When practicing Taiji Boxing, it should have a pure naturalness. Instead of emphasizing exertion and emotion, you should emphasize using intention. Using exertion makes you clumsy. Using emotion slows you down. Therefore quelling emotion and letting go of exertion are requirements. Quelling emotion regulates the breath. Relaxing exertion promotes innate strength and inhibits acquired strength. Innate strength is real strength, whereas acquired strength is contrived strength. The former has a smooth energy, the latter a coarse energy. Taiji Boxing focuses on receiving coarse energy with smooth energy. By using the smooth to defeat the coarse, it is therefore not necessary to put forth excessive effort.
The exertion and emotion of external styles of boxing arts is always contrived. A strong person considers difficulty to be ability, thus this type of training is deemed “hard”. If your practice is inappropriate, it will create many bad habits. For one who does hard training every day, his power will be spent as soon as it is expressed, nothing left in storage. Even if he practices for many years, he will progress only superficially, not really building up any inner power at all.
Because Taiji Boxing does not use excessive exertion or emotion, the practice is entirely a matter of intention. If you can use intention, you will be able to conceal power inwardly rather than revealing it outwardly. Energy sinks to your elixir field rather than getting stuck in your chest. If you avoid using excessive exertion and emotion as you practice over a long period, you will accumulate more and more power. And then when you need it, you will be able to wield it freely, without any difficulty and without forcing it.
Consider a laborer, who puts forth effort in his work every day. He always uses all of his strength when he applies it, nothing left over. Therefore after many years of labor, his strength is no greater than when he started. The hard training of external stylists resembles this situation.
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