Whatís this thing about being "Double-Weighted"?

You may have read or heard the injunction, "Donít be double-weighted!"

And so you may have tried very hard not to distribute your weight equally between your two feet. You may have even tried to keep your weight wholly on the back foot, or wholly on the forward foot, or perhaps 70-30, 30-70, or 60-40, 40-60. And, like me, it may have been all too hard.

Well, the good (or bad) news is here, according to Ken: By thinking about your weight distribution, you paradoxically become double-weighted!

"What?", and then "Why?" you ask. I shall explain: Thinking about weight distribution takes your mind into the mechanics of distributing weight, and off the task of maintaining balance in the face of external or internal unbalancing forces. It is like trying to bear in mind whether to put the foot on the brake pedal or on the accelerator pedal, when to and how hard, when you are driving to get from A to B. Sure, you had to work that out when you were learning to drive; but when you become a competent driver, do you still do that? As in driving, so in Tai Chi: Once you have learnt the basics of Tai Chi positions, movements and sequence, you, the competent Tai Chi exponent, should be performing the movements to attain the objective of each movement.

Which brings us to the question: What is the objective of each movement? Ah! Youíll have to either ask your teacher(s) or work that out for yourself with a friend. (WARNING: Ask or work only with individuals who are not into upmanship. The objective of each graceful Tai Chi movement is actually very unkind, and someone will be injured if one or both participants is/are reckless or uncaring.) A beginning driver should have the counsel of an experienced friend, practise outside of rush hour and drive slowly. So it is with Tai Chi: practise with an experienced friend, start off working with one objective per movement, working with only one or two movements per session, and practise slowly and with care.

Oh! I have deviated from the topic of not being double-weighted. Actually that is the point: Donít think about it. Instead, find out or work out what each movement is trying to attain, practising attaining the objective carefully and in slow time, and you will find that you wonít be Ö. No, letís not say those words.

Ken Goh
Inner Strength Tai Chi Chuan

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