Through the years, in Practical Method I‘ve heard the word power associated, as different aspects of the same power, to words like: Structure, length, space, accuracy, rhythm.
The Lesson today was about Rhythm or Sequence of movements: there are very few people who cannot remember the choreography. But we all are at different levels of managing the rhythm. When your movement are totally disconnected, you will be very efficient in applications and push hands
When you move, don’t use power. When you use power, don’t move
- Fist Draping over Body: these moves are meaningful only if you lock your knee
- Punch covering Hand downward: , no turn. The circle has three counts, we cannot mix them
- Step back and Whirl Arms on both Sides: when you withdraw with elbow, the hand must go out. Withdraw is to issue. If the hand comes back, you’re losing space. You’re losing power
- After that, you can go to the transition. We are talking about procedure. You cannot switch hand as you are screwing with the screwdriver the screw into the wood. The screw must gain space and have grip before you can switch the position of the hand
- We need to understand the key part and transitional part of our movements
- Step up to punch: Left hand grabs. Hold the power of your opponent and use it to step up. Explode from your stomach. We have to be able to tear a phonebook with this move (Master Chen actually did it in his training)
- Circle/Six Sealing and Four Closing: the engine is the kua, the foot is activating it. Both are powering the hand. This happens on the touch.
- Front Trick/Rear Trick: Walk with the waist to the next move. Don’t do the transition, the hip is throwing your body. Master Chen was asking to copy what he demonstrated, to follow the instruction and to not do the Form.
- Only by learning disconnecting the moves we can do progress. Only by changing our behaviours we can achieve real change
- We have to abandon the old move and only try to replicate what Master Chen is showing. Once the new thing is in the body, we can go back to the Form
- Definition of old person: a person who cannot change, always ending up with „but“
- Wild Horse parts its Mane: do not link the moves. Turn first, then open the arm.
- Move and then turn. Do not combine. Move, no turn. Turn, no move
- Once you understand the method, you have to dissect the . It’s going to be very rigid
- Example. Master Chen showed Buddha’s Warrior: 1st count) The torso is very strong as Master Chen raises his arms. The mussels around the spine are tense up to ensure the spine is very strong. No turn. 2nd count) He is only rotating the elbow. Hand no move. Turn the body. 3rd and 4th counts are transitional. 5th count) the opponent with front shoulder. Everything is locked, the rear foot is powering. No turn. 6th count) Lock the body, only open the arms. Last count) The body cannot move with the arm. You have something on the hand, if you move the body you’re going to fall down.
- Every move you do, you have to totally lock another part of the body (which is normally at 90 degrees to the part moving)
- Our system is based on structural power, not velocity. Only when one part is structural very strong (not moving), the move will be efficient
- You cannot while you are turning. Example of punching a dot on the wall. You have to reach it straight first, then you might want to turn
- is designed to resolve power. This is why we rotate when the opponent is using power. If you rotate while you are using power, you will resolve your own power
- Front Trick/Rear Trick: Step straight and then horizontal (same as step up to double push hands and step to white crane in 5th section of , after elbow strike). The two steps are forming two perpendicular lines, 90 degrees angle. By doing this you are covering more space. If you turn, you cover less space: less strong. This relates to vectors. If your move has vectors, you‘re covering a large expansion. If it’s only linear, you’re not getting that much.
- 3 counts ending up looking like one, but it still has 3 counts in it. Very strong
- Wild Horse parts its Mane: Switch feet, body remains in the same place. This is a . Master Chen showed the switch as an exercise. The wall was the point of reference. After the switch, his body was at the same distance from the wall.
- Don’t do the Form. Don’t follow yourself. Follow Master Chen. Follow the instructions and don’t attach anything else to them
- When you’re linear, you’re always going forward. But there are times when your body cannot go forward. Move the body forward at the right time
- When the body cannot move forward, your legs are crossed or your kua is twisted. The body stays in the same place
- Move forward, do not make any twist or turn. This is kao (8th technique). Kao must be defined as all body slam without deviation of direction. Forward without changing direction
- Master Chen showed straight direction in the arm. Sometimes the raising of the elbow is a change in the direction
- Don’t move, turn. Then walk
- Moves still not clear/clean
- Brush the knee: as the hand goes out, the torso cannot go with it
Questions and Answers
- Master Chen demonstrated Wild Horse parts its Mane as an exercise first. In the Form: turn and pick up the left foot, hook it to the right knee (behind). This ensure the body is not going forward
- How do we know? By listening and looking to the teacher
- Eyes position: fix your eyes on the opponent. The eyes are there where your action starts and stay there while your action is tearing the opponent in the opposite direction
- Three counts. Three parts always separated. Hand-Arms/Torso/Feet. Because there are three, you can combine them in unlimited ways. Master Chen showed some Rhythm changes with Shaking the long Pole and Circles
- Reassuming: Do whatever you want, but don’t do Taiji
- Daoist Theory: there is nothing outside the human activities. But we organise these activities differently, with different and unique Rhythms. This makes our profession. The individual components are the same, like the notes written by Bach and Händel are the same, but the music they composed is different.
- On Monday (23.11.2020) Master Chen was talking about this topic in these words: he can only correct our counts and ensure we are not mixing them. After years of training, we develop our own Rhythm or Music. This is the part Master Chen cannot correct or teach. This is where we start to express ourselves. This is why every Master appears to be different. The counts are all there, but the combination is different.