Archive for October, 2018

Tai Chi notes, October 9, 2018

Oct 09 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

On Saturday, I asked about the leg movement in the transition from Jade Girl to Grab and Tuck Robe. The answer turned out to be that, if your jump is short enough that you have good control, then you can land with a narrower and higher stance, and then should move your leg afterwards, while if you jump farther, then you’ll have to land lower and wider.

I also noticed that my teacher seemed to be turning his hip during Dantian Change during the Xin Jia form; he said that I should focus on turning my Dantian and I shouldn’t turn my knees. So I think that, in practice, that means that I should move more of my body to the right, and turning my hip is okay. And, watching that on Tuesday, it seems like the same thing applies in Lao Jia, too, I’d just been not paying attention and thinking that you should only turn your waist.

I was thinking more about doing Dantian rotations; going from 20 to 50 seemed like a big jump, but if I switch from 20 to 25 on my morning commute and then repeat that in my afternoon commute, then I’ll actually reach 50 pretty easily. So I started doing 50 at home over the weekend and have kept it up on the first two weekdays of this week, and actually things already feel different? So I’ll try to keep that up, I’m very curious how that will develop.

Also in terms of exercises, I’d been thinking I should do that squatting exercise before going to bed, but hadn’t actually been doing it in practice. But I’ve finally started to establish that habit, I have a three- or four-day streak now; unfortunately, I’ve already lost some leg strength from skipping it, so I’m only managing to do three repetitions whereas before I was managing five. But the important thing is establishing the habit, I’m sure once I’ve done that I can build it up more and more.

A couple of other things I was thinking about in class tonight: in the first Pound the Pestle, right after you stand on your right leg, I was thinking about what my right hand / arm does as it moves first back then forward. And I think I was moving in a way that jammed my right shoulder a bit, so I should do some combination of either not moving my right arm as far back and/or waiting to turn my body forward until I’ve started moving my arm; not sure, I’ll have to experiment. Also, during Grab and Tuck Robe, I should probably think about Peng energy when moving my right hand across the top at the end?

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Tai Chi notes, October 2, 2018

Oct 02 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

On Saturday, one thing that came up when the class was going over bits of the first for was that, after the first punch, sink to your left kua; I don’t think I was doing that so much. And, jumping ahead to Tuesday, that also came up right at the start of Six Sealing Four Closing; so it’s clearly something I should think about. And the other move that came up that I wasn’t paying so close attention to the details was in the Diagonal Body-Stroke Fist: I wasn’t really brushing my knees so much in two parts of those moves, I should have my bottom hand be a little lower.

Also on Saturday I noticed a few places where I wasn’t extending my arms much, not in the way that I was supposed to in, say, Dantian Change. But then I thought about it, and realized that at least some of those were moves with Ji energy, and maybe the calculations are different there? So I asked about that on Tuesday, again in the context of Six Sealing Four Closing; and having the elbows significantly bent in the push at the end there is correct, and it is indeed because of Ji energy and having your back rounded. Trying it out, I think I understand the feel: when your back is rounded and so you can feel your shoulders hunched forward, it actually feels a little odd to also stretch out your upper arms.

On Sunday, the one notable thing was that, during one of the times doing the form, I felt energy go from my legs to my shoulder in the shoulder strike in Small Catching and Striking. It would be nice to be able to reliably get that feel, seems important… (It would also be good to get a similar feel in Covering-the-Hand Forearm Fist.)

The other thing that happened on Tuesday was that Tony went over Dantian Rotation. I thought I was doing a good job by doing it 20 times while waiting for the train (or, most days, after getting off the train), and I really do think that that has helped me; but Tony talked about doing it 50 or 100 times, and about really getting a feel for movements starting in your Dantian when you keep that up for six months or a year. Which hasn’t yet happened to me: the feeling that I’ve been getting from the exercise is sensations in other parts of my body when doing the rotations (e.g. horizontal movement across my shoulders or the back of my head at the top part of the first rotation); now that I type that out, it’s probably connected to the idea of movements starting in the Dantian, but I feel like there’s something more fundamental and actionable that is waiting for me. So either I should increase my repetition count or just be prepared to wait for a few years…

(And there’s also the question as to whether I’m doing the exercise correctly, or at least correctly enough; I’m honestly not sure about that, either…)

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