There is an article in the latest issue of Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine featuring me and my interpretation of the concept of "borrowing energy" in Tai Chi fighting. The Nov/Dec issue hits the stands today. The cover is pictured here at the left -- the headline for the article is the third one down on the left.
The article is written by my friend and fellow martial artist, Hector Lareau. He got the idea for the story when reading this blog, and wanted to explore the concept of borrowing energy a little deeper.
He came to our home, interviewed me, then my wife Nancy took photos as he threw different attacks on me and I used the borrowing energy concept to neutralize or bounce the attack away.
I was featured in an article in Tae Kwon Do Times back in 2006, but this is my first appearance as an instructor in a national kung-fu publication.
Borrowing energy is a simple concept and it's interpreted different ways by different teachers. Some use "roll back" as a means of borrowing energy. Force comes at you and you deflect it away, borrowing the energy and moving it. In a series of photos in the article, Hector swings at me with a stick and I use a form of borrowing energy to step in, take control of his center, then control his energy and continue moving it in the same direction, spinning him to the ground.
The most accurate view of borrowing energy is when force comes into you and you use the ground to store it quickly like a spring and "bounce" it back to the opponent. Now, this is not mystical at all, and it has nothing to do with "cultivating chi." It's the physical ability of grounding force and returning it. Your opponent feels like he's running into a brick wall and it stuns him.
This is what the article explains -- in a little more detail -- and with photos. I encourage you to pick up a copy at your local bookstore that sells it (Borders and Barnes & Noble sell it in my area). And my thanks to Hector for writing it.
This type of lesson and hundreds more are found in my online kung-fu school. There are more than 400 video lessons on the site, e-books, audios, and a good discussion board.