Zoom class review, Sept. 21/20, Edmonton

by Doug Gauld on 2020/09/23

Observations, insights, anecdotes, and some bad jokes about the content and process of  GM’s Zoom lesson on the above date.


  • a metaphor for training in PM is beginning to form in my beginner’s brain
  • it has to do with comparing learning PM to learning a musical instrument
  • let’s say that there is a teacher whose students are said to play an instrument of amazing complexity, in fact, the most singularly difficult musical instrument to play in existence, an instrument whose sounds possess such beauty that anyone listening to its music is transported and tears stream down their faces
  • then let’s say that this teacher has a most unique teaching method for this particular instrument, for example, students must show up to this school of music already being knowledgable about music theory and the form of notation used
  • before one can begin to learn to play the instrument there are, at least, three things new students must commit to accomplishing
  • the first is to learn the language the teacher uses, as it is a very specific technical language that only applies to learning and practicing the making of this ethereally magnificent music with this instrument
  • you CANNOT learn to play this instrument without first learning to speak this new language as there are so many complex and informationally dense concepts, principles, and rules which must be learned before you can try to play the instrument
  • the second thing new students must agree to accomplish is to learn the method of instruction, the model/paradigm of how to learn to play this instrument; a student must learn how to engage properly in the process of learning to play
  • you CANNOT learn to play the instrument if you do not learn how to learn properly
  • the third thing new students must agree to, then accomplish, is to physically craft their own instrument
  • central to this art of playing music on this kind of instrument is that each instrument, to work properly, is only able to produce this heavenly music on these self-crafted devices, no other thing can produce these sounds
  • you CANNOT learn to play this instrument if you do not craft your own device, wholly and completely of your own efforts supported by the teacher and his teaching students
  • each of these 3 processes must be completed before you will even be allowed to try to play a single note
  • each of these processes will take many hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours of focused effort, some of which may overlap, but no efforts can ever be missed, there are actual steps to the accomplishment of each
  • okay so the metaphor is labored, a bit, but I think it speaks to the focus of this Zoom class
  • GM seems to be asking us all to ‘check our instruments’, in case we haven’t been paying attention we are expected to create our art device, in this case, our bodies, specifically, re-setting our joints so they can open, stretch, rotate without impingement and totally within our conscious control
  • in this class, GM asked us to work on exaggerating body segment separations while in movement, so that a medial line separation should create a visual, obvious view of one half of our frontal plane moves upwards while the other half of our upper body, waist, Kua area goes downwards
  • GM also asked us to move several body segments as part of a ‘screen door’ pivot practice using the forearm/hand connected to Kua rotations with the same side foot/toe up swiveling as a completely connected part of the door’s swing arc
  • From this point on I will offer a very condensed list of elements of this class:
  1. use big body segment movements for practice
  2. bullets contain power: no explosion of bullet without containment of the excellerant  within cartridge casing
  3. similarly, we need to train our bodies to collect, contain potential power then explosively release it like a bullet
  4. all the powder has to be fully burnt in the process of the release
  5. find ways to move body segments without engaging other soft tissue structures
  6. training in splitting the circle within our torso’s, the bigger the physical separations the bigger the amount of stimulation of the kidneys which is likely to stimulate the adrenals which might keep students awake those days/evenings/nights you train more correctly
  7. must train the body to move without restrictions; most importantly the shoulder girdle and the hip/lower back areas
  8. in this way we are training our bodies for readiness, without this readiness, both physical and mental, students cannot every improve beyond a certain point
  9. this used to be kept as a secret in internal martial arts training, they kept the Gong and the Fa training separate for many years way back when, and even now in most internal systems
  10. moves begin within the Dantien, only power comes out of Dantien as electricity is wedded to the wire conducting it so that only power comes out of the wire
  11. as always any mistakes are my own

Best of luck with your preparations to learn to play, as GM says, “…one step at a time…”.

…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 art...it 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...

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