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Old 01-15-2007, 09:27 AM   #11
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 406
Re: Baseline skillset

Just having an external set of things that you make people do as a lithmus test isn't really much help in moving anything forward, unless your only concern is validating to yourself that someone can do X, Y, and Z. You open yourself up to the possibility that X, Y, and Z are done, but not in the way you supposed they would be. There be giants out there, who don't need more than "normal" strength to fling people away, resist a push, or eat punch and break the other guy's wrist. If your goal is just make it easy to hand out (or not) belts, okay...

If the goal is transmission, it is far more important that you are transmitting the correct internal feeling. In yiquan, this is done sometimes by having the student do an exercise that is designed for no other purpose than to easily feel an internal state that is either extremely similar or the same as an internal feeling he needs to eventually cultivate on his own. So rather than the teacher being empowered to say, "Nope, that didn't look right", the student is empowered to say, "Nope, that didn't FEEL right."

Even still, those sorts of exercises are merely ways of showing what you need to develop, not ways of developing it. Example: To introduce person A to front-back contradictory tensions, person A stands in the all-round post, but with hands overlapping, and person B pushes or pulls on A's hands or back of his neck, while A tries to not let any part of him move or collapse. Now once A succeeds in this exercises, he doesn't go off repeating the exercise over and over, nor treat it as a test where he goes off and does random things meanwhile hoping he will improve for next time he is tested. He knows now what tensions he needs to seek internally and reinforce all over his body in his pile standing when his intent says 'forward' or 'backward'. But even that is worthless without a basic methodology to go with it, showing the student how to strengthen and tune in on what he felt.
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