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Once again I practice the previous exercise, two partners continuously pulling, pushing, lifting, compressing at various points on my body.
This time, however, instead of remaining in natural stance, I allow myself to move. I find that I am able to move at will in directions of my choosing, regardless of how and where I am being tested by my partners. I move slowly, deliberately opting for directions that sometimes take me directly into the path of the oncoming force; other times moving away; still others moving into stillness.
This form of the exercise really brings the manipulation of forces to life for me. My partners, looking always to help me, provide enough force to bring me right to the point of structural failure and then slightly beyond. This way I am able to slowly increase my ability to absorb and manipulate ever greater amounts of applied force.
Standing in natural stance I feel the hand begin to push on my shoulder. Lightly, at first, then with increasing pressure. As I adapt to the pressure I feel another hand begin to press into my lower back; again lightly at first, the pressure steadily increasing. For a few moments I have hands simultaneously pressing at my shoulder and lower back and then the hand at my shoulder is gone and I feel two hands begin to pull down and back on my shoulders from behind. After a short while of pressure on my shoulders and lower back the hand at my lower back is gone and moves to the side of my head and begins to push…
So it goes, push/leave, pull/leave, lift/leave, compress/leave in succession so that I experience a constantly changing variety of forces applied to various places, sometimes alone, sometimes in tandem, while I maintain natural stance. With practice I'm finding that I can bear quite a bit of pressure without moving.
This and other Ki exercises we regularly practice are designed to find and enhance what we refer to as correct feeling. Correct feeling is central to developing a strong stable center.
Once upon a time there lived an esteemed martial artist in the little town of Anywhere. She was an acknowledged Master, locally famous for her supple strength and structure. In fact, she could handle any amount of pushing or pulling on various parts of her body with amazing, uncanny even, ease. She was able to manifest her intent with the slightest of gestures, sending large strong men flying off balance at a whim. When attacked she would just seem to melt into the attacker, absorbing the energy of the attack until it dissipated or was sent back amplified by her intent, the intensity being such that the attacker was totally overwhelmed. All of this while displaying the softness of a young willow in the breeze.
In addition to being able to perform with accomplished skill, she also possessed the ability to pass her knowledge on to others and, as it turned out, she proved to be as consummate a teacher as she was a performer. Other martial artists of high repute would continually find their ways to Anywhere in order to test her skills. All who met with her and got to experience her skills first hand would come away suitably impressed; proclaiming that here indeed was one in a million, a martial artist whose internal skills were without parallel. Many requested that she take them on as students so that they too could learn to control themselves with the same degree of expertise as she did herself. Reluctantly, after much pleading