Connecting -- The Number One Skill in Tai Chi, Hsing-I or Bagua
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Connecting Drill Number 1 - Slapping Hands

This is a fun drill that helps sharpen your reflexes and also helps you learn to connect to your opponent. It is one of several drills that develop the relaxed state of readiness and observational skills you need to move when your opponent moves and not be caught lagging behind.

This isn't the same as a sensitivity drill. This is useful against an opponent that is not touching you -- yet. If you can anticipate his action and "respond like an echo" you have a much greater chance of winning the encounter. When he moves, you move. When his attack arrives, you are already there.

Other drills involve stepping and deflecting and even working with a staff, but this is fun and works with any style of internal or external arts.

You stand with your hands in a "prayer" position in front of you. Your partner has his hands at his sides. He is not allowed to fake you out. He must try to slap your hands. He can use one or both of his hands to slap.

Your job is to be ready and "connect" with him, anticipating his attack, reading his intent and getting your hands out of the way.

It goes something like this.


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