We worked on tea-serving exercises at practice last night and how the spiraling and the movement translates into fighting applications. The tea-serving exercises show up in the forms and in self-defense.
The ultimate goal is to develop the ability to use the spiraling concept and movement to flow with an opponent depending on what he does.
A lot of people misunderstand push hands and other practice drills like this. You put something up and they dismiss it as "won't work in a fight." Usually, they have no experience in the art, but they also can't see far enough down the road to understand that a training tool in the internal arts has one goal -- to evolve into a creative ability to flow with your opponent and not be trapped into the mindset of "I will do this technique" or "if he does this I will do that."
When you do push hands, or tea-serving, or silk-reeling exercises, you need a road map that shows you where you eventually want to be. The drill is not the thing.
Push hands, for example, begins by learning patterns. Some will look at it and make fun of it. But if you have a good teacher who gives you the big picture, you understand that you are working to become sensitive to an opponent's force.
Later, as you develop your "listening" (sensitivity) skills, you will speed up and be able to understand what your opponent is doing almost as soon as he moves. At that point in your training, you become free.
The bottom line is this: Patterns Evolve into Freedom.
That is what I do on this website and in my teaching -- give you the road map and the steps to go from the pattern to the freestyle, creative flow of real self-defense.
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