Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Tingjin in Taijiquan

Below is an excerpt from a post that recently appeared at the Thoughts on Tai Chi blog. It examines Tingjin, or "listening" in Taijiquan. The full post may be read here.

Why is tingjin, “listening”, or sensitivity skill so much emphasized in Tai Chi Chuan? Why does Tai Chi rely on sensitivity instead on the eyes? The experience of Tai Chi practitioners says that relying on sensitivity to decide your actions is faster. Well, sensitivity is faster.

Simply explained, there’s a delay in your brain for everything you do to become aware of it by 0.5 seconds. Yes, everything. To become aware of something takes 0.5 seconds. This has been scientifically proved. However, it has also been equally scientifically proves, that if you would touch a hot stove with your hand, it would react on the heat and pull it away by a merely 0.1 second delay. So your sensitivity is definitely faster than your thought.

So for sure, the reaction in itself is fast, but does sensitivity really let you decide what you do faster? Don’t you need to decide what to do? Shouldn’t the process of following, guiding and handle the opponent involve the same process as if you watch something with your eyes?

Well, sort of, but here is the thing: this assumption does not reflect his how the how the decision-making process and the consciousness work. You see, there’s not only a 0.5 second delay for something external reaching your consciousness. There’s a 0.5 second delay for your decision itself and the start of your action to reach your conscience!

Did that sound awkward? But it’s true. Science have proved that the decision-making does not start on your consciousness, but first after when you have started doing something, your consciousness catches up with and realizes it and believe that it made a decision. By measuring the activity in different parts of the brain, researchers have found that you become aware of what is happening later than the action itself. Because of the delay, the mind even backtracks 0.5 seconds to catch up with the action.


No comments: