In my previous posts on the Taiji principles, I discussed the concept of "Getting back to the Origin" and the Stages of "knowing oneself" and "knowing others".
These are the keys to decipher the meaning of "Understanding the Force".
In the "Know Your Own self Stage", you "understand the force" within yourself. You start with activating your sleeping parts.
In the "Know Others' Stage", you "understand the force" outside yourself. The training is different, you should learn how to adhere to and get contact with the other's body. You learn how to make use of the force of the opponent and control him. That's where the push hand training comes into the picture. You learn how to adapt and adjust to different movements of the opponent and respond with "reflex action".
A beginner starts with the single-hand push hand. The high level push hand training has no form and involves a lot of throwing techniques. Strictly speaking, the push hand syllabus should only be started after a person has completed the "know your own self stage" training - Without first having known yourself, how can you possibly know the others?
Through the "Know Your Ownself" training, the practitioner regains a natural body which gives him the flexibility to adapt to different situations without losing his centre and balance - the principle of "giving up yourself and follows other" should be backed up by a natural body. Equipped by a natural body, a practitioner should be able to pick up the application techniques in a quick pace.
Those who start the push hand training at a "pre-matured" stage will inevitably end up finding themselves locking horns with their classmates. Not knowing the importance of and the rationales behind the basic trainings, the "beginners" (in the sense of knowledge, not seniority) find it difficult, if not impossible, to "dissolve" the brutish force of their classmates without also using brutish force to counter act. They end up doing weight lifting at the gym, condemning the Taiji Classic as a piece of nonsense.