Knowledge : Body & Posture

This category contains posts regarding body part requirements, postures and single posture movements in the form.

20181225_103048~2Today, I trained with John Dahms. We discussed about creating a shell around ourselves to prevent ourselves from moving. Creating such a shell is only half of the equation, the other half is that we must stretch/expand the inside as much as possible. This is like a fight between containment and breakout. It is a conflict that we must find a resolution. I think of it as building up a bomb, and then doing a controlled release of the energy through a narrow tube aimed at the target. For this to work, the person doing the containment should be different from the person trying to break out, so that each person is not affected by the other person when performing the desired function. The difficulty comes when in reality there are no two people, but just myself. Ideally, I would be required to split myself into two. In actual practice, we need to use different body parts to perform these separate functions, so they don’t interfere with each other. These actions must be clear. Read more

20181222_113920During practice on Dec. 23, 2018, we were practicing how to move in after making contact with the opponent. The particular exercise involved the two right forearms touching at one point. One person attempted his best to prevent the opponent from coming in, including moving his arm around. Everyone did this exercise against the others one by one. One student observed that when I showed how to move in, the opponent always appeared to have stopped his arm movement as soon as I started to move in. Others would struggle to fight at the upper body or the arm with the opponent. I found that being an interesting observation. Another student commented that he didn’t react or do any subsequent action when I moved in because there was no feedback/trigger to tell him to do anything, and he would just “watch” me coming in. I further demonstrated what they tended to do, which was to push his hand/arm forwarded as they moved the body forward, in which case, the opponent would respond immediately and stop me from coming in possibly using different methods. There should be no push at any time. Read more

Precision is a word consistently used in Practical Method Taijiquan. But what does that mean in terms of practice? One aspect during Yilu is to not only complete the movement, but to know exactly where that move is aiming towards (which is why knowledge of applications is important). It is not enough to repeat the move, but to understand the energy alignment and aim. As our training continues to develop, and we become more aware of additional body parts (ie: to become aware of the elbow, become aware of the hip, etc.), we are able to aim more pieces towards the same objective – making the move more effective as each body part compounds power on the next.

Master Chen and Josh Landau

That same exactness and consciousness of movement is required during push hands. When the foot is being moved, it’s not being moved forward or backwards, but to a very specific spot. The practitioner needs to be aware of exactly where that foot needs to be for that situation, and move it there with purpose.

Every interaction needs to move towards a goal. Too often we push to get a feeling of the other person, to practice getting in a favourable position, waiting for the opponent to make a mistake to capitalize on, etc. This is following our own familiar pattern. Within taijiquan we must be able to change the energy of the interaction without changing the shape.

Efficiency of movement is not changing the position/contact points in order to get into a place that is familiar to us. Rather, it is often to be able to capitalize on the position you are already in. Become comfortable despite being in an awkward position. You have to be able to let go of your ideas on what is a bad position in order to achieve a certain objective. It is often when we feel our body is uncomfortable that our body fights back, getting in our own way of being able to do what we need to do. The mind needs to let go first, train, and the body will follow.

 

http://practicalmethod.com/2010/05/yilu-detailed-applications-1-online-video-trailer/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6dUI7d5GS4&t=258s

Master Chen’s comments:
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MarkHanley

I have fascia problems that limit and sometimes interfere with certain movements originating from a car accident and then being pushed on my tailbone 15 years ago. In October, my physio-therapist told me that my hips are opening and to continue with whatever exercises I was doing. I simply said that I am doing a Tai chi form that emphasizes stretching. She indicated that the stretching was breaking up the fascia. Read more

Equal and Opposite 2

by Kelvin Ho on 2017/09/17

This video describes in taiji what we do is equal and opposite to the result we desire.
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