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."