Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to read a bull and do the same in Tai Chi and your life?

During the Spring and Autumn Period ( between 722BC and 481 BC), they are many countries in China. There is a country called Wei. The king of Wei is called Wei Hui Wang, also called Liang Hui Wang ( Liang is the capital of Wei). Once a Chef named Ding was invited to Liang Hui Wang’s home to demonstrate how to prepare a bull. You could see him holding the bull with his hands, using his shoulder to lean on the bull, use feet step on the bull, using his knee to lock the bull, he know exactly how to control the bull. After he first inserts the knife to the bull’s body, you can hear the sound of separation from different part of the bull, in harmony and sounds like music.

Liang Hui Wang was shocked and surprised by this.
“Wow, you are superb. How can you have techniques like this?”

Chef Ding said,
“I like to discover the way of how things work rather than just try to cut the bull apart. When I first start to learn how to cut a bull, I only saw a huge bull right in front of my eyes. After 3 years of experience, I understand the structure of a bull. When I read a bull, I don’t see a whole bull any more; I see the separate parts of the bull. After I have done so many times, I can just do it without seeing it with eyes. I know where are the places to insert the knife and places you shouldn’t insert knife, how to use the spaces between the parts of the bull body and avoiding to hurt my knife’s blade. A good chef needs to switch a knife once a year. A normal chef changes once a month, cause they often hit the bones when using their knife. I have been using this knife for 9 years, killed thousands of bulls, it’s still sharp and like new. Because there are gaps between the bones and muscle, my knife can swim around the bones. Sometimes, I have difficulty since some bull structure bit differently. I need to pay extra attention, slow down my movement and don’t use too much force. After I found the right spot, I can open it with one shot. The bull will fall like mud if you do it right. After I done a good job, I like to check the job and surround area, feel satisfied with my work, carefully clean my knife and put back in the knife bag, so it will be prepared for the next use.”

This is a story from Chuan Tzu’s book, it really inspires many people. We have the common people and Chef Ding in Tai Chi as well. Some people just tries to remember the whole Tai Chi set, chef Ding tries to find the structures and connections between each part. He found the ways to differ him than the common people. He try to use the minimum effort to get his Tai Chi done. chef Ding learned how to relax and slow down and pay extra attention to the difficult parts. Chef Ding checks his Tai Chi after done and reviews it before he feels satisfied. He also prepares for the next Tai Chi class. Learn the thoughts from chef Ding, you will do well in Tai Chi and life.

Copyrighted by Huan's Tai Chi 2009

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