Of the training methods set forth in an earlier section mukae-te, harai-te, sashite, and daken-sashi-te is considered the most difficult. But it must be mastered because it is so important that it might be called the ultimate basis, not only of Taiki-ken, but also of Hsing-i-ch'üan and Ta-ch'eng-ch'üan. Sashi-te involves advancing toward the opponent as he attacks and executing defense and attack simultaneously.
The moment the opponent attacks, you must already have moved boldly and forcefully toward him. Furthermore, your own bodily defense must already be ensured. As is the case in the mukae-te, harai-te, and daken, the hand that is not used in defense must serve as the soe-te.
Mastering the sash-te is difficult. As a person who has a degree of training in the martial arts will readily understand, moving close to an attacking opponent is not easy. How to do this often remains a major problem. First of all, the approach must be instantaneous. Second, if the opponent is a man of strong skills,
Harai-te is a method used to parry the opponent's attacks from the inner side of your own body. It is executed by twisting your body and using your hips in a minimum of motion. Do not use greater force than necessary and do not parry wider than necessary. When you parry always do so with your hips lowered and with the intention of moving into the opponent's limits of defense.
Leaving your right foot advanced one-half step, assume the position shown in Fig. 1. Imagine that the opponent is striking with his fist in your middle region (chudan). Practice parrying as you pull his fist toward you with your left hand (Figs. 2 through 4). The right hand must be a soe-te; it can be used in an attack to force the opponent off balance. With your feet in the same positions, but exchanging the positions of your hands, repeat the same motions (Figs. 5 and 6). For the practice method, see p. 98.