What is "Empty Force"?
Push hands practice is an integral and important part of Taichi. After being acquainted with your own personal energy, it is time to face external energies. Deal in a “Taichi Way” with the world. Since these days it is not possible to touch, so I have been thinking about appropriate and suitable ways of practice. Can we continue training Push Hands, anyway? Practicing from a distance is a quiet a challenge, but possible and very exciting. Done in a right way, it is like working with the “Empty Force”.
Many people think that “Empty Force” is not real. It is all preset and fake. Some of the “Empty Force” demonstrations are done poorly, look false and give it a very bad reputation.
The first time I saw it, live, was in 1984, during my Aikido training practice in Japan. One of the senior teachers, Watanabe Sensei, was throwing people around without touching them. It was strange but to me felt real and right. Another time, it was in 1994, I saw Sifu Fong Ha demonstrating “Empty Force”, during his first workshop in Israel. After everybody stood for an hour, Sifu Fong demonstrated “Empty Force” with one of his senior students. He just extended his hand towards the student center, and the student moved back few steps away and again, It looked magic. I thought, is this real? I had to find out. So I started to investigate. During the last 20 years, I had the privilege to experience this with Sifu Fong. In my opinion “Empty Force” is a subtle way of communication.
We experience “Empty Force” in everyday life. If is true that everything is Energy, so it could be an event, something someone had said, a physical push, a thought or even just an intentional look. They are all expressions of energy in different intensities. Our task is to learn how to work with the energy and eventually to play with the energy.
So this is a very subtle practice for one to learn how to concentrate and send your energy intentionally to the other, and for the other to receive and interpret the incoming force and deal with it without getting hurt. Receiving is much more challenging than sending. Done right it is a wonderful practice.
For starters do this very basic exercise, with a partner, just play sending and receiving,