Tai Chi Y3D175: press

Twenty push-ups this morning, in an unusual way — twenty in a single set, and two nose-to-the-floor push-ups. My shoulder did something weird during the second push-up, so I stopped rather than risk injury. But one has to begin somewhere… it may as well be here.  Usual tai chi practice today: two chi gong forms and the tai chi form.  Right now we’re on Press (Day 147).  I’ve written about Press (Day 130) before, which is a maneuver where the arms swing back from Roll Back on the right side of the body, to the left side of the body. The right hand then comes forward, and then the left hand presses on the palm of the right hand, delivering force through the right hand to an opponent.  It’s a yummy move to perform, as it has this unusual grace to it.

What with one thing and another, I’ve not been able to start the poem before now, 7:45 pm.  Can’t tell you how many times I tried to start, and failed. Yikes.

With weight on back foot, swing arms right to left
across the body at the waist’s level.
Remember that your limbs are not adrift,
but instead, you rule them, and may meddle
in their natural movements, slowing them much.
when both of your forearms have traveled as far
as they can — but your biceps, not as such —
let them tarry, a moment, where they are.
Then push out the right hand, palm in, to land
just as it should, on your opponent’s trunk.
Left hand then delivers force. Do not stand
still, but shift weight forward: the secret skunk
is the left-hand thrust: you can make it feint,
while your weight coils right without restraint.

The essential idea here is that the left hand can deliver the attack, but it’s almost more effective if the attack is delivered from the right-hand side of the Press, shifting the weight from left foot to right foot and from left side of body to right arm.  The left hand pressing on the right palm thus feels like the direction of the attack, and your opponent braces accordingly, but the attack is actually coming from the left across the body to the right, and so the opponent is bracing in the wrong direction, against a left-hand thrust; but the thrust is right-sided, not left-sided.

Not sure if that makes sense, so it’ll have to be revisited at a later time.

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