reflections on practice, D. Gauld, Edmonton, Tues. Sept. 15/20

by Doug Gauld on 2020/09/15

-two things I have been thinking about my practice in the past couple of days: 1. the new task of ‘resetting’ my body, given me by GM, is more profound than it seems, 2. the process of how you learn is as at least as important as what you learn
-the task GM has given me may be the most difficult one I’ve ever been given
-not only does it encompass a complete re-working, re-tooling, re-creation of my entire physical self it implicitly tasks me to begin to practice PM all-day long, not jibengong all day long, but finding ways to subtly inject elements of training into every action
-my body awareness and sensitivity will have to go up more than a notch, a quantum leap would be more descriptive, and my ability to accept and work with my cognitive-emotional states will have to ratchet up a notch also
-the task is to ‘re-set’ my body so that it produces expanding Peng (redundant?) energy without any observable or perhaps measurable tension in any body tissues, esp. the contractile muscles, ligaments and tendons
-this is proving to be extremely challenging and is of course affected by my psycho-emotional states, try relaxing contractile tissues while in pain (emotional or physical)
-in keeping with working on my assigned task I noticed that the class last night at the Edmonton studio was remarkable in a couple of ways
-firstly, we had a visitor, GM’s newest disciple Sooyeon Zachrias, who was a most delightful addition to our practice group
-secondly, I found myself fondly remembering my experiences at TigerClaw Gung Fu School in the ’70’s when I trained & and competed in kickboxing, we had a pretty informal competition class atmosphere and we regularly teased and joked with each other and the teachers/coaches
-our group last night was ‘playing’ with each other, there was joking, and teasing and relaxed informality
– we were all laughing out loud, but respectful, nothing out of line or intended to be anything but supportive
– Sooyeon Zachrias mentioned how she was enjoying the training experience with others as mostly she only attends workshops in MapleRidge, thank you Sooyeon for reminding me that the time I share with my brothers and sisters in this art gives me something different from the hrs and hrs I spend working on PM alone
-not saying every class has to be a stand up session or that no laughter means its not a good class, I am trying to say that the moments we share in class are precious
– we all have the physical pains of trying to grind away the rough parts of our joints and the psychological pain of removing from our souls anything that fails to make room for Peng
-hope this is an okay subject to post on PM website
-learning to live a breath at a time

About Doug Gauld

took one two day workshop with Master Chen years ago in Victoria...studied with Gord Muir in Victoria for about 5 yrs, during that time was coping with spinal arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis)...have moved back to Edmonton to be closer to family...trying to learn more about has helped with my arthritis and perhaps if I learn it more completely and make my practice better my health will improve more than it has already...

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Moore September 19, 2020 at 11:59 am

There’s a reason I hold those that I’ve trained with over the years so close. No matter who you explain your training to in the outside world, nobody else understands the grind, the feeling of triumph over the smallest win like those in your training circle.

It’s a slightly different with social distancing, but when contact returns to training, there’s a bond that is formed when you train with someone. You place your life in their hands and theirs in yours. Trust is built, family is built. A happy studio feels like a happy home, where we’re all working together for the same purpose and helping each other along.

You’re a great motivator Doug, the smile you get when something clicks is infectious. It’s even visible through your mask 🙂 Keep going!


Doug Gauld September 19, 2020 at 12:55 pm

Hey Eric,
…no fair, outsharing the oversharer, you bring a tear to my eye brother…I believe that the development of an almost filial/familial type of connection is essential to development in this art…it takes so long to get to any level of competence that you must trust your teachers, we not only put our bones in the hands of those who could break us in push hands, we also put our bodies in the hands of those who can either help us improve or leave us with training injuries, which is why I think its so important to make sure we follow our teachers ‘exact’ directions…anyway tks for the support & you guys are unfortunately stuck with me for the long haul, my ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis) isn’t likely to spontaneously reverse itself…see you in class…


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