The rhythm to producing better taiji
The alarm sounds quietly, it is a bit before 5 am and daybreak with its new light is peeking between the curtains.
Quickly up and dressed, quiet as possible. Fill the water bottle, down the stairs and outside.
The air is filled with the freshness of the last night’s rain. The sun is not yet above the mountains across the valley yet the light stretches from behind. It is warm and there is no need for a jacket.
My body is stiff and tight from the previous day. My kua aches and everything feels tight as I start my first form. I think I’m groaning, I know I’m creaking … Hoping to get a couple of yilu’s in before Master Chen shows up, before the “piazza” fills with other morning students and the morning lessons start.
Halfway through my first form Master Chen arrives (sometimes he is there before me) and directly comes over with corrections. Usually a simple yet important change to be put into every posture of the form… no small feat indeed!
I usually manage threebefore class starts, all done focusing on the recent corrections from Master Chen. …..Repetition repetition repetition. If you want your taiji to improve…. do it correctly… over and over… no short cuts and in my mind, no other secrets…..
Class starts and the training area fills quickly. Turning circles, andwith Hong Sen leading. More and I feel my body start to feel loose and strong. Muscles worked and tight from yesterday are starting to stretch and yesterday’s lessons are beginning to establish themselves as new habits.
10before breakfast followed by breakfast, some down time to take care of emails etc, a quick power nap and then 10 more before lunch with some pushing and weapon work thrown in. Not tired, yet feeling relaxed. Focussing on connections.
Lunch followed by a stronger power nap later in the afternoon. (All that good food).
Late afternoon brings heat and morewith well deserved corrections from Hong Sen and various opportunities to push with some “piazza” players. The count is now up to 30 for the day.
A hot shower before dinner, refreshing clean clothes and plenty of food followed by some light sword work and a few more slowback on the piazza. A cold beer on the steps (so delightful – so essential ?), some email communications with my family back home and it’s time for bed. I sleep sound, my body tired, sore yet relaxed.
The days pass slow, the days pass quick…the rhythm of the mountain and the taiji steady.