taijiquan


started doing cloud hands out of boredom in my work chair and lo and behold it’s better and easier than standing for some odd reason for cranking up the flow immediately. very weird. there is the waist turn which is artificially longer through the extra rotation from the chair turning a little bit. there isn’t any separation of substantial and insubstantial in the legs. hmm.

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After about 10 days, I’m finding that Mr. Meredith’s advice I mentioned below works well for me, though I haven’t tried it every day. The good thing is that as a byproduct, I do try at least “flow” mode every day again for the first time in a long while and that gets things going at a basic level for me, anyway. So getting back into this is good. Well, going much more slowly with pauses to relax more and do his counter sink really does help a lot. I then continue back into flow mode. I have to read the book more and try his advice every day and see if it keeps improving things for me. Will see if I can do it and try to post back.

I’ve started reading Scott Meredith’s enjoyable book Tai Chi SURGE and working on incorporating his advice. Since I learned ZMQ37 long ago including in camps with his teacher, it’s pretty easy to follow along with his tips. Usually I do “river” or “flow” mode as he says and it already feels good energetically including the “from feet to hand” feeling he describes, which is not a metaphor but a tangible and real feeling just like hunger, nausea, thirst, etc., but since it isn’t subjectively, unbelievable, blow-your-mind strong like he talks about feeling, I figure I should try his detailed advice to see if these “accelerants” can really help me work on this to the next level. Really for its own sake or as qigong for health. It’s been too long since I tried to practice every day so I’m probably back at kindergarten level. Just getting restarted now for about a week and there are some hints of progress already, so I’ll see if I can remember to do another post or more on any progress.

Randomly came across this article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_centrifugal_force

The diagram describes a different example but it makes a peng and lu kind of “energy” clearer, I think. The ball is tied to a string and spinning around a post. The string is exerting a centripetal inward force due to the circular motion. The ball is exerting reactive centrifugal force. The net force on the string is zero but the string is in tension. This seems similar to incoming force that is borrowed and rolled (back) with circular motion, creating the reactive centrifugal “peng” force on its own (so your arm for example “has no force”, meaning the net force appears to be zero, though some small force goes into creating the circular motion).

reactive centrifugal force

A rare quick taijiquan post. Quick take on peng lu ji an

peng – up

an – down

lu – in toward you into nothing

ji – press, squeeze, close your partner. Kind of the “press” in basketball or soccer or other sports. Space is taken, options are closed.

Nothing mystical or mysterious. Of course there is more (including mystery) but why can’t people accept that square one already makes good sense on its own…

There is a lot of talk about dantian rotation in tjq which always sounds like such a load of b.s. to me. Never ever felt it before though I experience “qi”. I thought this talk was about “energy” but felt a distinctly non-qi-ish gyroscopic feeling today in this area after taking a bunch of golf swings. These swings appear to be a large movement but are really driven from the center and hip area with an IMA-like weight shift that propels the torso twist that propels the arms swinging. Anyway after doing that for a while, for some reason, maybe from this golf stance, I started doing some zhan zhuang with my feet parallel and just suddenly felt this gyroscope sensation. Weird but not at all weird. Just a lot of subtle movement with muscles and tissues and skeletal structure that aren’t usually ever noticed by most people. Immediately I tried to connect it to some other movements besides the golf swing and the sensation remained. Accidental training but now probably deliberately training it now should yield some good improvements in this principle of “moving from center” then connect it back to the qigong aspects as well.

I’ve been playing around a bit with push/pull with no grips in judo as a crossover from push hands and it seems to help quite a bit. Some taiji folks in push hands look down on gripping as if it’s some crude thing but minus the attitude problem it’s very practical as a means to develop antennae type “sensitivity” in every other part of the body besides the hands. If you can develop a “stickiness” so that, say, your forearm blends and leads your opponent just a little bit, it’s harder for your opponent to detect. This method seems to be helping me in gripfighting because I can try to “enter” in a smoother, more undetected way through a smaller, shorter-period opening. That element of surprise and deception is key. It can also make you seem faster. This requires “tinjin”. If you can do this tinjin, and stickiness, you can try to “follow”, then turn that into “blending” then “leading” (in as real-time and short a period as possible) … then hopefully that turns into kuzushi to get back to the judo terms and the throw. Ideally people would practice push hands or similar drills this way and not just to an off-balance point but after they have practiced fully, they could sometimes just go to the kuzushi/uchikomi point. That seems much more effective. Then it’s clear why one might do a “pattern” like roll back to push. After a while you want to do an almost imperceptible rollback and immediate push so that if a bit of leading (pulling) doesn’t work, immediately shift to pushing. I can see this possibility clearly now and can do it slightly. Just a matter of 10,000 more hours of practice time.

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