Puerto Rico 2011 Workshop notes

by Xavier Santiago on 2011/02/14

Corrections given to me were to do my movements bigger.  Small movements at the beginning will cause you to make many mistakes in your movements.  Do not wiggle the kua.  For now I will work my lower body circles as if doing Zhan Zhuang where my kua will keep a 45-degree angle.  Then work on upper body movements where I must not move the hand and have it as if it were welded to my arm.  Any Movement of my hand will come from the elbow pushing on my hand.  The shoulder must never pop up.  Shoulder should be down and can only rotate and push to the elbow, which pushes to the hand.  Doing movements big does not mean to do them smoothly.  Keep practicing fragmented movements for 10 years and you will see great improvements in your form.

Basics were taught in the first day and drilled extensively.  Positive circle, negative circle, double positive and negative circles, moving step circles, parting the wild horse’s mane, and The whip wrapping around the body.  When you see people practicing the same fundamentals, they will all be at different levels.  Taiji has only two movements, but you continue to improve them and learn to go deeper into them.  People at higher levels will have fewer movements than beginners.  First 13 postures of Yi Lu.  When learning you should not ask questions.  Just do it and continue with constant repetitions.  If you ask a question, it should be about what you are being taught.  If your shoulder movement is being corrected, don’t start asking about the kua.

Lazy dragon lies on the beach exercise.  While someone pushes on your shoulder blade you can give anything except for your line.  Do not move or change your line.  The line is from the center chest to the heel.  When you do the moves in this exercise without moving your line, the person pushing is thrown back.  Second drill with the lazy dragon was to have someone twist your elbow and wrist.  Lock both contact points and rotate the shoulder.  Do the rest of the lazy dragon with out moving your line.  Your opponent will either be pushed or struck.

When pushing hands, you need to establish a center.  The center is a point that never moves.  As you progress you establish many unmovable points in order to have more levers.  When doing a technique, only one thing is allowed to move.  Everything else remains still.  Even the movements of just the fingers can throw the opponent if the proper contact and alignments are established on the opponent.  Push hands will improve the more you do the form.  The form gives you the tools for what to do when pushing hands.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Todd Elihu February 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

Excellent notes, brother! It was great to train with you this past weekend.


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