LaoMa frequently talks of the eight gates and five elements in class. We've run across a short article by Steve Rowe that explores the "13 Techniques". He starts with the following thoughts:
Often called the ’13 Techniques’ or the ’13 Postures’ this list can really confuse Tai Chi practitioners and therefore they often get sidelined or bypassed, but when understood, they lie at the heart of Tai Chi practice. To understand that they are ‘fighting’ dynamics that are held in the mind that are trained with the potential to be used instantly, reflexively and spontaneously in response to the opponent’s actions at any time and although some are linked to certain techniques they are not the techniques, they are fighting strategies of ‘aliveness’ and are therefore dynamic because they are used to change the situation.
You can find the whole article by clicking here. Take a few minutes to look over it and share your thoughts and reactions in the comments below. What things stand out to you? How does this relate to class discussions? Remember to always think critically when reading discussions of taijiquan and its various aspects. Exploring these help round out your understanding. Sharing impressions can help you see new things!