Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shi San Shi

Session one. Today Master Jesse covered the thirteen essential forms of taiji. The eight energy applications: primary — Peng, Ji, Lu, An; secondary —Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao. And the five footworks :Jinbu, Tuibu, Zuogu, Youpan, and Zhongding. These are the basic hand and foot movements that are the basis of all taiji in all styles. Whether players know this or not every taiji posture and form is one or a combination of these thirteen. Very basic but very deep. Though in English it is usual to translate each of these Chinese ideas into one word, that is inadequate, and actually misleading. Each contains a depth of understanding and practice.

Homework was to find other words and expressions that convey the meaning of the form.

Peng : ward off, expand, brace, curved barrier, listening, buffer zone ... Stop, resist, bounce away

Ji : press, squeeze, extend, concentrated force ... Toothpaste, conflate, wedge, funneling

Lu : roll back, waist turning, deflect, redirect, neutralize, avert, fend off ... Non-resitance

An : push, seal, control, cover, drive away, constrain with pressure ... Confine

Cai : pluck, sudden pull, snap ... Twist down

Lie : split, surprise, shake, jerk out ... Scythe

Zhou : elbow strike, short distance, twisting force

Kao : body bump, explosive, smash

Jinbu : step forward, advance, pursue

Tuibu : step back, withdraw, back off, avoid, retreat

Zuogu : rotate step to approach left side, drawing near the left

Youpan : rotate step to approach right side, drawing near the right

Zhongding : maintain center position, settling at the center to stay balanced. Maintain equilibrium, stepping with poise and calmness

All good stuff. Downside, feeling jet lagged! But looking forward to more. Much of the first session was a demystifying of taiji. Getting rid of "false magic."

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