Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lightness, Slowness, Roundness, Smoothness
In traditional taiji there are no grades. Progress is measured by the development of qi—energy. But, how do you measure qi? According to Jou Tsung Hwa, Cheng Man-Ching defines skill in taiji according to three categories: humanity, earth, and sky. He further divided these into three levels each (nine in all). Jou, following Cheng's lead used the same three categories but further divided them into four sub-categories (twelve in all). The first level, humanity, would take a student three to five years to become proficient. Here are the first four levels a student needs to concentrate on

  • Ching (lightness)
  • Man (slowness)
  • Yuan (roundness)
  • Yun (smoothness)

In all the forms and postures students need an awareness of these four principles as qi develops.Watching a skilled taiji player you will notice the lightness, slowness, roundness and smoothness of her form. This takes great skill, but is a measure how progress in the art.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Begin again

I heard today that my examination was accepted and that Master Jesse Tsao (12th Generation Chen Lineage) has certified me an instructor. I feel truly honored and humbled. I am very happy that Way of Peace Taijiquan is associated with such a distinguished taiji master and wonderful teacher.

This feels to me like a beginning again. Back to basics. Back to wuji. Beginning taiji. Learning yin and yang. There is a long way to go.

Stay well!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Catching up

It's been over a month since a post. What have I been up to? Mostly helping students start a taiji club at the college where I teach. That has been a lot of fun! I have a wonderful group of students who are making great progress and have loads of enthusiasm.
I have also been getting ready for my examination for instructor with Master Jesse Tsao (reading, writing, meditating, thinking). It's been a while since an exam and getting back into it from the other side of "grading" is interesting.
The daily practice teaches much and when I have some time I will write posts on cane routine, more on taiji ruler, and getting more in touch with the taiji classics.
In the meantime, I have uploaded a few videos of various forms (under the video tab). The are for aide memoire only and not to be taken as teaching tools. For that, I suggest interested folk get hold of Master Jesse's teaching DVDs. Then you can see all the mistakes in my form! These videos are what form looks like after 300+ hours practice (in Way of Peace Taijiquan at level 6).

Stay rooted,