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2/5/14 2:03 A

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Focused on a few little details in the form, just refinements such as changing the weight as the back foot goes down in the first Tripping Repulse Monkey. I have a bit of a tendency to turn the toes of the leading foot to the West too early or too late.

So 20 or so practices of this little piece of my form under the eye and being corrected by my instructor.

Then 30 minutes of push hands, again paying close attention to the movement from center and the correct shifting of weight front to back.

It seems to take so much to become relaxed and firm in the execution of these little movements.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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2/3/14 10:18 P

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Funny I just noticed tonight doing Waving Hands Like Clouds with a rear step has become almost natural. I found it very, very difficult just to do the steps when I started it, and no way to breath correctly and relaxed. Seemed to take for ever and then tonight I noticed that it was just okay, much like other parts of the form. Not prone to building tension.


Gradual progress is the way. Daily practice, here a little and there a little.

I think that learning the form reversed (mirror image) is also adding to my flexibility, mentally, physically and energetically.

Why not take a moment and tell the team what you are learning in your practice?

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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10/26/13 2:43 P

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Practicing and watch experts slowly puts good form into my body.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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10/4/13 4:12 P

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This week I review a section from involving: Wrap the Willow Tree (Snake Creeps Down), Middle Winding and Parting the Horse’s Mane. Often as you look at these movements it appears the hands (arms) are doing much more than is actually required. For the most part the move up and down and change state, but remain in the centre. The various turns of the feet, hips and wait produce the illusion that the arms are moving right and left; however, they staying fairly close to the centre of the torso but it is rotating with the changing direction of the waist.

One of the principles of Taijiquan is moving from your centre, perhaps more than this, everything is from centre and balance. Wrap the Willow Tree is proceeded by Spear through Armor. This movement is facing west with the right hand up sticking into the south west west and with the left hand above the left of the right elbow. The right foot does a weighted turn to the North West and the left foot steps in beside the right foot as toe stance. The body turn to the North West and the right hand comes back towards the left shoulder Palm out. The left hand comes down to the right hip with palm facing right. Next the body returns to face west leaving the hips North West. As the body turns the right arm moves down towards the left hand and the left hand moves in towards the centre, so that both hands are in centre as the body faces West. The left foot then steps out into the South West Empty as the weight then shifts into the left leg the body turns to South South West building up torque and the rise a little preparing for a fa-jing strike down into the South West. As the arms reach their maximum height the Right foot does a false step and then everything drops in the strike. So the hands strike down and the right foot stomps down and the waist shakes in a fa-jing strike. The hand rebound upward and the waist turns to the North West. You then execute an unweighted Left foot step out into the South West leaving the hips facing North West. As the weight shift to the left foot you drop the right hand down the centre as a blocking motion and the Left hand up with a back thumb side of the hand.

This set of movements has always seemed to me to involve more sideways movement of the hands than is needed. As a result I have tended to have my centre very open and my hands spread apart. It required quite a bit of coaching to get me to understand these corrections in my body. I have watched the corrections at normal speed and in slow motion to understand them. I have practiced this section before going through my form several times each day this week and I am slowly getting the movement closer to what is appropriate. As seems often to be the case, I have had to spend a great deal of time correcting something that I have learned incorrectly.

It has been said, “Traditionally in China students spend several years learning a long Taijiqun form and then spends many months making corrections; In North America students spend many months learning a long form and then many, many years making corrections.”


Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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9/11/13 11:49 A

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Differences in short and long Zhan Zhuang?

Most morning I do my Qigong and Taijiquan early. Some morning I do it in a little park across the street from work and some mornings I use the limited space in the office. Most times when I practice time is not an issue. This morning things worked out that time was an issue and so I did a shorter session of “Pile Standing” than is more normal practice.

The positions and stances are the same; the duration of each is different. I am not sure if it was this duration difference that made a difference or if it was something else. I did notice more awareness of little things in the posture, in the hands, etc. This may be related to the relatively shorter time, and different focus due to the fact that I was doing half my normal time, or if it was something else. I noticed that I was aware of differences in the aspects of the energy between the hands.

In Pile standing you can take five stances.

1) Begin – which is the basic wuji stance
2) Hold the ball – hands at chest level with palms in as if holding a large exercise ball
3) Push the ball – hands at face level palms out as if pushing a large exercise ball
4) Hands in stream – hands at the side palms down as if standing in a stream
5) Hold the belly – hands held low palms in as if holding a big Buddha belly.

There are many minor and major alterations that can be done in Pile standing. At a basic level you will just stand and breath and focus on staying relaxed and limiting your wandering thoughts. After gaining some experience you might begin focusing the energy to the top of your head on the inhale and back to the Dantian as you exhale. Next you might focus on the path the energy takes to get to the top of the head and back to the dantian. You might also focus on the energy at the hands. So in hold the ball you might explore trying in vane to pull the hands apart as you inhale and pushing them together as you exhale. You can also explore things like movements front to back, left to right and up and down. Someone observing you might not notice these movements they are more like intension to move than actually movements.

So these are a few of the aspects that I play with in my normal practice. Today I was more aware of some of the energy elements. As I noted I do not know if this was related to the relatively short session planned or due to some other factor. It is always interesting to me the things I discover, that I am not expecting to discover as I explore Taijiquan and Qigong.


Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 9/11/2013 (11:50)
Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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9/10/13 11:31 P

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This week I have been working on many things. One of them is that I have begun to work though my form reversed, that is doing it the opposite way to that which I learned it. This is a fairly simple thing, and yet is a big challenge. As I learned the form you start by doing the opening movement and for many this is a simple up and down of the hands. In my form there is also a slight twist to the right and then to the left (North, North, East then North, North, West) this if followed by a movement of the hand up and down as the body twists a little further East and a Little further West, there is then a sinking as you Lower your left palm down to the left hip and hold the right palm at chest level with the palm turned in as you twist to the West. You turn your right foot into the North East as you turn back to the North East your lower (left) hand move across form North West to North East and your right hand turns up palm out…

Okay you get the idea there are a bunch of little steps and description, this is not what you do, not is it what you think, but it is words to give a bit of a description about the movements your body must make.

This week I began working out how to do this the opposite direction. So it still starts with the opening move with the hands moving up and down, but now the body turn is first into the North, North West and moves towards the North, North, East. The right hand now goes down to the right in the second part of the move as the left hand remains at chest level and turns palm in. the left foot turns into the North West…

Same basic routine but left and right are reversed. This is a challenge for me mentally and physically. Not quite the same as learning it again, but still with many challenges.

Some may ask, “Why bother?”

It is just one of those things I like to do. It is also useful if you want to work a part of your form as a Qigong. My form is a long Yang form and is divided into three thirds. Each third is complete, that is, each third is balanced. You will move focus of energy through the meridians and through the body in a way that balances out the focus. However if you want to do something like, “Grasp the Swallow tail”, this is a short description for the first several movements of my form; you do not balance the energy through the body. In runner’s terms it is like running around a street circuit in one direction, you tend to put unequal demands on your body. For the runner the solution is to run both clockwise and counter-clockwise. For the Taijiquan player the solution is to do a balancing Qigong, or do the entire Qigong reversing left and right.

One of the issue or concerns I have with some short forms, is that they are not necessarily well balanced, that is, I have a belief that the original long forms were developed to move energy through the meridian system in a complete and balanced way, so that elements were not just stuck in here or there, they were put in place for a reason. Doing a complete form moves the Chi around the system in a systematic and balanced way. Some short forms may not do this. My example is using “Grasp the Swallow’s Tail’ as a qigong suggests you should do it normally and then do it with left and right reversed. There are other elements or sequences that can be used as a Qigong; one example is “Waving hands like Clouds”, this sequence is balanced if you do an equal number of turns to the east and west. You can do as many as you want and you could even do a large circle, however, you will always turn East and West and each hand will describe similar sequences of movements.

This practice of reversing the form (left to right) is teaching me many things about how I learn, how I move and how energy move though my body.

I thought I would share this just in case it is of any interest to anyone else.


Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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9/4/13 8:03 P

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How easy it is to get distracted by errant bunnies running across my consciousness. emoticon

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8/19/13 11:17 A

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PAPAMIKE, your post regarding standing meditation reminds me of one of my "Nursery school" moments. I was away from Winchester and the school for a couple of years and I had not competed for a while but entered a few for fun. Guys I had played push-hands with had gotten a lot better. When I asked them what they had been doing, they replied "standing". At first, I thought they were putting me on and I asked "no really, what are you doing?" They replied in more detail, but essentially, they were doing a lot of standing postures. When I am stuck, I try to go back to working on the posture from a static approach and then try to make the connections.

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8/17/13 11:12 A

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Zhan Zhuan, tree standing is a good Qigong for taijiquan and other martial arts. In fact, most internal martial arts have a form of Zhan Zhuan

popieruns.com/StandLikeTree.htm

I will be putting up video links in the fall on various qigongs and my taijiquan form. The link above is a description. If you take this on start slowly with a few minutes and work up. I start on one leg, then the other and then do my normal two legged stances.

There are many energy and balance lessons in "Tree Standing"

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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8/17/13 10:39 A

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Hi Taijiman! ,

I am definitely am going to try the yard stick. Looks like fun! Lol. I have been doing better with my balance little by little. One thing that has been helping me a great deal is stretching immediately before I do my form. The other big thing is keeping my feet in the correct position. Right now I'm working a lot on looking at my imaginary opponent. I noticed my head position has been correct, but I have a tendency to look down a little too much. Looking at my opponent has not become a habit for me, but I know eventually it will.For sure it will be a good thing in terms of balance. The other thing that I've been doing is focusing on an object in the distance. My Sifu told me to use by abdomen ie chi not my head when doing the form in general. Wow! He is so right. It really works. There are so many things to develop into habits. One by one it will come. I took my test for the 24 forms. I posted on it. What a great experience. I just loved taking the test. What a contrast. Before I took the test I had anxiety, but Sifu made me feel so comfortable before hand, it turned out to be really smooth! One thing I will never forget is the smile and the expression on my Sufu's face when I glanced at him while doing the test. That, I never expected to see. How nice it was!!

Thanks so much for the tips! Very, very much appreciated!

Have a great Tai Chi day!
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Love life!

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~Albert Einstein

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8/16/13 9:42 A

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I sometimes say taijiquan is like peeling an onion that gets larger as you peel it.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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8/16/13 9:35 A

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Papamike, I really love your last statement "it's frustrating but exciting" Is so true. I have the experience that just when I think I know something, I find I am back in nursury school...but have learned a new reality,,,,like peeling an onion. I used to tell people that after I played Taiji for twenty years, I would stop calling myself a beginner, we now it is close to 30 and I am still a beginner. Happy trails!!!!

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8/7/13 12:59 P

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Lots of small refinements. Small things like leaving the weight forward as you turn the hands in LU and leaving the right hand extend as they turn and after they turn. Dropping the hands straight down the centre as you turn back to the right and then straight backup up as you do Chee. This section gives the appearance of an arch but the hands stay in centre and the body turns to make the hands move in this ark.

Other little things. the correct foot position in snake creeps down, supports a proper position for slant the fly and this contributes to the correct position for the next movement. I typically was getting too short a step, but it was really a result of slightly off steps in the two proceeding movements.

So I went home form my lessons with video of almost the whole form with little corrections interspersed in every couple of movements.

It is both frustrating and exciting.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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8/7/13 11:28 A

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I am learning how to connect physical movement with improved flow of Qi.

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7/31/13 12:53 P

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Although I have been a taiji player for almost 30 years, it seems that I am begining to learn how to enjoy playing the form "in the moment" rather that for results or obligation. Paradoxically,I think my performance is better than it was when I competed. emoticon

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7/28/13 10:45 A

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Finishing postures. Seems always an issue to complete one movement completely before starting the next. A good example is the single whip.

As you turn to the west the right arm remains extended straight the left hand ends with the index finger under in line with the nose and as the weight shifts from the back right foot to the front foot the left arm extends for a strike. The left arm should finish its movement at the same time as the weight shift completes. Sometimes I finish the arm movement before the weight or vise versa.

My instructors teacher used to insist that these should finish exactly together, to do otherwise was "Just wrong."

This is consistent with the principle of co-ordinated movement. Notice that movement is singular not plural. It is one movement not several independent movements of various body part. One can explore shoulder and hip, elbow and knee, hand and foot coordination. I have to work on actually completing one movement before begining the other, and doing this without a pause between moves. In fact. taijiquan form should be like one continuous coordinated movement.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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7/26/13 4:37 A

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The forms reflect the inner landscape; the inner landscape shapes the outward forms. :D

Tai Chi is as Tai Chi does!



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7/24/13 12:06 P

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I am learning that everytime I play the form, it is a new chapter. As Master Jou used to say, "Taiji is the teacher".

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7/17/13 3:12 P

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I agree with the points made by TAIJIMAN. I am also a big supporter of standing meditation often referred to as "Pile standing" or "Standing Like a Tree".

I also play on a wobble beam, a 2 x 4 on edge supported at each end. This tends to bend away from centre if you get off centre and increase the challenge of standing over the ground or a regular balance beam.

And as TAIJIMAN say, enjoy the journey.



Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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7/17/13 2:26 P

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Hi Miramin. Keep in mind that you are making progress a little at a time. By playing Taiji, you will see improvement in your balance. Here are a few tips that might help you some. Relax, relax,relax, slightly soften or unlock your knees to lower your center of gravity. Make sure your head is being lifted straight up, not tilted as if looking at your feet. Do some standing meditation to increase awareness of your central axis. When you are in a one legged stance, you want to get this line as close as possible to the center of your foot and make sure it is straight up and down. To get this concept, get a yardstick and balance it in the palm of your hand....the trick is to keep the bottom directly underneath the top. Good luck and enjoy the journey.

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7/2/13 10:28 A

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I believe I have learned to go slow and steadier. and how many different types there is.

Done emoticon emoticon 30 min so far, more later on.

Edna Mae Shukis

It isn't over until the fat lady sings and someday I hope not to be that lady!


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7/2/13 8:15 A

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Hi Papa and everyone!

I just want to say I'm doing very well in all areas of my 24 postures except balance. It's my biggest challenge! Even ghough I am using good breathing techniques and using my arms in the right way, I seem to still be not able to maintain my balance very well with certain postures. Any ideas would be helpful. I'm going to work on it in class with my Si Himg tonight, but still it's a little frustrating. I can't help but thinking maybe its my weight. I'm not used to being this heavy. Most of my life I've been a skinny mini. It's hard to tell where I'm going wrong.

Thanks!

Edited by: MIAMIRN at: 7/2/2013 (08:19)


Love life!

Never, never give up!

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"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
~Albert Einstein

"Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your word


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7/1/13 10:05 A

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I am learning that there are other things in life other than taiji. Yang Jun, the traditional Yang family linage holder and greatgrandson of Yang Chenfu is in Winchester for a week long training and I can only attend one day of push hands training. This is really tough for me.....I only get to train with him once every 5 years or so.....Right now money and time is really tight. The good news is that I am not letting this be a hurdle. In the past, I might just sulk and stay away from the school for a while. SP is teaching me to not give up and to do what I can. Having said this, I had a great work out this morning. A few days ago, my teacher said my Saber form is "pretty good"...She is rather parsimonious in her praise. emoticon

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6/24/13 3:51 P

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Hi Papa and all,

It's been 11 days since my last post in this thread. I've been refining my 24 postures. I think I may be ready for testing. I'll see how I feel tomorrow when I go to class. Every time I go to class I learn something new. I have a hard time describing it though. What I've been focusing on is breathing at the right time and balance. Balance is hard for me, but getting better and better. I've learned to position my hands midline in order to balance easier. Well I'm supposed to do it anyway, but I didn't know it until I was shown. Lol. I was having a hard time maintaining my posture while standing on one foot it was because my hand was not positioned midline. It's almost like magic. I exhale while standing on one foot, position my hand midline to my body and voila! My balance is good! I apologize for the repetition. It's just hard to describe things like this. emoticon

I hope everyone has a great rest of the day!
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Love life!

Never, never give up!

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” Winston Churchill

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
~Albert Einstein

"Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your word


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6/17/13 5:11 A

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My instructor has RA and is mostly symptom free through a combination of Taijiquan, Qigong and careful eating.

I had a counselling insturctor who worked with cancer and RA. He say them as opposite sides of the same disorde (that of the body not know what is "me" and what is "not me").

Generally his approach was intneral conflict resolutions. This is also the nature of Taijiquan, bring the whole into blance the ideal of yin and yang harmony. I do not think that things like RA are attributable to one thing, nor do I think they are simple to deal with, however, finding balnace, and things we react to will go a long way to helping us be in control.

Good work you.



Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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6/16/13 11:53 A

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Hi Papa and everyone!

I haven't been here for a while, but I have been doing my Tai Chi. So well, I believe that I'm almost ready to test with my director and master! I have completed the 24 forms. My first of many. The next one we will do is the 48 forms. In the last few months I have learned so much about self discipline and self control and balance. We do breathing techniques before Tai Chi practice i.e. Chi Gong and it's helped me tremendously! I had a set back three months ago. I have Rheumatoid Inflammatory Disease and my knee swelled up. I could hardly walk in the morning, but for the pain. I continued my Tai Chi as best as I could and with the help of physical therapy I made it through stronger than I was before.In general, I have more muscle, a lot more balance. I'm more flexible and able to reach and squat and bend in every direction imaginable. I and have learned how to live outside of the practice of Tai Chi with the skills of Tai Chi and Chi Gong in my life. Even getting in and out of the car is different for me, now. I am grateful to my instructors and Master for helping me and guiding me through this wonderful journey.

Have a great Father's Day!
emoticon emoticon



Love life!

Never, never give up!

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” Winston Churchill

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
~Albert Einstein

"Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your word


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6/6/13 10:38 A

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Some thoughts on my practice if Taijiquan. A little more info about the progress throught the kicks section.


I continue to develop this discipline and expand the elements I am playing with. I have added a number of Qigong practices, and also read and explore various schools of thinking.

I seem to go a long for a while and then something clicks and I have an “AHA” type experience about some aspect or aspects of my practice. I am currently working on a sequence of fast kicks in my form. These are quite demanding as they also include some full squat types of moves.

I am doing a sequence that involves: Spread the Weave rear, sitting like a duck (you sit on your heel), right kick (rise and kick with power), Spread the Weave rear Left, Sitting like a Duck Left, Lift Kick, block Right, Turn around and Heel Kick.

For me putting down the kicking foot empty (not falling into the step) is a challenge. I have been working on this section and am making progress. I noticed that this practice is having an impact on other places in my form. My Brush Knee Twist Step sequences have also improved. In fact, we worked on these in my lesson this week, making sure my intension is forward and also that I place the foot down with the weight on the back leg and then move the weight forward as I complete the movement, and paying attention to keeping the heel of the back foot on the ground until the BKTS is complete and then doing the little false step.

I have also been working on movement in six directions (forward, backward, right, left, up and down) in my standing qigong. I am actually working on them one at a time, once I can co-ordinate things correctly I will expand this practice.

This static work in Qigong and dynamic work during my form practice is making a difference throughout both. These martial practices of course feed into my day to day living an moving.

The biggest constraint is still time available, however, even this is okay given that I can spread the practice out over as longer time (as many days). It seems that I am making hast slowly and the progress is in the desired direction.

A little practice every day, and slowly over time I see results.


Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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5/29/13 2:50 A

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Remain tall even on movements that require compressions or striking downwards. In my form I am working on a section of kick, several of these require a movement down to sitting on the heel and then spriling up and into the kick. keeping balanced and level throughout these is a major challenge for me, however, it does seem to spill into the other movements and into my day to day moving about in the world.



Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 6/17/2013 (05:05)
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5/9/13 11:51 P

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I have added practicing several movements while doing my pile standing, These are not so much physical movements as mental movements. On the outside it would or should appear that I am motionless, but internally there is a focus on intention and movement. Both of energy and of body. These can include but are not limited to Six-Direction Force: front, back, left, right, up and down and integration force relating the Laogong points on the hands to the Yongquan points of the feet, the Jianjing points to the Huantiao points and the Quchi points to the Yanglingquan points. These points teaching the integration of the hands to the feet, the shoulder to the hips and the elbow to the knees. This is both much simpler and much more involved than I would ever have thought before I started to explore. In the next few months I may come to understand something about it. I know that is has had an effect on my qigong, taijiquan and chi Walking and chi running. Of course, we also connect the Baihui on the top of the head and the Huiyin on the bottom of the torso, they should be aligned straight and vertical.

Standing still and connecting these points focusing on the six directional movement (one at a time for me, and one set of points at a time is more than enough for me).

I think these exercises, or focuses will make a big difference in many aspects of my movement, both physically and mentally.



Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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3/24/13 11:25 A

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I like the waist comment. I use a small soccer ball and practice circles, emphasizing hip and kua and not turning arms past straight out from square with waist and chest.

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3/23/13 9:29 A

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more good corrections on my Dao form. I tend to let the blade lead me rather than the waist. Also our group is back to preschool with push hands. We went back to basic vertical circles and worked on timing and hand/arm/wrist placement. I am constantly being confronted on my delusions of adequacy..... emoticon

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3/20/13 1:21 P

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Howdy Stonecot. Darn them repulsing monkeys emoticon .
24 style is what I learned first. It contains elements of several of the major family styles...but is mostly influenced by Yang family style. I kinda miss doing it...it is fun. I may have to see if I can relearn it, but I am a slow learner and fast forgetter and when I try to do different stuff, it tends to mutate my standard Yang form.
Enjoy the journey
Happy Vernal Equinox all emoticon

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3/20/13 10:41 A

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Hi I live in the UK, and I've been following tai chi for nearly a year. I have to say that I don't understand most of what you're posting about! I'm doing something called 24 short form, I don't recognise any of the types you list. I'm working on a move called 'repulse monkey' at the moment.

Evelyn co- captain of Azure Destinations, (and living in London UK!)

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3/12/13 12:26 P

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yang family tai chi association has ranking system. Yang Zhendo was linage holder and retired, his grandson, Yang Jun, was appointed as the current linage holder and lives in Washington, near Redmon. There was a lot of discusion regarding the pros and cons of ranking, but all in all, it seems to be of value. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks who present themselves as Taiji teachers but are teaching poor technique or even not correcting misalignment in the knees, resulting in harm.

I value "drinking straight from the well"....the mistakes I make are my own and cannot be attributed to the random misinterpretation of others.

Edited by: TAIJIMAN at: 3/20/2013 (13:22)
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3/8/13 10:17 A

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being a late comer to Tai Chi rank has never even crossed my mind. I take a great deal of delight in being told that I hardly bobbed at all doing a series of Brush Knee Twist Steps. I also take delight in discovering changes in my Chi Running that seem related to unconscious learing in my Tai Chi and Qigong.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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3/8/13 9:57 A

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Interesting. Thevonlybrank in tai chi I might achieve is some sort of instructor or shifu, a long ways off. Same with bagua, where my teacher holds no real rank except disciple. I became a black sash in kojosho more than 30 years ago, and yes, I was disappointed when further promotion seemed to be blocked by politics but I continue with practice.

In Yang form I am working on lady with shuttle, this version has a low kick and very low snake or dragon squat. Getting good ankle rotation on heel of foot is a challenge.

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3/8/13 9:14 A

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Making progress in letting go. I carry so much baggage when I have been doing my form. The fact that I am probably at my highest Rank (5 Silver Tiger) and will not make 6 is hard to accept. I have been just being in the flow of the form rather than seeing the play as a means to another end....e.g ranking or competetion.
The paradoxical result is that I believe my form is getting better than it has ever been.

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2/27/13 10:06 A

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Last night my corrections focused on a section from Spear through Armor to Pat the Horses Mane and Waving Hands like Clouds. There were several small details that I needed to adjust. It is interesting to me how putting something a little off can change everything that follows. In the first sequence there are two steps to the South West and on the second there is a sinking and a shoulder strike and a twist to the North West followed by a twist to the South West as you separate your hands and strike to the South West. Somehow I had associated the should strike with the first step and that altered everything that followed.

Waving hands Like Clouds comes after a Single Whip which follows Fishes in Eight. Waving hands is a good exercise for Chi Runners and Chi Walkers because it involves several side steps with the hips facing North but with the Waist turning between North East and North west. This has many Qigong benefits, but for the Chi Runner it is also a practice of separation of the upper and lower body. In Chi Running we stabilize the top of the body in line with the travel down the road and rotate the hips to extend the stride back, in Tai Chi was Stabilize the lower body and rotate the upper body, generating torque.

First thing we had to do was move backward to Sit back ready. My bow stance was too narrow and this when I turned the Right foot in for Fishes in Eight, the position of my feet were incorrect (my right foot was too far towards the front). This alter the alignment of things for the Single Whip and finally it make it difficult to get things setup for the Waving Hands like Clouds.

It is possible and desirable to make corrections as I move through the form; however the earlier in the process I can make the correction the fewer corrections that need to be made as I proceed through the form. This process of making early corrections is like little course adjustment rather than major ones. It applies to Taiji, Chi Running, Chi Walking, Qigong and, of course, all aspects of living.

I had a programming instructor who used to say, “The devil is in the details.”

It is often the little things that start to take a process off track, the early you can correct this the less you have to adjust.

My current practice is to start off with a run through my form (once or twice) then to select a section of the form and work on the details of that section. I often do this with a reference to Video of my teacher or my teachers teacher doing the section or making corrections. I than practice the section several times making adjustments as best I can. I then go through the forms a couple of times with no specific reference to the section I just worked on. For me this moving the focus up or out to begin (doing the complete form), then moving the focus down or in (working on the details of a section) and finally move the focus back up or out (doing the complete form) seems to work well.



Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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2/26/13 11:49 A

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Having a lot of fun buffing up (sand blasting) my weapons forms. Yang Jun will be here in Winchester this July and I don't want to embarass myself too much. Connecting with the Dao is much simpler (for me) than with the Jian, which is more subtle...I can do OK with the larger movements but connecting the dots with the smaller movements eludes me (for now).

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2/19/13 12:58 P

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I am all for standing postures as a regular routine. If you need to, you should be able to settle in with three breaths and conscious opening of the spine down while ankles and neck open up. You can find a trigger, like tapping two fingers against your leg, to capture the feeling and focus without prep. " just throw the ball" as they say.


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2/19/13 9:14 A

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Today I rediscovered how important standing meditation is. I thought I had less time this morning so I skipped my standing before I did my form... It was difficult to remain mindful.

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2/16/13 4:55 P

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Mine will drift to an easier version, the stances not so deep or square, the arm positions not so stretched. I also push myself a little longer when I go,to class and sweat through my shirt. There is value in both. Mi like going out by the water and just practicing for its own sake, either by sections or from the beginning.

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2/16/13 4:05 P

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I learned that my form tends to mutate if I don't go to class and get corrections from my teacher.

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2/11/13 10:41 A

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Thanks for celebratory message.

I have finished the third section of long form, the kicks, in the large frame now and will begin the next, with fair lady works shuttle. I like the kicks much better than last time through a year ago,min a medium frame.


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2/11/13 9:12 A

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Happy Chinese New Year. Our school celebrated Saturday. I couldn't begin to log everything I ate. I don't even know what every thing was! Celebrate the year of the Yin Water Snake!!

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2/9/13 8:47 A

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secret Taiji teaching: age and treachery will over come youth and skill ;)

Edited by: TAIJIMAN at: 2/10/2013 (17:57)
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2/8/13 2:23 P

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When I was a kid I did some Martial Arts and had a friend who had studied Judo in Japan. At the school there was a little old man who would wander into the Dojo a couple times a week and typically play with some of the senor instructors. Occasionally he was shown something new, he would go home an practice it with his practice tree. Typically he would return the next time able to execute the move perfectly, but would often execute the lock or through several times and then leave, only to return a few days later and execute the move more perfectly.

Derrick told me that all the young guys watched out for the venerable old guy, and if anyone had tried to injure or insult him they would have dealt with it. No longer being as young and brash as we were then, it occurs to me, that the “Old Guy” could in all likelihood take care of himself, and could also taken care of many of the young bucks.


Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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2/8/13 1:55 P

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Due to family obligations, have not gone to class for a while, have not been teaching but still playing my form although I do not have room to do saber or sword (let alone staff!!)

I returned to class for the first time in a while last night. I got some good corrections on saber footwork. I had a blast with push hands applications. It is so cool when my teacher, a 70 some year old grandmother can lock me up and have her way with me :)

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2/6/13 5:24 P

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I have practiced different forms. The point, I think, is the learning and the development of oneself. As a black belt in other arts, I am ok with my ability to block and strike. Tai chi has been about finding alignment, and developing internal strength from opening the joints and fascia, using the waist, rooting, and developing strong stances. Arguments about "my dog is better than yours" aren't very productive, any more than comparing how "quickly" you or I are learning the sequence of movements. You will get to the end and have to,start over again with corrections. And again ...

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2/6/13 3:11 P

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I always find it interesting how other people, and other forms do a similar thing. Even in my form there are differences between the way I learned things as I started and the way I am asked to do things now, and there are other changes that I will get to when I am able.

A friend asked me, "Well, which form is correct?"

I think he may have used the term, "Right"

He seemed dissatisfied when I suggested that the forms were different, not necessarily better, worse, right or wrong.

That is not to say that Taiji cannot be done wrong, it can be and often is, however, it is not typically because the form is wrong, but that somewhere along the way some important incorrect movements or positions have been allowed to sneak in.

Thanks for you input DRDEADLIFT

Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 2/6/2013 (15:12)
Good running and be Careful out there

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2/6/13 3:02 P

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I do a large frame version, and the single whip,involves a very full stretch with the left hand sweeping overhead and into position. Indeed, the stance is not narrow, but wide enough to allow a squat. Following moves are made by pivoting on the left heel.

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2/6/13 4:21 A

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I did not make it to my Tai Chi Class last week due to freezing rain. Thus I had two weeks practicing a number of new or relatively new movements. I had discovered on my own that my Single Whip stance is a bit narrow. This week we looked at a couple of specific corrections. In my movement from Single Whip into Waving Hands, the Narrow Single Whip stance made it difficult to get the timing of the hand and foot movement in sync. As the Waist turns North the body should remain North West. The left hand stays in the center and follows the body around and the right hand sweeps down and then turns over with the fingers coming up. The Right Leg then moves in parallel to the left. Then as the body turns to the North East the weight comes across. There is a continuous torquing the upper body past the hips and the foot movement must be synced with the hands. It looks so easy when Josephine does it, but It will take me a while to actually get it right.

Well there you have it again. Gradual Progress.



Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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1/24/13 9:28 P

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I have a creaky knee that makes me concerned about some strength training, and I thought maybe I should try not locking my knees when I'm standing around.

5'7.5"

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1/24/13 9:53 A

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This week I finally officially learned Waving Hands like Clouds. This marks the middle of my form. Althought it is the middle of the form in terms of moves many of the following sequences repeat or are variations on previously learned moverments, therefore some section will be learned faster.

I am also going through martial applications of and detailed review of all movements and sequences upto Waving Hands.



Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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1/20/13 11:07 A

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That I'd forgotten how sore my legs could get from standing, and how tense my shoulders are. Good reminders. How much I've missed training! That I need to start slow and easy, no pushing right now pre-surgery. That I feel good picking this up and being able to continue after surgery no matter the outcome.

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1/18/13 12:58 P

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This week I learned that my Tai Chi and Qigong practice are beginning to come into my day to day. I found that doing some recreational activites I hold needless tension, and my little internal voice now says, "Breath, relax" even when I am not doing Chi type activities.

This is good. It is like an automatic reminder to relax and focus, and enjoy.


Good running and be Careful out there

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1/10/13 6:10 A

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I began with a 9 animal form, so holding a crane or sitting back into a dragon is unremarkable. The squatting single whip, a little more challenging. A lot more. All the bagua forms are also standing energy postures, and so are ward off, parting horse, fair lady, etc.

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1/10/13 6:07 A

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I continue to practice bagua, but without a regular class since i moved from the area Robert Smith taught, and his students. I find the one hour habit difficult. Tom Bisio's books and tapes have been helpful, and I even sprung for Frantzis mastery class a couple years ago, and use the audio tape particularly as a practice companion.

Another 30 years? Improbably need it, but will be 90 then.

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11/10/12 6:45 A

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I suddenly discovered I can do my Zhan Zhuang on one leg (not for 30 minutes, but for a minute per leg at the start of my morning Qigong). I had a Qigong Master talk about this as a natural progression, however, I never really thought much about it.

Then one day I just picked up my left leg and I realized that I was not wobbling. Just felt very grounded two arms up as if holding a big exercise ball, my left lifted so that the thigh was 90 degrees to the body, the knee bent and foot in front, and weight straight down through my right leg into the ground.

This is a change that I did not see coming, It is again, a remarkable testament to the concept of gradual progress. Make a little change and be consistent

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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11/2/12 11:47 A

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I have been doing Zhan Zhuang for most if the time I have been doing Tai Chi Chuan. The regularity and duration has varied a little, however, for much of the time I spend about 30 min a day. This Qigong has various forms, but is used by many Martial Arts forms and certainly in the Internal of “Soft” forms. In spite of practicing regularly and fairly consistently I only recently put together the relationship between this Qigong and an other set of Qigongs which I practice. It was like a light going on.

I can used my arms and legs the same in this Qigong as I do in Zhan Zhuang. Then a second light went on. I can uses my legs and arms the same in Tai Chi Chuan as I do in Zhan Zhuang. It is funny how I did not detect this, even though I do my Qigong then my Tai Chi Chuan one immediately after the other so they are linked in time, however, my brain did not make the specific connection.

When doing Zhan Zhuang you stand with your arms in various positions for fairly long periods of time, with you body aligned and your knees bent. There are many things going on here in the body, but one thing is to learn to hold your body static and yet fairly relaxed. When people begin, they will typically find it a strain to hold a static position for more than a few minutes. As a person progresses, the issue will become more related to available time than the physical ability to hold the position. It has become quite comfortable and I have learned to allow my body, mind and spirit to be still for a little while each day. In particular I have noticed that my arms can remain relaxed and yet held out in front of me. The recently it occurred to me that this I could bring this into another set of Qigongs that I do. A few days later I became aware that this could also be applied to my Tai Chi Chuan practice. I know it is not news, but it is just so funny to me that I was making the connection outside of awareness, and suddenly it was just there and I knew it consciously.

Let the Chi Flow

Popie




Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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10/11/12 9:05 A

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This week I have been exploring different Bagua Steps. Both the how to and the why of them. I have also been reading a log about basic practice. One thing that was particularly interesting to me was a Long time master talking about Circle walking.

After spending an hour every day for a year, he said to his teach that he was finially begining to understand the practice. His master laughted and told him to continue to practice.

After an other year he told his teach that the old master had been correct and during the first year he had barely scratched the surface of understanding but now with another 365 hours of pactice he was making head way. His master laughted and told him to continue to practice.

Now some 30 years later, he is still amaxed that with each year his understanding in the present make his understanding in the past seem so limited.

I am some times in a bit of a hurry to have things happen, but gradual progress is the order of this practice.

Let the Chi Flow

Popie

Good running and be Careful out there

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9/24/12 9:48 A

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I spent a little extra time doing my form with stops a various points. I found a site that actually had a name for this form of practice. I find it useful for checking alignment, balance, etc. You do your form as usually, however, you pause in the middle of movements and take 3 to 6 breaths while holding the position. You can, of course, make adjustments to ensure that your parts are aligned and that you are balanced, etc

I do this a couple of times a week as part of my regular practice. I find I learn a lot about how I am moving through the form. I typically also to a couple of fast set, moving through the form very quickly. Each of these give me information about different aspects of how I move through my form.


I have not done my no-arms form for a long while, but think I will apply this to my form today. I do this with my arms loose at my sides. This requires all movement to be only driven form the center. It is a bit odd to do, and of course does not allow certain aspects of Tai Chi movement to come into play, however, I always find I learn somethings about moving from center when I do a set without my arms.

Let the Chi Flow

Popie

Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 9/24/2012 (09:52)
Good running and be Careful out there

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9/24/12 9:32 A

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loving the opportunity to do my form outside in this wonderful weather. The energy is different outside.

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9/20/12 5:35 P

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Actually, I was at a push-hands forum at my school and I threw this out. What we came up with: Peng is the essential energy beneath all energies...like my analogy of the balloon in the post below. Stick is the "correct" positioning of the initial contact....think of a gymnast's "sticking" a dismount. Adhere is like the tackiness of glue paper ....the attachment. This allows you to follow your opponent with no tension or separation. What do others think ????

emoticon

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I am still trying to learn how to navigate this site...

As far as the relationship between peng, adhere, stick and connect, I will give a try. The had thing is that the "understanding" is mostly sensate and is hard to put into words. I will give it a try with an analogy...may be completely off base:

Peng is like blowing up a balloon. It is the energy that allows you to close the gap between you and your partner. I like to think of a couple of magnets. first you move them closer to within in their magnetic fields of attraction (peng). The magnets touch together (stick) which alters their seperatness to become joined (adhere), allowing a dynamic influence (connect).

The above may be total kung phooey, but it seems to make at least some sense to me.

I would love to hear comments.

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8/16/12 1:53 P

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It might be helpful if you could say more about those subtle differences.

I, for one, would be very interested in your explorations.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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8/16/12 1:44 P

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I am exploring the subtle nuances of differences between adhere and stick and how they relate to connect. Peng is essential! emoticon

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8/13/12 6:39 P

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This play list will present a form very close close to your form.
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF6B7
62
B089F5CD79


It may be useful to look at first few section when you are at home should help you to get very close. Likely close enough to practice the basic form.

Have a look and let me know if it is useful

Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 8/13/2012 (18:40)
Good running and be Careful out there

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8/13/12 5:46 P

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My Tuesday evening group uses Yang longform pronounced Young.

I missed last week's Tue Thur am group announcement that they were going to meet at the park because of the Y having other things happening in the rooms.

what an experience I missed.

Again, they tell me to practice and I'm not understanding what I should do when I get home.

185 on my fourth anniversary of July 7, 2010
Joined weight watchers on 10/18/10 @ 188.0/after multiple 17 week passes took a break on 2/11/12
Weight Loss in 2011--24 lbs.
01/01/12--162.0
02/08/12--159
Plan to lose 12 lbs in 2012
4/19--157
5/18--150
7/07/12=6th anniversary
2012--lost 12 lbs this year!!!
1/04/13--149 :-)
4/11/13--147
5/28/13--145
9/29/13--138 50 lbs
1/13/14--131.5
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8/4/12 9:09 A

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I have been practicing balance by walking across a wobble beam. Intially it was difficult to make a couple of steps before I was thrown off. It is like a thin balance, so if you move your centre off centre it bends away from you. It is deceptively simple and deceptively difficult.

Today I crossed end to end 6 times before I had my first mis-step. I noticed in my Tai Chi Form that my balance is better, at every point in the form I am more balance, more grounded.

I spoke with my instructor about this activities and she talked about balance in Taiji being related to yin and yang, empty and full, hand to feet, elbows to knees, etc. It is all true, and the discussion was very enlightening; however, we are taught to do Qigong exercises to develop Qi because it is difficult to do the the tai chi form at an internal level until you have a certain mastery of the physical level.

It is difficult to have the levels of balance my instructor was talking about until you have very good physical balance.

We need to be willing to take small little step toward the goal, and we need to be satisfied with making haste slowly.

Let the Chi Flow

Popie

Good running and be Careful out there

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8/2/12 7:21 A

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My big learning this week came from my teaching Chi Running. One does not have to do Tai Chi to become a Chi Runner or Chi Walker, but Tai Chi has provided a basis for going deeper into the thinking behind both.

I have a new Chi Walking student who is older, and has faced many challenges in her life, one was a broken back. She holds a lot of tension, so the idea of relaxing and letting things happen is quite difficult. I found my self reflecting on how much we hold tension. There is useful tension, spring, jumping, runing tension. but may people hold tensions that inhibits movement, inhibits clear thinking, inhibits proper breathing.

I think my big learning, or perhaps relearning this week is that tension (as in stress) is the enemy of much that each of us would like to accomplish.

Popie

PS remember, breath in, breath out.

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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7/26/12 3:17 P

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Ask about the style, this will give you some info about the sequences in the form. You might also ask if you could video tape the form, not the whole class, just the sequence you are learning. I video tape at the end of each of my lessons, that way I can review the new material and / or corrections before I practice at home.

This week for instance we work on some fine details to Fishes in Eight (lead up to single whip) and the Stork spreads its Wing. We look at hand changes, weight changes and body changes with a focus on coordinating them so that the weight shift from the heel of the left foot to the ball of the left foot back to the heel of the left foot and then to the heel of the right for happen in the correct spot to the hand and arm movements, and that the hand and arm movements are driven from the core and are following the movement of the body, not leading it. I was working on this last week, but actually still got my weight shift to the right foot a little before the body and arms had completed their circles.

Because the arms do larger circles the hands must travel faster than the body. I have a bit of a tendancy to let the hands take on their own movement rather than being driven by the movement of the body, so the whole thing does not move as a unit.

My instructor demonstrate what we worked on, How I should be moving, what I was doing (how I should not be moving)

I take the video off the camera and watch it before I start my practice, so I am very clear on what I am working on and what I am trying to do. If I need to I can go back and re-watch it as necessary. I can also go back and watch any lesson that I want.

I find this very helpful

Let the Chi Flow

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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7/26/12 2:55 P

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Today there were more "better players" in class than there were beginners and all I could do was to trustingly follow. He switched from upper body movements to lower body and it was intense. At one point I thought I had my foot as high as the others in class or maybe even higher, and well as it turned out, I was about two inches off the ground.

The instructor really has a way of showing me what I'm doing wrong without making me feel stupid.

Today, all I could do was surrender, and realize that I have a long way to go. He says he only demonstrates, and that we should practice at home. I'm not sure that I remember when I get home. I also realize that I just need to show up. I also realize that when I was at my heaviest, I didn't realize what harm I was doing to my body.

185 on my fourth anniversary of July 7, 2010
Joined weight watchers on 10/18/10 @ 188.0/after multiple 17 week passes took a break on 2/11/12
Weight Loss in 2011--24 lbs.
01/01/12--162.0
02/08/12--159
Plan to lose 12 lbs in 2012
4/19--157
5/18--150
7/07/12=6th anniversary
2012--lost 12 lbs this year!!!
1/04/13--149 :-)
4/11/13--147
5/28/13--145
9/29/13--138 50 lbs
1/13/14--131.5
Byepounds


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7/25/12 6:46 A

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Thanks for sharing. As far as two different sessions with different instructors there may be differences in what they are teaching. (Do they both teach the same form and / or style?)

This can be a confussion as there are five primary style although it is likely that you will be doing a Yang style. There are also short and long forms these will include different movements. There may be small differences in movements between instuctors, and this may or may not lead to confussion.

By and large it should not matter, and you should be able to sort out the differences, or at least ask the instructors about them.

I have also had the question of what is someone who does Tai Chi; the best term I have come to is a Tai Chi Player.

I posted youtub links to two forms the Yang Chen-fu form is mostly to be closest to your form and althought there may be differences it may at least give you a reminder of the sequences and suggest the movements of the form.

Let the Chi Flow

Popie

Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
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7/25/12 1:45 A

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Thanks for the invite to share my Tai Chi class.

I had a better idea of what was happening and I wasn't sore.

I still can't imagine what the form is when I am home, but I can think of two exercises for balance to do.

Does it matter if one (what do you call a Tai Chi student) goes to two different sessions by two different instructors?

Because I did today, only I was late, thought it started at a different time.

I have a lot to learn.

185 on my fourth anniversary of July 7, 2010
Joined weight watchers on 10/18/10 @ 188.0/after multiple 17 week passes took a break on 2/11/12
Weight Loss in 2011--24 lbs.
01/01/12--162.0
02/08/12--159
Plan to lose 12 lbs in 2012
4/19--157
5/18--150
7/07/12=6th anniversary
2012--lost 12 lbs this year!!!
1/04/13--149 :-)
4/11/13--147
5/28/13--145
9/29/13--138 50 lbs
1/13/14--131.5
Byepounds


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7/21/12 4:53 P

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learning the exit

learning that I'm using muscles that had been dormant

it hurts

185 on my fourth anniversary of July 7, 2010
Joined weight watchers on 10/18/10 @ 188.0/after multiple 17 week passes took a break on 2/11/12
Weight Loss in 2011--24 lbs.
01/01/12--162.0
02/08/12--159
Plan to lose 12 lbs in 2012
4/19--157
5/18--150
7/07/12=6th anniversary
2012--lost 12 lbs this year!!!
1/04/13--149 :-)
4/11/13--147
5/28/13--145
9/29/13--138 50 lbs
1/13/14--131.5
Byepounds


 current weight: 128.0 
 
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7/20/12 1:21 P

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This week I have been working on Qigong and Katas. These are shorter sequences and as such allow me to focus on particular more closely and in more detail. I typically do this with sections of my form, but these very short sequences make it easy to focus on the details, then to move towards staying relaxed and repeating them with less physical attention and more intent.

Last night I did two hours of push hands, no not a full two hours of continuous push hands; two hours of doing things, making adjustment, remind each other about weight changes, centering, etc. My partner is much more experienced than I am, and it is very nice to have his patients and guidance. It is nice to have a fresh set of eye and body to notice things, to ask questions, to remind me about the structure.

We are now at a point where we can talk a little about things as we play.


A segment might go like this:

Setup, and begin pushing and receiving.

“Are you shifting your weight?”

Make an adjustment.

“Are you focused on moving through your Dan Tien?”

Make an adjustment.

“Are you relaxed?”

Make an adjustment.

….

Stop and setup and begin again on the other side.

We still primarily focus on single push hands. We always do a bit of double push hands, however, I still find this a bit of a challenge.

I am finding that it takes much longer than I originally thought it would to really get things into my body and mind, and get it working at a reflexive level. I also find that just when I think I am getting it. It is time to learn a new refinement, that I was not ready for when I last learned about what ever section of my form I am working on.





Good running and be Careful out there

Popie
Certified Chi Running and Chi Walking Instructor


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