1. Ken Lang joined the class for the first time. He started learning about twisting the towel.  He has been doing taiji for 10 years, and went to study at Chen Village for 6 weeks.  His initial impression was that the Practical Method elbow-in was similar to what he learned in Chen Village. His teacher there was Master Chen Zhaosen.
  2. We reviewed twisting the towel, and how the hand is to be connected to the foot, and how to push the foot against the ground to squeeze out the hand.
  3. We did an exercise with one person pushing the other person’s hand up the arm, and how to prevent the shoulder being popped up, and how to stretch through the back to the rear foot to find the connection.
  4. We practiced taking out the space.
  5. I told Bruce during push hands, at this point, make it a focus to simply maintain the desired posture regardless of what the opponents does to him.

Kelvin Ho gave us feedback on the first 7 moves of Yilu today. some examples to remember

Buddha’s warrior attendant pounds the mortar – in first move both arms move from the elbow. The right arm is a negative circle. Elbow is down and palm faces floor when you stretch out after grind out. To lift foot twist right elbow even more to connect and lift foot.

Block touching coat. – in step out adjust weight to front foot before arm moves and positive circle starts

Single whip – hands start at 45 degrees and end at 45 degrees as the elbow comes to centerline and fingers and forearm follow the same strait line rubbing against an imaginary vertical finger. The end of single whip the left hand out is a positive circle.  

Brush knee -    the left open hand drops down crossing knee. The end of brush knee when both arms are extended squeeze in on chest and down back as to not cause a rise in the chest. I found this very significant feedback because this is true in so many of the moves. It also seemed to have an impact on my next move to keep my back steady in initial closing.

 Today I realized how significant independent practice is in this practical method. Your body needs time to adjust to perform proper alignment and stretches. If your elbow has limited mobility or you cannot convert the squeeze in the chest to the back and downward, you need practise before you can move forward with more constructive feedback.

Instructor Kelvin Ho worked through a  number of items in today’s class today with me and Bruce Robinson.

All Movement – keep elbows pointed to the ground, open hand position and stretch through to fingers

Buddha’s warrior attendant pounds  the mortar -  start with right hand against chest as you turn hand releases from chest, front hand does not retreat. after ground out completes keep elbow pointing down as you stretch to fingers at end of stretch right elbow in.

Block touching coat – left hand is negative circle , right is positive circle. adjust lower body outward before starting positive circle.

White crane spread it’s wings – As part of stepping back adjust your back so that it is solid before moving the left leg back and raising and stretching the arms from the back outward to the finger tips. Easier said than done the idea of fixing the back against an imagery wall so that it does not move is very difficult. However by working with Kelvin  today I can see what I am working toward.

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