THE SCIENCE OF FORMLESS FLOW by Monya Gorelik, M.Sc. : LIGHTNESS IN TAIJI CHUAN, SAIM IN FORMLESS FLOW and UNIVERSAL BEAUTY

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

LIGHTNESS IN TAIJI CHUAN, SAIM IN FORMLESS FLOW and UNIVERSAL BEAUTY




One of the most important features of Taiji Chuan is lightness. The lightness is the source of sensitivity and some Masters consider sensitivity as a purpose of Taiji Chuan.
According to "The Classics of Taiji Chuan" practicing lightness opens the door to the realm of exceptional sensitivity. Finally, even "a feather can be felt". Practicing the lightness with every movement leads one to the most advanced techniques and highest achievements in Taiji Chuan.
The final achievement of this process, according to Daoism, is Wu Wei or Non-action in the midst of action.

The law of biomechanics, called the law of Weber-Fechner, says that in order to be sensitive and feel even lightest pressure, like that of feather, one must be maximally relaxed. The tension, according to this law, will lead to the lack of sensitivity to external forces. It means that tension can make one to be insensitive to external powers and then even the weights much greater than feather can't be felt. This is a great disadvantage not only for Taiji Chuan practitioner but actually for everyone.
So, the most desirable state of our body is a state of relaxation, but how it's possible to be relaxed if one has to move, to start and change the movements so often?  
It is possible and the secret is simple. Its name is Self-Annihilating Inertial Motion or SAIM.
SAIM is a natural motion, it's inborn and most efficient method to move around. Unfortunately for us our culture and civilization destroyed it and replaced by unnatural and sometimes very harmful habits of movement including posture, walking, running etc.
So, what is a SAIM?
SAIM is a natural method of motion which uses inertia as much as possible. This method minimize energy we need to maintain the movement. Of course, it’s not enough because we constantly have to change our movements – for example to start punch, to stop punch and bring the arm back to the torso, to step forward and rotate the body and so on. If we move naturally with SAIM all these changes can be performed almost completely effortlessly thanks to the special proportions of our bodies.
The most beautiful human body has proportions of Golden Ratio. These proportions provide our body amazing ability to stop inertial movement of some body parts by other parts which are next in chain. For example, lets imagine we rise our arm using inertial movement. Then inertial movement of upper arm can be stopped or annihilated by inertial movement of forearm and palm when arm bending in elbow. Then inertial movement of forearm can be annihilated by bending the wrist. Therefore, part by part inertial movement of arm will be stopped by the arm itself!
We instinctively feel the great functional value of Golden Ratio proportions of the human body. This is a reason we love so much these proportions in human body and then project this love to buildings, landscapes and virtually everything around us. We enjoy these proportions and call them "beautiful" considering them as a manifestation of the harmony in the world.
The lightness, sensitivity, Wu Wei, functional effectiveness, SAIM and Golden Ratio are just different manifestations of Harmony.
We instinctively and unconditionally admire it, adore it and enjoy it as Universal Beauty.   

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