Even people who know little about Taijiquan would know the Taiji symbol. The Taiji symbol is made up of two Yin and Yang fishes twisted together. The white fish with a black eye is Yang and the black fish with a white eye is Yin. Our ancestors used this symbol to show that in Taiji there is Yang within Yin and Yin within Yang. Yin and Yang are mutually required, mutually supplementary and mutually supportive.
Learners of Taijiquan have to distinguish between Yin and Yang. The leg that bears the body weight is solid. Solid is Yin and void is Yang. Each leg takes turns to bear the body weight. Hence, it is also a non-stopping exchange of Yin and Yang. In practicing the form of Taijiqaun, floating upward is Yang and sinking downward is Yin. The external side of an arm is Yang and its internal side is Yin. The surface of the body is Yang and its inside is Yin. In pushing hands, the contact point is on the surface and is Yang. Taijiquan does not use Yang. It does not exert force on the surface. It requires the contact point to relax. Energy has to diffuse out from inside so that the opponent will neither feel any brute force nor any pain.
Taijiquan uses the back wave to push the front wave which represents Yin to supplement Yang. The front is Yangand the back is Yin. Yin is inside and Yang outside. Put your mind inside and then let the energy ripple out in layers. It always uses Yin to supplement Yang. The opponent will not feel any brute force or any pain but still he will lose his balance and float outward. Taijiquan uses mind instead of force. It is soft as cotton because it does notuse Yang but Yin. It supplements Yang with Yin.
Mingmen (life gate) is the center. Center is the Yin of all Yin’s. Relatively speaking, all else is external. Initiated at Mingmen, Qi enlarges ring by ring and segment by segment until it reaches the fingers. Mind is placed inside, not outside. Be mindful at Yin and use Yin to supplement Yang. Yang is the performer and Yin is the controller.
By Xiao Yue
Translated by W.S.Chong and Doris Cheung