Tai Chi notes, October 2, 2018

Oct 02 2018

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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