Stories of Daqingshan and Taijiquan

by 胡 琳 on 2011/08/05

做为一个没入门的太极拳爱好者,我很长时间以来,一直经常在网络上看陈中华老师的一些文章和教学视频,对陈老师独特的理论和精彩表演感到非常好奇。此次借出差之机,途经大青山,得见陈中华老师,并体验了他神妙的太极功夫。

一、寻访大青山

时值中伏,天气炎热,我于傍晚时分到大青山脚下,适时红日西坠,凉风渐起,沿着山路拾阶而上,路旁清泉流淌,耳边鸟叫蝉鸣,与几十里外的城市相比,全然是另一番景象。大青山秀丽而不险峻,幽静而不封闭,远离闹市又对世人敞开胸怀,正合太极拳不偏不倚、无过不及的要求。走过1小时崎岖的山路,天色渐暗,放眼望去,依然只见郁郁葱葱的树木和云雾缭绕的山峰,不见房屋建筑,心中不免泛起一丝焦急,想起了“只在此山中,云深不知处”的句子。继续前行,忽觉峰回路转,眼前豁然开朗,只见山腰一座挺拔建筑上书“王廷”二字。前行几步,沿路牌所指望去,方见在山石和绿树掩映下一座精致秀美的小楼“玉兰阁”,楼前一片小广场,暮色中一群外国人举手投足,正是陈中华老师授业解惑之所。

二、陈中华和他的太极功夫

陈中华老师随和幽默,甚至带有几分童心未泯,和他相处并不觉拘束。他总是用很多生动的比喻和生活中的例子来说明太极拳的道理,让学生们在他身上实验,用手在他身上摸索甚至击打来体会尽力,这不但说明了他毫无保留的教学态度,也体现了他对自己功夫的自信。在我眼里,他的功夫已是炉火纯青、随心所欲。他经常穿着拖鞋甚至赤脚和学生实验推手,那些强壮的外国人费尽力气也不能动他丝毫,当他向外发力时,对方只觉一股势不可挡的力量从他身上涌出,当他向里拉时,对方会有一种头脑空白,跌入深谷的感觉,不明其中玄妙者只能感慨他天生神力。

大青山上不但有长期居住学拳的学生,也有很多附近的的爱好者前来访问,陈老师一律热情接待,悉心指点,让每一个来访者都感觉不虚此行。我初上大青山,又无基础,陈老师依然向对待全职学拳的学生那样给我讲解,让我体会。让我记忆深刻的是,一天晚饭后,天气凉爽,月朗星稀,陈老师和我坐在玉兰阁前的台阶上,给我讲解太极拳的原理,让我在他身上体会各种劲道。那晚,我体会到了很多书上和各种媒体中提到的太极拳奇妙的力量,让我感觉到自己是幸福的,甚至兴奋的夜里久久不能入睡,因为多少爱好者辛苦摸索几十年可能都没有过这种体会。

陈老师对学生教拳是随时随地的,我曾见他有一次在吃饭时,和学生说到了某个问题,就放下碗筷站起来实验,还有一次,我在练习基本功,他怀里抱着一个暖瓶,手里拎着一罐可乐在我面前路过,就停下来用腿夹住我的膝盖给我纠正动作,一个身负绝技并在全世界推广拳法的人能够做到这样确实令人十分感动。陈中华老师的助教洪森老师是洪均生先生的嫡孙,不但拳打的工整漂亮,而且热情周到,不厌其烦的给我纠正动作,解答我的问题,我当时的心情真是非感谢二字所能表达的。

三、一个初学者的感悟

做为一个初学者,对很多太极拳的道理我还无法理解,只觉这种体验是一种非常奇妙的感受,那种感受使人着迷,让人神往。

1、可爱的大弹簧

在陈老师身上用力,就像按到了一个大弹簧上面,并且自己脚底下也仿佛踩到了弹簧,使劲一按自己就会蹦蹦跳跳的出去了,当老师把力量放长时,就会被弹出很远。这种被弹出去的感觉并没有任何不适,反而觉得非常有趣好玩,当我被弹出去时竟会不由自主的高兴的大笑。

2、到处都在旋转

把手按在老师身上任何一个地方,都会感觉在旋转,让人觉得使不出劲,甚至用一个手指点在他的胳膊上也会感觉那块肌肉在旋转,我无法理解这种旋转是如何做到的,也曾在其他人身上体会过旋转的感觉,但陈老师身上的旋转感觉更加圆滑,更加立体,感觉刚一接触,便被滑开。

3、沾上就跑不掉

用手和陈老师身体接触时,他并不会用手抓住对方,或是用擒拿的技法,只是轻轻的旋转手臂,对方便会觉得再也无法挣脱,这种情况下,就是感觉处处别扭,浑身不得劲,只能任他摆布,我想这也许就是拳论里面的“我顺人背谓之粘”吧。

4、大道至简

Master Chen Zhonghua

看陈老师的学生们练拳,感觉非常简单,没有华丽流畅的动作,身体没有复杂的涌动,非常朴实,甚至让人感觉动作机械、僵化。但是,每个动作又有严格的要求,真正要把这简单的动作做好却是非常不容易的。陈老师说这些看似简单的动作是符合太极拳的原理的,通过这些简单动作的长期训练就能得到功夫。

5、“中正”不易,“不动”更难

陈老师经常强调的一点就是“不要动”,他有一张教学光盘就是专门讲“不要动”。这点似乎与很多老师的说法不同,我也是在大青山第一次听到“不要动”的理论。通常人们看到听到的是“一动无有不动”或者是“每个动作以腰带动”等理论,陈老师讲在动作中要有动的地方,有不动的地方,如果一起动力量就散了,只有在保持不动的情况下,力量才能在身体内部流动。初学者要注意不要动腰,不要动手,保持身体中正。可是真正做到这“不要动”的不容易的,稍不注意身体就会摇晃了,一出腿,身体就倾斜了。

在大青山上时光虽短,但在这炎热的夏天,脱离了俗务,流连与青山秀水之间,每日除学拳外,晨夕时看山头日出日落,山间云卷云舒,夜晚观满天星斗,听蛙声一片,真可谓是对身心的一次洗礼。

山东东营:胡琳

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

michaelkoh August 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I have just started learning TaiJi Quan. For a long time, I have watched Master Chen’s instructional videos on the internet and I was very curious about his theory and fantastic demonstrations. I took this opportunity during my business trip to visit Master Chen to experience his wonderful TaiJi Gong Fu.
1) Ascension to DaQingShan
It was the second period of the hot season, under the unforgiving heat, I had reached the foot of the mountain in the evening. The sun was setting and we felt the cool wind. We walked up the mountain path. We heard sound of the flowing clear river and the birds on the sides. Compared to the city, miles away, it is a totally different scene. DaQingShan is beautiful but not dangerous, quiet but not secluded, remote from the noisy city and yet welcome anyone into her bosom. Just like TaiJi philosophy, balanced, not overly displaced and not fallen short. After one hour walk on the mountain track, it was approaching darkness, looking afar, and what we saw was nothing but lush forest and the shade of the mountain range, no sight of building. We began to worry, thought of the saying “In the mountain, lost within the clouds”. We proceeded and walked into an opening and saw a sign said “王廷” (King’s Palace). Walked further and our sight followed the direction of the sign, between the boulders and the trees, and saw a beautiful building “玉兰阁”(Jade Pavilion). In front was a small square, we saw a group of foreigners moving their arms and legs. They were the students of Master Chen receiving their lessons.

2) Master Chen and his TaiJi GongFu.
Master Chen is easy going and humorous, with a little child-likeness. You do not feel restrained around him. He always uses colorful examples from daily living to explain TaiJi Quan Theory. He allows students to experiment on him, to touch him and to push him with force. This not only shows his un-reserving attitude in teaching but also display his confidence in his skill. In my eyes, his gongfu skill has reached pinnacle, able to be utilized according to will. He always push hands with his students wearing his pair of slippers and sometimes even barefooted. No matter how his strong westerner students push him, they are not able to move him a bit. When he pushes, the opponents will feel an unstoppable force coming out from his body, when he pulls, the opponent will feel as if he is falling into a cliff. For those who do not understand this, can only feel that he has great strength. Not only do we have long term full time students on the mountain, we also have local practitioners come visiting. Master Chen welcomes them sincerely and teaches them in detail. Makes everyone feels that the trip is worthwhile. When I first arrived at the mountain, I have had no prior training. Master Chen treated me the same way he treated his full time students, explaining the lessons in detail, allowing me to experiment. There was this unforgettable incident, after dinner, the weather was cool, under the bright moon and stars, Master Chen and I were sitting on the platform at Jaded Pavilion, he was explaining the theory of TaiJi and allowed me to feel the different forces from his body. That night, I experienced the magical force of TaiJi Quan which was mentioned in the books and media, this made me feel fortunate and too excited to fall asleep. Because many practitioners, even with years of training, might not have the chance to experience this. Master Chen would teach his students at any moment and location. During a meal, he was discussing about a question and suddenly stood up to teach. Once, I was practicing my basic foundation, he was walking by, carrying a thermos flask and a can of coke. He stopped and clamped my knee with his legs to correct my movement. Answered my questions. I have deep gratitude towards him.

3) The understanding of a beginner.
As a beginner, I cannot understand a lot of the TaiJi Quan theory, I can only feel that it is a wonderful feeling, very additive and captivating.

a. Big Coil Spring
When you push into Master Chen, it is like pushing onto a big coil spring, and also feel like you are stepping onto a coil spring. With a push, and you feel yourself sprung out. When Master Chen lengthens his power, you would be bounced out further. The feeling of being bounced off does not feel uncomfortable, instead, it feels good. I will feel happy and have the urge to laugh when I am being bounced off.

b. Rotation is everywhere.
When you put your hands anywhere on Master Chen’s body, you will always feel rotation, preventing you from using force on his body. Even when you touch his arm with one finger, you can feel that muscle is rotating. I cannot understand how this rotation is possible. I have felt this rotation on other practitioner before, but Master Chen’s rotation is smoother and more slippery, with more dimensions. Your hands will slip off once you touch him.

c. Stickiness
When you touch Master Chen, you will not grab you with his hands, or use Qinna method on you. He merely rotates his arm and the opponent will feel that he could not escape. In this condition, you will feel very awkward and uncomfortable and controlled by him. I think this is what the theory says “Stickiness is when I follow and you oppose”.

4) The Way of Simplicity
I watched Master Chen’s students practicing the form. It seemed very simple. No beautiful smooth flowing movements. No complicated movements in the body. Very simple and plane. Makes one feels that it is mechanical and stiff. However, each movement has its strict requirement. It is not easy to perform these simple moves well. Master Chen these simple movements comply to the theory of TaiJi, and it is through long training then you can achieve GongFu.
5. Being upright is not easy, not moving is even harder.
Master Chen always emphasize “do not move”, he has an instructional video titled “Do not move”. This teaching is different from most teachers. It was my first time hear of this theory on DaQingShan. Most people would be familiar with “One move, all would move” or “Every move is triggered by the waist” theory. Master Chen said that during movement, we have parts that move and parts that don’t move. If all parts move, energy will leak. Only when you keep the stationary parts still, energy will flow within the body. Beginner should not move the waist, not move the hands, keep the body upright. But to achieve this “do not move” is not easy. If you do not pay attention, you will toss. Upon stepping out, the body will slant.
Although my time on the mountain is short, in this hot summer, away from my regular work, immersed in the beauty of the mountain, besides training everyday, watching the sunrise, clouds covering the mountains, watching the stars at night, listening to the frogs, it is like a baptism for both body and mind.
山东东营:胡琳

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