As I got to the training area this morning (5:30), everyone was already at the training area. We were all looking forward to further instructions from Master Sun Zhonghua in the 24 Hun Yuan style Taiji form. The weather was bit cooler and the sun had not burned await the morning fog yet.
Master Sun Zhonghua is a first grade disciple of Grand Master, the creator of the Chen style Hun Yuan. Master Sun was the secretary general of the Beijing Chen Style Taijiquan Association and also the honorary president of the Hong Kong Chen Style Taijiquan Association. He spoke fondly of the times that he played Hun Yuan with Grand Master Feng at the Temple of Heaven and the Temple of Earth in Beijing.
As he was taking us through the details of the movements, he made sure that we some of the principles behind Hun yuan. Here as some of the items he discussed in detail:
– After each posture is finished, a deeper relaxation should be applied. (Again, he demonstrated this to the students)
– Theshould return to the Tan Tien. (From its point of origin)
– You should relax as often as possible (The pre-condition: At the right time)
– At the same time (as the relaxation) you can collect your energy.
The Hun Yuan form is quit different from the Practical Chen style, and offers health benefits for students who cannot perform the more vigorous Chen form. Master Sun recounted his own recovery from illness by practising Taiji, and still moves like a young person. A few days ago I was quit impressed when he demonstrated some movements of the Hun Yuan. Something to learn in the future.
As for the Practical Chen style, a small competition is breaking out between the more advanced students. I was having fun doing theform 20 times today, and a few students are setting goals of 30 times the form. I quit like this traditional way of teaching. Instead of having to wait until the next class a week later, you get to repeat the form straight away. Little by little some sort of form is taking shape. In some parts I can already follow without looking at the lead, and I can concentrate on the pieces where I know that I have not got it yet. By repeating the form in this fashion, I have been ironing out some difficult pieces such as getting my feet in the right position so that I can step forward with the Right foot and perform the ‘Double Kick’. But rest assured, I am not making myself any illusions that I ‘Have’ the form. As the new neuron pathways are forming in my mind, I can try things like ensuring that I do not let my hand relax too much.