As a young man I worked in the restaurant business. One of the things I heard from the owner is ‘If you have time to lean, you have time to clean!’
In the martial arts, ‘leaning’ is not a good practice. When you lean you are depending on others for balance and stability. It would seem obvious that relying on the opponent would not be advisable, but I see it more often than I can count. Leaning on your opponent gives them the ability to manipulate and move you anywhere they want. You effectively become an addition to their body. The result is a lack of power and balance.
In order to develop power, you need to be structurally upright and your weight must be centered on the foot. Only then will your legs be able to generate the power you need against an opponent. A great way to test your competency with this is to be aware of the amount of pressure you are putting on the opponent. The weight should be imperceptible.
Occasionally ask your training partner to step away from the connection you have and see if you need to regain your balance. Paying attention to your balance will become one of the most important things you will learn as a martial artist.
In your personal life, leaning is a way of being indecisive. While it is important to make informed decisions, taking long periods of time to decide can cause a ripple effect and send a confused message to all those around you. One of the things that really disrupts relationships is when we change our minds frequently. People around us like to know where we stand on issues. It does not mean we have to agree, but it gives us a starting point to understand each other.
As in the martial arts, leaning causes you to lack the balance you need to be steady on your feet. This unsteadiness prevents you from moving forward and progressing in your personal life.
Another type of leaning is when we rely on others for mental support. This is helpful for a period of time, however if it is constant, and there is no improvement or progress in self-reliance, it can strain relationships. The relationship will suffer and in extreme cases, may cause the relationship to fail.
Make your position known, proceed with an open mind, make corrections along the way, and be kind to those that may have an opposing view. Confidence in yourself, be it your new physical skills from training or mental clarity, is essential to mastering martial arts.