Home > East meets West, squash, Yiquan, Zen-like stuff > The best technique is no technique.

The best technique is no technique.

Another squash lesson, another blog post. This time Barb was trying to teach me how to swing the racquet properly so I wouldn’t hit anybody. Haven’t done that yet, so this is a preemptive┬ástroke, as it were.

Once Barb got my swing in the ballpark (or in the court), she basically asked me to relax, use a delicate touch, do less, and just chill. I thought I was relaxed. Go figure. But she was right of course, and the swing improved to the point where I got some nice, relaxed swings out of the lesson. It seems that I get stressed out over doing things right, and that makes me tighten up. So some technique needs to be applied to correct that and bring me back to a natural state. Once in the natural state, everything flows, and no technique is required. Now I don’t have to put my racquet back to a specific position, I should just get it back to a position where it would do some good. And that’s different for each shot, high, low, volley, whatever.

Once reaching that state, the reaction seems to be “oh, is that all? That’s not so hard.” But I need to apply technique to bring me to the state of no technique.

I think this is very “Yiquan”. And very “Alexander” … right, Caprice?

(update: The characters represent “wu wei”, or “non-doing”: an important concept of Taoism.)

  1. Caprice
    January 12th, 2010 at 22:08 | #1

    Right. Alexander called it “inhibition” or “not doing.”

  2. SteveR
    January 13th, 2010 at 11:53 | #2

    It all comes together. The characters in the image are “wu wei”, a philosophy which can be translated as “without action” or “not doing”.

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