The Importance of Foundation Building

weecheng Post in Uncategorized

Recently I visited a group of practitioners, and the teacher there was explaining some push hands concepts and techniques. The teacher was able to demonstrate these techniques on me easily, and I am really grateful to him for letting me experience first-hand what the concepts are about.

During the practice session that followed, I was pushing hands with one of the teacher’s senior students. Throughout the whole session, this student was giving me instructions on how to apply the earlier techniques. After all his lectures on my many mistakes and what I should do to overcome these mistakes, we started pushing hands more seriously. To my surprise, even though this senior student knew exactly what my mistakes were, he was unable to dislodge me using the techniques he preached. In fact, I actually used my “wrong” techniques to throw him off a few times.

On my way home after this practice, I was thinking back on this incident. How was it that the teacher could use the techniques on me easily, while his senior student struggled to even hold his stance using the same techniques?

The conclusion I came to was that the teacher’s years of training were apparent. His student, however, seemed to be lacking in the foundation department. Thus when the latter pushed hands with me, he was not able to issue attacks which could threaten me.

Foundation building takes years of proper practice. We often get carried away with small successes, and we start to think we are beyond the mundane basic training. This is the danger which we will face, one time or another. We have to stay grounded and humble if we want to avert falling into this false sense of achievement.

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