Daqinghan on 2017-01-27 / 28
We had the honor to spend the last days together with Master Chen Zhonghua and a small group of other dedicated students. Chinese New Year, people also call it “The Spring Festival”, is the most important Chinese festival. Usually people spend it with the closest members of their families. But as our Masters family is Canadian we had the great opportunity to be together with him for this special day.
People in attendance have been:
Lĭ Yŏnglín 李永琳 with Liú Xián 刘 娴 and another friend, Zhaò Qīngyún 赵青云, Chén Xù 陈旭 (had to leave bit earlier), Sarah and myself.
We had a nice dinner together, and afterwards we spend the night in the International Hotel, training till midnight to welcome the New Year. There was nobody but us, most of the staff were gone and there were no other visitors. Best circumstances for a really good training session.
The next day Master Chen did hand out some of his latest calligraphies. On the picture here you can see him with Lĭ Yŏnglín, presenting one of this latest creations where he did explore some new ways of using the traditional art.
The evening before we had a great training session, with lot’s of input from Master Chen directly, some form-training, partner exercises and push-hands. I personally got some great experience of squeezing out the space, and I did start to discover the empty space in free push-hands – something I had no clue (in a practical way) for a very long time now. Light at the end of the tunnel … 😉
Some of the things Master Chen did show us have been:
– cutting corners: direct moves, no large curvy moves- squeezing out space
– lining up (two actions on the opponent)
– independent actions, difficult to match for the opponent
– constant power and rotations to go to the other side
– going to the other side via stepping in
– applying stretch on the opponent
– opening the kua
– don’t push
Special for me was the experience in free push-hands with Zhaò Qīngyún 赵青云 and in partner exercises with my wife Sarah. Both to me were very beneficial. With Zhaò Qīngyún we did push quite fast, and with lots of power. He is a very strong guy, but with him on that day it happened that all of a sudden I did not have a problem with it any more. Though I still was not able to apply technique in a really sufficient way, he landed on the floor very often, just because of his own moves. I started to feel the empty spots, and there was no “action” necessary at this point.
And with Sarah we finally succeeded to enter a really good “practicing mode” to repeat some drills, going for the core principle, rather than ending up in those typical discussions or getting stuck in whatever little details. But by doing so, finally we succeeded to work out one detail: cutting corners, flipping over by sticking, using constant power and squeezing out space.
So I try to stay on this track – hopefully with a little more success than in the past. As Master Chen told me earlier, we had this very often already: he shows me something, but 2 days later I went back to my old way. Habits are very strong, and beside selfishness or being self-centered, habits are the main obstacles working against our progress.
Another thing to mention is, that we did start to establish doing push-hands with women more seriously and naturally. Lĭ Yŏnglín and Sarah did push a lot, but also Zhaò Qīngyún and I did push with the women in between. I think we should do this more often, and also we can get used to push with everybody, more advanced people with beginners, tall persons with small ones etc. In all these different scenarios there is something else to learn, we only need to stick to our principles.
Thanks to everybody for all this inspiration!