Change in practice after Phoenix workshop

by Steve Doob on 2019/01/25

I just attended Chen Zhonghua’s Phoenix workshop last weekend.  As usual, I thought I was pretty good thanks to all the practicing I had done since last year in Iowa, and as usual, Zhonghua threw my confidence into the toilet.

It was a great workshop, although overwhelming.  At least I’m more comfortable with what I think is the most important thing that was taught, namely don’t think.  Just follow the directions and don’t question them.  This is a big thing for me, someone who is always up in his head comparing and questioning.  Turns out that thinking is just a distraction from practicing, which is the only way to learn what is being taught.  How to get out of my head?  I think the answer is to practice as intently as I can.  When I do that, I notice interesting things and have occasional exciting insights.  It’s that excitement that keeps me going and that keeps practicing tai chi from becoming like a diet, where it takes willpower to force me to do it.

The second biggie I came away with is the need to segregate all the parts within each movement.  I learned that when two parts within a movement go at the same time they are double heavy.  I had not been separating the parts, which made for a prettier form, but was not leading me in a good direction.  So far, I’m just working on the part up to the pound mortar of the first section of yilu.  It is so hard!  But it’s starting to feel right, especially if I practice it with stalking power.  With that power, each segment of each movement seems to slip into place.

These two things are enough for me to practice right now.  I’m already starting to feel  human again and it’s a given that my confidence will be back by this summer in Iowa, just in time to be destroyed by the master again!

 

About Steve Doob

Studied Kenpo Karate with Ralph Castro in San Francisco from 1963 to 1967. Studied Yang Style with Choy, Kam-Man in San Francisco in 1968. Moved to southern Oregon in 1973. Taught Yang Style and self defense at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, OR from 1978 to 1995. Brought George Xu (Xu, Guo-Min) to Grants Pass for weekend workshops from 1987 to 2005. Been to Shanghai four times with my wife (who also practices Tai Chi) to study martial arts with various people. Moved to Durango, CO in 2005 and live in a large house shaped like a pyramid. My wife and I practice Chen and Yang Style Tai Chi and Ten Animal Xing-Yi in our basement. First learned of Chen, ZhongHua from online videos and am trying to learn his Practical Method, because I think its structural movements are correct.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Camille Lipford January 26, 2019 at 8:04 am

I love your willingness to have your confidence repeatedly destroyed! Keep practicing!

Reply

Leave a Comment
Leave a comment on the content only. For admin issues, please click the "contact" button on the top left.

Previous post:

Next post: