These are notes from a recent trip to Edmonton learning from Master Chen Zhonghua. Question based off torso movements I was shown
My understanding of the “2 points” motion within the torso.
1- A point near the front hip moves toward/rotates to the rear shoulder.
I understand that the back shoulder should remain fixed in space while this happens.
2- Front section remains set from step 1, while the back qua moves downward from the rear shoulder, ie, the space between the back shoulder and the qua is lengthened while keeping everything else the same.
3- While keeping what has happened from step 2 in place, now move the front hip down, “braced against” the rear qua. In other words, this separates the front shoulder and front qua. If I understand it correctly, the two qua need to keep their relation to each other (ie, keep the same stretch) when either one moves. If the two qua do not keep their relation/stretch, the space between the two could lessen, and one qua could collapse, or both.
Right after this exercise, I asked about the type of motion between the
2 points, in any step. You mentioned that these movements were less like elastic bands, and more like a ball rotating. This got me really thinking. I have some questions regarding this inner mechanics just to be sure I am heading in the right direction.
Am I correct in recalling that the back shoulder doesn’t move in space during the motions described above?
Should the amounts the two qua lower be the same? Ie, if the back qua lowers 2 inches, should the front also lower 2 inches? Or, can the front qua lower less or more than the back qua depending on the situation? (I have no idea of what that situation would be)
Feeling of step one – after doing this for a few days, there seemed to be a distinctive movement in my midsection developing. When focusing on moving the front point to my shoulder, my dantian area seems to rotate like a ball. It is almost the size of a 10 pin bowling ball. It doesn’t really move in space, but simply rotates in space. Or, another way of saying it would be this. The whole surface of the area around the navel moves/glides towards the back shoulder, and this motion seems to happen like the surface rotating ball. Is this correct?
– Is the dantian like a great gear? There seems to be two smaller gears at the qua, that drive this larger gear at the dantian.
Feeling of step 2 – While practicing at home, I equated lowering the qua with the verb ‘to drop’. But, when I ‘dropped’ the back qua, two things happened when I did this.
1) I lost torso connection, or said another way, my abdomen muscles loosen up,
2) my hips drop forward such that my tailbone starts to point too far back, and my hips tilt forward, When this happens, I think I have lost proper torso connection, which would nullify any power transfer though it.
So, I think I was letting go of some tension that was required. So, I gave up the idea of ‘dropping’ my qua. And, based on your comment that these motions are more like a ball moving gave me an idea. So, instead of thinking of ‘dropping’ the back qua from the back shoulder, I thought instead of have it more controlled, trying to keep the tension in my torso. So, I tried to focus on lengthening my back, while keeping the tension in my abdomen. Thus, the yang side (back) is getting longer, while the yin side (abdomen) stays relatively the same length. This seems to lower the qua without allowing the torso to slacken, and it creates even more rotational tension in back leg, is this a correct way to lower the qua, or should I be focusing on lengthening both my yin and yang side the same amount, while still somehow trying to keep tension?
Timing of these things during moving step, and other things…
– During moving step, I was wondering about the relation between lowering the front qua. Does the front qua drop while moving the front leg forward during moving step? IE, move the footward AND drop the qua simultaneously? It seems to make the most sense but I wanted to be sure.
– during the positive or, what is the relation between the lowing of the shoulder and these inner torso motions? Does the shoulder lower coincide with the first motion, or does lowering the shoulder happen before the first torso motion.
– During the, after pulling in the elbow and rotating the torso, the hand goes to a lower level while keeping the elbow fixed in space. Does this lowering of the hand, happen after the lowering of the front qua, or before, or at the same time. Or, does it depend on the situation?