Mind your own business

By Paul Fretter

There are three basic components in partner training: My awareness of my structure and movement, your awareness of your structure and movement, and then the connection between us, manifested in how each of us perceives and responds to our relative changes in direction, position, balance, movement and contact.  It is important to draw a clear distinction between your awareness of your own structure and movement, and what you can really only infer[1] is happening to the other person, or of what they are doing, or are about to do.

In this article I attempt to explain why, even in partner training, our focus should be on our own structure and movement, and not on those of our partner.  This is mainly, although not exclusively, written for those who already have some experience of Taiji practice, and speaks from only a basic understanding of our own sensory and nervous systems.  It is my hope this will assist those who have an interest in the physiological aspects to appreciate the importance of the advice expressed in classes and the Taiji classics.

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[1] From http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/infer to infer is “to form an opinion or guess that something is true because of the information that you have