Monday, 2 July 2018
From the point of view of the natural tendencies of the body, most movements involve the Yang side, and if nothing is done to correct the imbalance, the Yang side gradually diminishes the Yin side.
So in Taijiquan training an important factor is identifying the Yin side - be it in the body (e.g the back), arms (e.g. under areas) or legs (e.g. inside areas). Seek out the “weaker” areas and train them until they become strong. As the Yin side becomes fuller, you do not in fact need to take away from the Yang side, and balance will gradually ensue. If the Yin side is undiscovered or disregarded, the imbalance will invariably impede the full use of the body as a coordinated and unified whole.
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Our predecessors spoke correctly when they said, “One naturally shuts one’s mouth following three years of study.”
When one stops talking naturally following three years of study, it means the beginning of putting aside oneself. The bigger the art reveals itself to be, the smaller oneself becomes.
At the beginning of study, a mountain one sees is just a mountain. At the point when one stops talking, a mountain is no longer just a mountain.
Many who study collect multiple forms. The more they collect the more they think they know. But the process of learning truly begins when one sees that the content of one form is more than one can deal with. As the art becomes big, the self becomes small.
Every component has a source, an expression and is capable of progression.
Let go, in order to big the art and forgo the self.
The essential movement principle of Taijiquan is based on relaxation (song). In life people learn to use strength and tighten their muscles habitually. What is required in Taijiquan is, when you do an action, to execute the action to its optimum place, and then to make sure that it is not an isolated action but part of a whole moving system. At the same time further increase the idea of song through mindfulness. Song is unquantifiable and its quality is different with practice. It is important to continually improve the quality of song.
The arms, for example - as soon as the arms move the shoulders should relax and the elbows sink down. The arms also expand outwards. At a certain point of accomplishment, the arms become an integral whole with the spine, and actions of the shoulders and elbows become connected to the spine and controlled by the spine. After an extended time of practice, looseness of the arms is achieved.
The waist/crotch - as soon as a movement commences be mindful that the shoulders, elbows and hands are coordinated and work in concert. At a certain stage of practice movement of the spine becomes under the control of the waist-crotch. In time this facilities the training of waist/crotch power.
The knees and feet - the foot must be relaxed when lifting the knee, at the same time also controlling the span and extent of the shoulders, elbows and the waist/crotch. In time this facilitates the ability to express power from the heels. Mindfully examine, if you make a bow step by stepping forward- are your shoulders loose, your elbows down? Does the waist/crotch relax and move forward? Does the knee and the foot become weight bearing gradually? Is the knee in place? Does the position of the knee stop further movements above the waist/crotch.
Unlike other systems Taijiquan requires the lower body to control and influence the upper body, in order to develop integrated strength and the body as a unified entity.
Friday, 2 March 2018
Taijiquan consists of countless circles. It is a violation of the principle of Taijiquan if the circle is not adhered to, even in lifting a hand or picking up a foot. Half the circle fulfils the role of defence, the other half that of attack. The circle becomes smaller as the gongfu becomes deeper. Often a circle is not visible to detect attack and defence.
Tuishou is also a Taiji circle. Within the circle there are peng, lu, ji, an (warding, diverting, squeezing, pressing), peng, lu taking half the circle and ji, an taking the other half. At the moment of contact with a partner, each hand takes on a circle, half of which sticks whilst the other follows. To be unclear on the roles of the two halves of a circle is to become double-weighted.