Internal Martial Arts
A gentleman should not be satisfied with what he can, but always look for what he cannot.
Each day he should complete his set tasks with the contents varying with each passing month and year. He should continue learning without stop until the end of his life.
Since the tanshu is performed by one person alone, it gives an excellent idea of the way that person has been training. It is therefore a fine method for revealing the extent to which the performer has mastered Taikiken. Of course, within tanshu there are places that differ entirely with the person performing them, and each person must discover the movement forms that suit his individual personality and body. This characteristic of the tanshu emphasizes a trait of Taikiken itself, for this is the martial art that is described as having, yet lacking, forms.
Ordinarily, the motions in tanshu move gradually from the calm to the highly active. The person performing the tanshu must. keep in mind the idea that he is training his body while he imagines the presence of an opponent. For this reason, he must aim at a complete set of motions including all Taikiken techniques, He must sometimes use large gestures and sometimes small motions. He must include thrusts in his movements. I think that what the following remarks say about the attitude of the hunter with a blowpipe and darts has bearing on the approach one must adopt toward Taikiken. The skilled hunter with the blowpipe matches his own motions to these of his prey. But more important still, he remains prepared to blow the dart from the tube even as he moves about. In short, he concentrates his entire body and awareness in his mouth, the part of the body that provides the compelling power for the dart. Furthermore, he must be charged with the power of ki.
Finally, I should like to urge you to pay special attention to the following points when you are executing tanshu.
a. When you make attack motions, pay attention to the position of the soe-te.
b. In hai movements forward and backward, always use natural strides.
c. When you have made one daken motion, immediately either strike or pull with your arm again.
Another Taikiken characteristic is the insistence that the second and third push or pull with the arms
and hands when an opponent pursues spell either defeat or victory.
d. Do not attempt more elaborate footwork than is actually necessary.
e. When you move, your drive must be always directed forward. Do not forget the matter of drive when
you move to the rear.
f. Do not select a certain form and leave your body in it.
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Last update: March 2023
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