Where have we heard that before? My thoughts on space from a weekend of looking for space.
In karate we create space by measuring up, measuring up is the safety mechanism used in set techniques. Without the safety mechanism, practice would be a messy affair and the uniforms are usually white!
And so we move onto Tai Chi, space in taiji is not necessarily given to your partner so that safety can be practiced. It is more likely used to let your partner fall into. Space is what you are looking for when attempting to disrupt your partner, you know, where you want them to fall into. But is it?
Space is what we are all looking for, but where are we supposed to find it? Is it where the opponent is supposed to fall? Is it the gap between you and your opponent? What is space for?
You need space for your ‘C’ shape, to make your shape you need to bring space inside. Inside what? Firstly inside your body by breathing in, the air fills the space inside, then the mechanical takes over so that you tuck under, so that once the chin is then in place you have your spinal C. So space created by filling yourself with air then needs to be kept In whilst relaxing in your chest, this keeps your back expanded and rounds the shoulders for your other C dimension.
Space in our joints. Getting space into the joints by elongating through the ligaments and moving the muscles above and below the joint. Once the space is in the joint that helps you move more smoothly if in the hips, or takes the weight if in the upper joints to allow correct position for producing the behind the pressure idiom.
The idea of space is not often thought about as you learn the set movements of your tai chi, however, once the concept has been explained a little, movement can be improved.