Thursday, June 20, 2013

Closing the Distance

A thought came into mind today. It is about closing the distance. In martial arts, in order for us to strike our opponent, we must get within range to use our weapons (hands, elbows, shoulders, knees, etc.) Closing the distance to our opponent then becomes very important, because if he is out of range, then there is nothing you can do to him.

Different styles and schools of martial arts have different ways to close that distance. Some move straight in, some circle around, and some wait for him to close in. At the end of the day, what is important is to know how to close that distance so that you can put him within range of your "weapons".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Warm Up Exercise

This is the warm up routine that my teacher, Mr Kwek, usually does for this classes.

1)原地走 (walking on the spot, to loosen up the body)
2)大鹏展翅 (raising of arms front and back)
3)排肩 (tapping the shoulders)
4)转肩 (turning the shoulders)
5)伸手 (stretching out the hands)
6)转脚 (ankle rotation)
7)侧伸腰 (side stretch)
8)转膝盖 (knee rotation)
9)伸屈膝盖 (bending of knees)
10)弯腰压腿 (hamstring stretch)
11)半蹲 (half squats)
12)抱球 (rolling of a "ball")
13)踢脚 (front kick)
14)侧蹬 (side kick)
15)深呼吸 (deep breathing)

Playing Rough... Again!

I hate it when people play rough during pushing hands. After all, the purpose of pushing hands is to learn how to discern force and redirect it. But people play rough because they see pushing hands as a competition, in which the objective is to push and win. That is so... misguided.

Today, I managed to lock my pushing hands opponent's arm. So I told him, "Your arm will break if you keep doing this (using so much force)." To my surprise, he replied, "Try and break my arm if you can." Wow! So fierce! I mean, I don't come and practise pushing hands so that I can have someone break my arm, so I don't go around breaking other people's arms too. But it goes to show his mentality, that pushing hands is about winning and losing, about who is better than the other. That, to me, is the wrong way to approach training.

Things got quite out of hand, with him using lots of force, and me trying my best not to. I elbowed him a few times because that was the only way to use his force against him (he was pulling my arm away to the side, and inadvertently drawing my elbow into his chest). There were times when I put my hand on his chest, and he pulled back at my elbow, causing my hand to move up to his throat and choking him. And he asked me, why do I keep choking him? I had to tell him that he needs to stop pulling at my elbow because he is choking himself, not me.

Still, in all, it was a good experience. At least I know I can stand my ground against someone who plays rough, and that I can still control my force (and his) so that no one really ended up getting seriously hurt.

Friday, June 07, 2013

The Fundamentals Are The Same, But Style Can Be Different

Sharing a post from my other blog. It is just as applicable to taiji as it is to my work.

"The fundamentals are the same, but style can be different"

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Inkling: Relax, Balance, Push

An inkling: relax, then balance the force, and once the force is balanced, push with the back leg.

Relax to absorb the force, after which you can balance it. Once the force is balanced, you can then push.

And relaxing is peng, I would say. One and the same. When you relax, you are in effect also doing peng. Which means you can then stick to his force, follow it, and redirect as needed. And that is why you can balance it, to bring it somewhere else where it can be used.

Many more inklings to go as I journey along...

Sunday, June 02, 2013

8 Years and Going

It has been 8 years since I started learning taiji under Mr Kwek.

Looking back, I learnt the following:
Chen Style Old Frame First Routine 陈式老架一路
Chen Style Taijijian 陈式太极剑
Yang Style Taijiquan (Yang Style 108) 杨式太极拳 (杨式108)
Yang Style Fast Form (Dong Style Fast Form) 杨式快拳 (董式快拳)
Yang Style Taijijian 杨式太极剑
Yang Style Taijidao 杨式太极刀
Sun Style Taijiquan 孙式太极拳
Fixed stance single hand pushing hands 定步单推手
Fixed stance two hands pushing hands 定步双推手

I think I have enough to last me a while, for me to continue to practise and improve on them before I pick up anything new. Especially since I am spending less time than before on practice. I need to push myself to find time for practice. Cannot be lazy.