Notes From Toronto September ’19 Workshop – Day 1

by Michael Lamberti on 2019/09/07

In taiji we are always anticipating strikes. We curve to avoid strikes, but too much curve means a loss of power.

The problem with taiji is we have too much theory and not enough physical practice. The problem with other martial arts is too much physical practice and not enough theory. Great martial artists are great thinkers.

Toronto 2019.09.08 Morning-GroupWhen you have two gears the force is split in two. Both gears can contribute to a push in the same direction. There has to be no movement of the gears for this to happen.

Power comes from restriction.

Methodical is unrelated to slow or fast. A better word is “systematic.”

2019年9月7日多伦多讲座 - 8 2019年9月7日多伦多讲座 - 10 Toronto 2019.09.08 Morning-1 2019年9月7日多伦多讲座 - 2 2019年9月7日多伦多讲座 - 3There is only one taiji. Anything else is a deviation. That’s ok, we’re human. Only the Tao is perfect. Taiji is a “scientific” way of moving your body that the ancient Chinese believed was good for the body and good for fighting. Taiji is the art of yin and yang. Chinese culture was founded on this fundamental understanding of opposites. It’s not about right and wrong. It is about adapting to nature. Taiji is an exercise designed to make the body last longer.

Breathing is number 1 in life. The Taoist way of looking at things is to start from small. Breathing is so vital that unless we are very, very well trained, we don’t talk about it.

Toronto Seminar Group Photo on Sept. 7, 2019We always want indirect movements. Everything in our life must be indirect, because only life itself is direct. We eat good food to get the nutrients from it. Getting nutrients straight from vitamins is too direct.

In taiji, we have a structural system, that’s why we have the form; it is to build the physical structure in the body. It will take all our lives to master our structural system. Energy either moves toward or away from the dan tien. That is the energy system. The power system in the body is based on levers. A lever is the application of simple gears.

What is the right amount of exercize? How much is overdoing it? We must have a basic understanding of our bodies. Our training should make us very tired, but it must not injure us. We must be able to distinguish between muscle fatigue and injury. Muscle fatigue is temporary, we can renew and regenerate from it at any age.

Rotation is a linear movement that has nowhere to go, so it bends.

Foundations are to train our bodies so that yin is rooted in yang and yang is rooted in yin. It becomes impossible to say where are movements originated in the body. That’s taiji. Earth gives life, heaven takes life, we humans are in between, negotiating, cheating.

Stretch is a gift. Without a stretch our bodies are not pliable and we cannot rotate or do things correctly. Without a stretch any adjustment to one part of the body will just move another part of the body out of alignment.

We want to curve the body instead of bending it. We curve a line. If we can add another curve to that line then we have a warp. Curving is a line, warping is a surface.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Tam September 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Thanks Michael! Excellent!


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