Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | February 11, 2014

Tai Chi High Wire

In thinking about how to explain the internal goings-on in tai chi, I came up with the metaphor of a man on a high wire. In the circus, when the walker steps onto the long wire, the wire does not rise up and try to push him off. The wire sinks and stretches, creating a strong tension, much like the bow in a bow and arrow. A slight bounce by the walker and the wire will pop with dynamic force and bounce him high into the air.

This is similar to what is going on internally in tai chi. With peng, or ward off, we absorb the incoming pressure, and the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in our body relax but stretch like the high wire. When we release the bow, it’s like snapping an internal rubber band, creating a very powerful dynamic force.

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