Alignment & Tai Chi Seminar. Sunday, May 4th, 2:30 - 4:30
Chen Zheng-lei, on Tai Chi practice:
"Substantiated abilities are overall martial skills acquired as general mental and physical abilities; while application tricks are offensive and defensive application techniques of individual moves. If the practitioner only focuses on application technique to explain and understand taichi, he/she will never get to the true essence of taichi. High level taichi training must include certain phases: gaining routine proficiency, correcting postures and moves and softening stiffness. As a result, the whole body is synchronized, the internal and external are coordinated, the internal qi is filled fully and substantiated abilities are gained on the body."
When children draw faces, they tend to exaggerate the eyes because visually they are so important. The drawing gets distorted and reflects what is perceived to be the most important, over that actual proportions of the face.
A simliar tendency should be recognized in the internal arts. With taiji the softness needs to be in proper proportion to strength; in bagua the circling in proportion to directness; and with xingyi the straight-line alignment in proportion to coiling.
(photo by zen sutherland, click image to see her Flickr page)
A video clip of Chen Village, likely from the 80’s. At 2:12 there is footage of a spritely Chen Zhenglei performing Taiji Jian.
In every person’s training there comes moments of doubt. The excitement and mystery of something new transitions to familiar faster than the slow building of deep skill, which is the focus of internal styles.
The teacher and the tradition are what guides a person through these moments. A good teacher can guide a student, offering the right corrections at the right moments. But the foundation is the training methods of the style. Regardless of the ability of the teacher, the traditions are also a guide to be listened to, and act as a continuous link across the generations of people who have studied the same.
(photo by Agustin Rafael Reyes, click image for more photos)
Director Wong Kar-Wai’s movie on Ip Man (Bruce Lee’s teacher). More accessible than most Wong Kar-Wai films and more nuanced than most martial art films.
Plus an whole bunch of Bagua for a movie about Wing Chun.
Following routines on video can be difficult to distinguish left from right. Flipping the image makes it more like looking in a mirror, and for most of the sequence, easier to follow. Current students can contact me for the link for the full routine.