Notes From Toronto September ’19 Workshop – Day 2

by Michael Lamberti on 2019/09/13

The surface of all the joints is equal to the size of the body. The body has three dimensions: side to side, front to back, and top to bottom. If the body has a volume of 100 units, it is made up of joints whose surface is also equal to 100 when fully utilized. A rotation without movement will translate all 100 units of the body’s power.

Yin and Yang as explained through the example of the circular saw: A circular saw can represent yin and yang. The saw spins (yang), but when working properly, it does not move from its axis (yin). The power of the saw’s movement is strongest at the centre and weakest and the edge.

Anyone who has been truly committed to Chen taiji became committed through experiencing it; being thrown by a force that is not the result of a direct fight or confrontation. Master Chen called this the “Happy Death,” people get thrown without understanding how and want to experience it more.

Humans cannot multi-task. All human activities require multi-tasking. Humans are born animals and need training to become humans. In taiji, you need to be trained, to be taught. Our instincts will wreck taiji. We need to be taught de-synchronized synchronization to do taiji properly, to multi-task.

Master Chen is often asked when he understood taiji. He understood it right away, but it took 40 years for his body to be able to do it.

The ancient idea that movements must be even: movements must conform to the restrictions of the three dimensions or perspectives. This will create compression, not us focusing on trying to create compression. Yilu can be done under these restrictions because the feet can move under these restrictions. This is like the wheels of the car. The wheels move the car, the car itself does not move.

If there’s a rotation, I cannot know it.
If there’s a rotation, I cannot see it.
If there’s a rotation, I cannot feel it.
Real taiji cannot be seen. If someone tells us our taiji sucks, it’s a compliment.

While locked up with someone, like in push hands, don’t fight or pull on them. Just make a lock and drop the rear kua. Then, a rotation will throw them.

When doing push hands the contact points must be still, while the rest of the body must be able to make large movements. This can be practiced by putting the hands on a flat surface and keeping them still. While doing this, practice making big movements with the rest of the body while keeping the hands still. The feet can move, steps can be taken, just keep the hands still.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James Tam September 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Thanks Michael! Excellent!


Chan Madhavi December 4, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Thanks, very useful notes.


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