Friday, February 22, 2013

Move Together With Relax

Something that came into my mind today during pushing hands practice. When we first start pushing hands, my teacher kept stressing about "relax". People tend to become limp when told to relax; that's actually wrong. Also, I tend to separate the "relax" from the "push" (or "move"). It was "relax, then push" or "relax, then move".

But actually, I think it should be done together. It should "push together with relax", "move together with relax". As you relax, you are moving/pushing. It is not one followed by the other, but rather, they should take place together. I think this realisation is a small step towards the right direction. And this realisation came because I was watching a fellow student trying to "relax, then push".

So there is value in watching others. Just to see if you are making the same mistakes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Being Pushed

Part of pushing hands practice is to help your partner to learn too. So sometimes, you need to use a bit of brute force and resist, or become limp and let go, so that your partner has a chance to learn how to use these opportunities. This is especially so when your partner is still new and uses a lot of brute force himself. In order to draw circles with him, you may end up needing to use some brute force yourself; otherwise, the moment you sense his force, you end up using it against him and he doesn't get a chance to learn anything much. This is called 喂招 in Chinese.

My teacher is very good at this. He can draw circles with us, let us take the advantage but still neutralise whatever we can throw at him eventually. But because I am still not that good yet, if I give my partner some chance, I may not be able to avoid being pushed by him. But I guess that's still better than not giving him a chance at all; it becomes frustrating for him to be the one always being pushed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One or Two Moves

Today, my teacher was helping me improve on my forms, spotting small little mistakes here and there which I usually overlook. After all, it is not easy to try and focus on getting every detail right all the time, and when I am watching out for A, I make mistakes with B, C and D. Like when I try to relax my kua, I end up leaning slightly forward and my backside sticking out.

So my teacher, knowing that I don't have a lot of time to practise with him, recommended that I take one or two moves which I like, and focus on getting that one or two moves correct. Keep practising them, until I get it right. The principles are the same; if I get that one or two moves correct, I should be able to apply that to the rest of the routine.

I guess that's what I am going to do for my daily morning short practice sessions at home from now on.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Moving The Kidneys

I wrote about moving the whole body the other day. Just read a book, it talks about moving the kidneys. Maybe this is something to focus on that will help.

Basically, the focus of one's attention should be on moving the centre of gravity, which is usually along the spine, in between the two kidneys. So that becomes the focus of attention when moving, when shifting your weight. So how to turn? The hint is in focusing on moving the kidneys with the spine as the pivot. Something to try out in future practices.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Taiji Weapon Forms

The other day, I was watching some other students practice weapon forms. Most are not newbies to taiji, having learnt some form or other, and do know the basic principles of taiji. But their weapon forms show many mistakes, very basic mistakes. Like standing on the same line (which means they easily lose balance), straightening the elbow, etc.

I think we need to remember that taiji weapon forms are an extension of taiji forms. The principles are the same. The things to watch out for are the same. So when practising weapon forms, do remember to apply the basic principles of taiji into the practice, else it just becomes a waste of time.