Thursday, July 26, 2012

More than the eye can see

The morning of day three of the training. Physical check up? This has been quite demanding! When I returned after last night's session I was pretty sore — arms, shoulders mostly, not so much legs. I think this is because I have spent a great deal of time working on legs, particularly in the low forms. We have done much fa jin that includes the arms in a different way to slow forms Today I have a major headache and feel a buy " wobbly." Trust it will go away as the morning progresses. (Still jetlag perhaps? Or perhaps negative energy working out?)

Morning sessions are three and a half hours. Evening sessions are two and a half. So, quite a lot of energy expenditure.

Session Two : we continued to look at the thirteen postures, seeing how they are an integral part of the opening form in Chen, Yang, Sun, and Wu styles. This felt very much like an etymology of taiji. Master Jesse explained clearly and demonstrated the Jin of each posture. What fascinated me, and will be very good for my practice and teaching is that each form can be an application of more than one Jin. So, opening form (where arms are led by wrists to shoulder height, and then slowly down) can be pengjin, or anjin. Peng if the intent is to extend, ward off, an if the idea is the pushing control. Though the opening form is different in each taiji style, Jesse demonstrated each with a partner. Overall, this gave deeper meaning to each posture.

Intention is paramount. Each posture and movement is not merely a flowing, gentle and aesthetically pleasing form. Yi leads qi. The mind leads the energy and is expressed in the thirteen postures. In the slow play, the outward action may look the same, but the inner intent differs. There is more than the eye can see.

Sessions three and four: Chen style Old Frame. Master Jesse is teaching us the 75 postures of the Chen style first routine. This is proving invaluable as this has become my main routine. Building on the first two sessions Jesse is teaching the form with examples of the thirteen Jin and martial arts applications. This has meant much fa jin (an explosive energy release that involves the whole body).

Highlights? Having Master Jesse make corrections to my posture, a little here a little there, but what a difference it makes. Improving footwork. Seeing other taiji players and being able to measure my own progress. Daily taiji play is a solitary affair. It is nice to be with others. Master Jesse makes class fun.

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