How to Follow In Order to Lead

Follow in order to lead is one way to apply principle of “invest in loss”.

If you will allow the other person to push you into a position without offering any resistance of your own you will tend to find yourself in an excellent position to continue their motion and take advantage of what ever they have given you.

Easier said than done.

Everyone wants to resist. At first you may think that you are not resisting or that your opponent is being tense.

Learning how to flow into the space without falling or being moved or uprooted is tough. Continually getting pushed and moved will be common in the beginning.

The resistance you feel is your own tension.

Drop root, go softer and let go of the need to resist. The upper body should be like a sponge. If you feel any tension it is probably your own.

Think about it. Your partner pushes you from the start and continues pushing. They use force to start with and while you flow with their push you do not feel resistance. When you resist you feel tension. Life is much like this.

Start Slowly

With a little time and practice you will be able to do this much faster and against a much bigger and stronger opponent.

Let them move you. Let your body flow into natural positions in response to their push. Really feel it first. Then learn to observe how and what they are doing so that you can actually see them struggle to move you or uproot you.

Over-extension is the handle

Any overextension by your opponent becomes the handle by which you can easily move them. Their smart choice is to not over extend themselves or give themselves to you.

Learn to flow with the form.

The Tai Chi postures are, at least in part, as varied as they are to help practitioners learn how to flow in many different directions so that they can easily go in the direction of the energy instead of fighting the flow of power.

Work the postures with this in mind and you will find that your physical understanding of direction and force will vastly improve.

Build your sensitivity

Pay attention to the force and direction that your opponent produces and you will get better and better at finding tension and over commitment.

Draw off the inappropriate tension and force from others and you will also learn to feel when they withdraw, change direction or become confused while trying to decide what direction to push and what to do next.

This will improve your sensitivity to the point that you will push, move or uproot them while they think they are getting you. The opponent will not feel you negate their movement. In other words you will really develop refined skill and higher Kung Fu.

Please let us know how this goes.

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