Master Chen once mentioned, that every student of Taiji is supposed to spent a lot of time on the floor. I guess this time it was my turn. Here is my report from EuroTour of Master Chen as I saw it. This article should be read as short personal report rather than anything else.
Link to Prague Private Video
We welcomed here in Prague quite international group of practitioners of Practical Method. Steven Chan (Canada), Massimo Neressini and Master Bon (Italy), Tomek (Poland) and Niko (Germany). Under brilliant guidance of Master Chen we spent a week of really hard training. As the sessions were held in a gym of Czech branch Lamga Hung Kyun leaded by Pavel Macek sifu, we have opportunity to use fully equipped school of Gong fu (poles, wrestling mat, etc).
Since the very beginning the training was oriented to push hands. We went through many drills, pair exercise. As I mentioned above there were wrestling mats, which allowed us to go at almost maximum usage of power, principles, speed …. without fearing of injury you opponent or yourself.
We trained 3 hours in the morning, 3 hours sometimes 5 hours in afternoon. For me personally it was great experience, which took me back to tough training of Karate in my childhood and teen age (muscles totally strained, very slow movements in the morning ). My most common partner was Steven (much stronger, more skilled comparing to DQS full time 2010, where I met him for first time), who never yield to you (to do the drill or application) unless it is done correctly. In that case he could not oppose. I succeeded few times, most of the time I felt like pushing/pulling the wall.
But sometimes when I succeeded, I always asked him if he had faked it. Reply was always: “NO”. Why I asked him? Because I felt … well best word would be….. nothing (no big effort from my side). That experience brought my thoughts to many times repeated phrase: “When you do solo form, do it like there is a real opponent present. When you work with opponent do it like you practice solo form“. Now I see this from totally different perspective. Usage of muscular power is obsolete, when there is correct body structure (lines) is established and yin and yang are separated. Well I was told this many time before, but you know…. To hear is something way different than to experience it. And I’d like to recall here: something else is to understand, to experience it… and to be able to do it repeatedly correctly. That is very hard.
Master Chen was willing to do a Push hand game with us. It was not suppose to be fight or something like that. Whenever I used power bigger than power you would normally use for door to open. I was sent to the floor. Better would be probably to say I collapsed. I think that this experience helped me to understand how the lines works in the body.
I highly recommend you to go for a video from Prague Private as it will be released. It is a must see stuff, for any serious student of Practical Method. Connections between form postures and their usage as wrestling techniques was explained in a manner that I never seen before. Steven Chan also appreciated trainings as something: “never experienced before”. You will see it on your own eyes!
In a similar way of training we continued in Italy for another week. At the end of my stay with Master Chen, he accepted Massimo Neressini as disciple. On behalf of my Taiji Brothers and Sisters I would like to welcome Massimo to the family. Congratulations Massimo!
I also would like to thanks Master Chen for coming to Europe and for sharing his knowledge of Taiji with us. It was brilliant thank you Master Chen.