Luo De Xiu from Taipei is in town. He's been coming over to teach seminars for over a decade, I think this will be year 10 or 11 for me (sadly last year he had to cancel).
Obviously I think he is a great teacher and pretty much sign up for everything he chooses to teach in the 8 days he is here.
First evening was Tai Ji push hands, not really my thing but absolutely related.
Luo focused on the 3 circles that make up the movement - vertical (can be forward back, coronal plane and all angles in between), horizontal circle (at any height) and obliques circle (as many angles as you can think of) - Bagua has the same.
He talked about how in each plane of circle there is a part of the circle where power can be released, and part where it can be collected, dependent on gravity and movement (weight shift or step). Knowing where these places are in the timing is crucial, and push hands is a place to practice finding out.
He also talked about the properties of the 'wave', where instead of the rotation round a circle being the recycle mechanism, its a swing that captures the potential energy at the cusp of the movement and returns it back.
Training good body structure alongside flexibility and the ability to control one's movement in a way that is not overtly obvious to the opponent, means that the natural power of the circles, and the places where it can be used the best, can be altered to one's befefit, and this can be done by using 'the wave'.
In the same way that 2 waves (of light or water etc) coming from different directions can interfere to cancel out or magnify power, so can timing and tempo dissipate power or augment it's effect.
The wave can also change an incoming angle to another, conserve the power and throw it back.
This wave appears also in the '2nd flow' practice of Visayan Eskrima - the body pendulum and the stepping pendulum are just manifestations of the same concept and are integral to the understanding of how to stretch and compress the tempo, draw and bait the opponent.
The other big take away ... Movement is the generator, big and obvious at first, then smaller and smaller as skills improve .... where have I seen that before ..? ;-)