy and if they are strong we are strong. Always be ready to change.
4th. If you have applied steps 1,2 and 3 correctly then you will be able to feel when your partner/opponent has stopped changing and has an absence of Yin and Yang and so is now double weighted.
It is at this moment that you should strike.
In TC the key is balance, the correct amount of Yin and Yang at the right time. We need to understand constant change or movement to be able to maintain this balance.
TC should be neither totally hard or totally soft but have an element of each within the other.
The extreme of Yin is the creation of Yang, and the extreme of Yang is the creation of Yin. It is the absence of change that is to be avoided.
The highest achievement in the art is to combine the attributes of both Yin and Yang. To be able to respond to any situation, not just a martial one.
In reply to an attack which can be physical or emotional you can disappear like smoke, resist like a mountain or fight back like a tiger. The expert understands the separation and combining of Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang will always be a personal and subjective interpretation of the changing situations that will effect you every second of the day constantly throughout your life.
What you think is Yin or Yang at a certain moment may be totally different to someone else's interpretation as they have also changed in that moment as has the situation.
But if you can maintain your balance come what may, then you have understood the meaning of Yin and Yang.