Past, Present, Future (class notes)

by Rion Swanson on 2015/02/24

June 20, 2014 (?)

I’m not entirely sure if the date for these notes is correct. I believe they were from an evening class, but they may have been from a workshop. I should have posted these right away, but better late than never I suppose.

Master Chen was talking about working with time:


Past => dead/death

Present is real

Future ‘will be’ real

example: Old people tend to talk about their past experiences so much that people walk away and don’t want to hear it, and they are not in the present moment at all. They are essentially saying “they are dead” (this is what you’d see if there was a subtitle!)

How it relates to Taiji:

Present => point-of-contact / demarcation line

Past => all parts of body that are behind the demarcation line (further from opponent)

Future => point (could be a part of the body) that is in front of the demarcation line (closer to opponent)

We have to work with the future / always move into the future!

Young people don’t have years and years of history and memories so they naturally look into the future.

Because of this, there is growth and change, as they are engaging with the present (and future).


Past Present Future diagram





-step in (wedge) after contact is established and demarcation line is set (opponent is marked)

-trunk/torso must not move at all as you slide your front foot forward and then come in to opponent.

-lower always has to be bigger than upper

If you do the default/normal thing, you will move/toss your torso as you fight at the contact point.

Because the torso is behind the contact point/demarcation line, it means you are moving from the ‘past’.

We need to ‘cheat’ nature by tricking it, in a sense.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

bruce.schaub February 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

Thank you for posting these notes, Rion. This is very helpful.


John Upshaw February 25, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Thanks for posting Rion.


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