Home Practice Bu Dui / Bu Ding

It's funny how many of the inter-personal dynamics you have with family and friends mirror Taiji principals.  The other day I had such an exchange.  I walked away from the interaction "knowing" I had done something wrong.  Everything had seemed to end comfortably, but I knew I had used the wrong energy.  So I sat down to think about what had happened and a lecture Gene had given me 3years earlier surfaced.  The fact that this memory surfaced was even stranger because I had just been talking to him about it.  I had asked that he discuss it again.  The topic was Bu Do/Bu Ding: don't leave and don't resist.

What I Remember

In March of `97, Gene gave a lesson on this topic.  He began by explaining that the method that lay behind Bu Do/Bu Ding is grounded in Peng and Stabilization.  For those of us who had the detailed Peng article, written some months earlier, this made sense.  In that article Gene had explained the two primary energies were Peng and Stabilization Because the were the necessary building blocks for the "8 Energies"(All the energies).  He also explained that the "8 Energies" alone was "gross Taiji".  For Taiji, to be the real Taiji, you needed much more, like Ying/Wa/Na/Fa, Jin Yin, "slow Hand beats fast hand" and of course 5 Elements.

He then pointed out that the Bu Do/Bu ding method was part of the 5 Elements, and that Bu Ding was another way of explaining what Stabilization allows you to do.  As example he had me push him.  Placing my hands on his forearms, I pushed.  One Hand melted away, while the other circled around and caught my center.  He had me easily.  Gene the broke it down for me so I could see what was hidden.

His basic Stabilization, of lower body stable with upper body relaxed, allowed one of his arms to retreat just ahead of my push.  His retreat was sensitive to the speed of my push, so I was actually"chasing" his arm.  What was even stranger, the retreat of his arm created the illusion of "suction" energy.  This was Bu Do, the art of creating the "chase".  He explained that if his arm retreat too swiftly the he would have "left me", or broken contact.  since contact is the method of "listening" to (spying on) my energy, speed and intention, this was something Chen style doesn't want to do, But for the chase to operate properly you have to learn not to "resist" the push in the first place.  This is the Bu Ding part of the method.

For any example of this, he had me send my energy forward in a punching fashion, and he then intercepted from  the side.  He explained that every part of the body has "center line", even your arm.  If a person catches the center line of your arm properly they then can Na and push you.  But that this is only possible if you give them the opportunity by resisting and fighting their energy "head on".  What we know as "blocking" the punch.  He said, if instead of blocking the energy, you use 2nd energy stickness,  Peng and spiral power to rotate their power off the center line of your arm, you can then "catch" the centerline in their arm and use Bu Ding (your stabilization) to push them.

This is what I remember of the lesson.

Putting This Together

But what if any thin did this have to do with the exchange that had happened just a few days ago, was the question?  I thought on it and what came to mind was a "bucket with holes in it".  As I looked at the Bu Do/Bu Ding lesson something caught my attention.  The hand that circled around and caught my center in the first example was doing something!  I was so focused on the chasing hand that I'd paid no attention to the opening I was myself creating on the opposite side.  I was creating a hole in my bucket and Gene's movement filled the opening in precise timing to my opening it.  He was "like water".  My hole opened, he filled it.  No thought, no hesitation, just do it

Here was the clue I needed and I saw something about myself.  I saw that in my exchanges with people I am using Taiji method, and it frightens them.  They are not use to throwing something out into the world and getting a swift clear response.  They anticipate hesitation, insecurity, and confusion.  Very interesting.  It isn't that I am doing something wrong, it's that I am doing things that are unanticipated!