Knowledge : Articles

This section contains serious articles on all aspects of taijiquan.

I had an interesting experience lately. I took singing classes with a professional classical singer. It was only one single event, but I learned two important things in those one and a half hours which are not only reflecting back on my Taijiquan but also on my life in general.

Western Learning Methods
Everything is about intellectually understanding things. After listening to my singing for a short time and before the teaching started I got two or three pages of text describing how the breathing organs work and how those relate to singing. Doing Practical Method for a while now and being in contact with eastern learning methods I just skipped through the pages to see if there’s something useful. I asked the teacher whether knowing this stuff is of any importance, especially in the beginning. She said, being a little puzzled, that most people want to know what they are doing, first. Intellectually. I explained, that I do PM and I trust her as a teacher to lead me through exercises which she figures are important for me at my current state. She started teaching me.

Feeling Awkward
With different exercises she tried to get me in a mode where the voice was full. She put me on a stepper on which I had to walk while singing. At some point I had to lean forward in a shoulder wide stance. Singing “dui dui dui” up and down the scale in this position felt strange and she directed me saying “try this” or “try that”. At some point my voice felt awkward. The setting of my muscles in my vocal tract was so wrong. I even got a little scared somehow. I stopped after being in this state for not even a second. Suddenly the teacher almost shouted at me: “why did you stop?! That was wonderful! Do it again!”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that setting during the remaining 15 minutes of the lesson.

This moment, when the awkwardness was on its peek was the moment when the door opened. I didn’t step through it, but now I know it’s there, at least. Even if I would have find this door without the teacher, I would be convinced that it’s the wrong door.

S-Curve

Read more

Ca1ptureMany years ago when I was just learning Yilu, I had questions about how the “Second Closing” (the move after fetch water) was done properly. I was just imitating the movement, the hand was waving from one place to another place. I had no idea where was the energy alignment in that particular move. Master Chen explained “Second Closing” with its application and tried on me. He turned and I was on the ground. It was that simple. I didn’t know, I could not figure out how Master Chen did. But I did know how powerful the “Second Closing” was.

Read more

Instructor: Hugo Ramiro
Location: Toronto

Make sure you have annotations turned on for this youtube video.

For those who do not have annotation, this is the content:

“Choreography is the first thing we learn. If we stop there we have a form that is ‘empty’.

After we learn the basic choreography we must input alignment (tracks) and power.

Hong Kong Workshop 2015Nearing Christmas, under the bright festive lights of Hong Kong, K.T. Lin and Nicholas Fung (馮嘉傑) from the Hong Kong Chen Style Taiji Practical Method (香港陳式太極實用拳法) organized the year ending workshop with Master  Chen Zhonghua. On a mild weekend, more than thirty participants from Hong Kong, the Mainland, USA and Canada gathered to train with Master Chen. A special thanks to Tim Duering and Hán Ruì (韩瑞) who came from Daqingshan to help with the workshop. For two days, Master Chen covered the basics of the Practical Method such as the foundations, movement and Yilu. Master Chen also covered the theory of Chen Taijiquan as well as hands on applications and the intricacy of push hands training.

Read more

Be Mr. Tombstone i

by Hugo Ramiro on 2016/01/16

 

6200657037_96b5cd0305_z

I had the good fortune of being able to attend the Autumn 2015 Ottawa Seminar with Master Chen.

I was kindly offered the opportunity to bunk up with my Taiji brothers John and Brennan while I was there – one of the several things that made my trip possible at all.

On the second night, I believe, hanging around in their living room, beginning to chat about Taiji, I was actually lucky to be present for an impromptu lesson by my Taiji brother John Dahms.

He began by mentioning that we need to have a solid, undeformed torso. And he demonstrated, and he talked, and he demonstrated. Because he is a good instructor, his spoken lecture was only a minor dressing on his physical demonstration, serving to subtly direct attention to the physical movement. And as he delivered the instruction, and I watched with screwy eyes, I began to see, a little at a time, something of what he was demonstrating.

By the end of his lesson I had acquired a new angle on a topic that I have struggled with for several years.Such are the benefits of good instructors, training partners and quality material!

The post and two videos below deliver a valuable and enlightened discourse on the topic that John helped me with:

Don’t Move!

“Torso Arm Alignment” Online Video

Shoulder Torso Separation Online Video

photo from flickr