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Good to see you, after so many years of focusing my attention on other pursuits. I have struggling with a solo Acupuncture practice for the past three years, that I haven’t found a time to talk about Tai Chi! Though, I have had another pursuit where I delved into the exploration of the Yi Ching and its influences in Daoism, Buddhism, and Chinese Medicine. You can read about it in my other blog, Vajraroad. Here I go into the particulars that make up the Yi Ching.

And now for Tai Ji!

The Practical Method is a direct way for finding the limits of the body. It is elusive and cruel sometimes but it is also dynamic and wonderfully fluid. The elusive nature is within the self. You have to pull out what you can barely dish out and then give it that extra 5%. I find myself completely zonked after doing the form a couple times. It is cruel, because of the amount of training that you have to do to keep up with the form. I, myself, am not disciplined enough to be regimented to keep up that I make small progress here and there, and find myself repeating spots to continually re-learn the form. As you progress with the movements you find out that there are particulars of stability that you have to gain. To maintains those “stabilizers”, one has to continue practicing, daily!

It should be a joy to practice Tai ji Chuan, but you know after work, you don’t really want to go to the gym, do you?

Slacking a few days off from the form I realize that I sacrifice, tonicity, tempo, and direction. It then takes a week of regular practice to return to that place. But, lo, when you reach that place of stability, all that there is left is flow! Dynamic movement that you know, can penetrate any surface.

I had to make a commitment to myself, to reach a level of consistency with my form, and that would be to practice daily, but not just once a day but at Da Qing Shan.

Da Qing Shan, is located on a beautiful green mountain near Ri zhao, port to the Yellow sea. This is Master Chen’s International Tai ji school. It is exciting, daunting, and I welcome the experience.

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Its been about a year and a half since starting the Practical Method, and after putzing around with so many different conceptions of posture, movement, and skill; finally something clicked in. Even though Master Chen Zhong Hua and most of his students have this dynamic quality to their moves, it doesn’t mean much force is being used. After weekly going about trying to replicate such moves, fast, slow, hard, and soft, I kept noticing day in and day out that I was still using too much force. Every little extra bit of force added into the form build momentum, and by the time you reach the end of the form it is a great cascade. Because of the building momentum, my form became blotchy, forgetfull, and broken apart. The fluidity between the forms became stop and go, as I had to put the brakes on continually between movements. In putting the breaks hear and there, the momentum would manifest in a different way, and upward rushing of yang, where my mind would jostle and then say to its self, what do I do next? Did I do that? Did I just do a movement 3 steps ahead. The mind wants to cut corners all it can, especially when it is racing ahead.

Finally when it was suggested to do three yi lu to one Ehr lu, was it then that I could see my extremes, and then I could start slowing things down. I could feel the excess, and only discipline in completing the moves could I finally make the form continuous.

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Next Door is a nice little gem tucked away in the borders of Lakeview, and Lincoln Park. It is a thriving cafe that serves up Intelligensia, and a nice selection of noshes to keep the mouth satisfied. College students of all kinds come here to cram, prep, or what not, as well as self employed entrepreneurs, who need a breath of the fresh buzz in here. Conceived of by State Farm, the cafe is thought of as a hub for the community, to bring ideas, innovations, and self help classes for those who are interested. Located near Trader Joes, on Diversey, the space is ample for a multitude of projects and developments. The modular furniture, allows a play for the space to reform according to the needs of the day. 

Just recently, I have been teaching Tai ji chuan on Thursdays in the eve, at 7:30pm. The class is simply an introduction class, focusing on the Yang style 8 form. If anyone is interested in getting their qi flowing and moving in the eve, head out and experience what this great place has to offer.

http://nextdoorchi.com

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Sterling was my first teacher, here in Chicago. Nice to see him on-line, and performing in Millenium Park.

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  Many years back, when I first started dabbling with the I – Ching, I stumbled on to this trigram, and it seem to resonate with my person. It stuck with me, and for some reason it is still with me. The name of the Tri-gram can be translated in many ways, “Fidelity”, “Inoncence”, and “The Unexpected”. Recently, I stumbled onto it again, as I saw a comparison of the Tai ji forms with the I – Ching. Actually many of the basic moves are contrasted to the Wu-Xing, the Five movement, or Phases. Positioning and action are characterized by the five movements in the Tai ji symbol position. As larger forms are mapped out, some have drawn I – Ching correspondences. As sifting through the forms, I noticed “my trigram” pop up, corresponding to a move. Not one of my favorite moves, but nonetheless it was there.

INNOCENCE. Supreme success.
	Perseverance furthers.
	If someone is not as he should be,
	He has misfortune,
	And it does not further him
	To undertake anything.

Actually the move looks far from innocent but breaking down the symbol, it consists of Thunder, supporting Heaven. It maybe a difficult move for beginners and the like, since it is a spinning turn on one foot while the other is held at a high kick. Balance is the key to this movement otherwise one will fall.Thus practice would make it perfect, if one cannot concentrate on the move they are sure to loose rhythm and balance, and may even fall.

Turn heel and kick (more…)

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Taiji Cane

I just started playing with the notion of getting older. After seeing a couple of demonstrations of Taiji Cane, the thought of having an ambulatory device that can assist as a weapon, just staggered my mind. A simple hooked cane would do just to start. Unlike the Taiji Ruler which is used more for Qigong like postures, the cane is very effective for Charlie Chaplin Hijinks, and take down effects. The first video is a little too flourished, and feels extremely technical, however, its grace is said for. In the second one by Chosun Ninja, its use is exemplified!

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In the middle of the picking up the double fan form, my move back to the States occurred. Upon coming home, and going through my belonging once again, I stumble upon my nice big broad sword. I remember about six years ago, Master Wu taught us this form. It was a bit much for me since I wasn’t really quite sure what I was getting from the Tai chi palm form that I was learning also at the same time. I simply put it in the back of my head, and kept the book for use another time, when I would be able to devote some time to it. I seeing my Broad sword which my good friend, Rodrigo, gave me for Christmas about two years back when he went to China for his Choy Lee Fut Seminar, I felt that this was the time to pick it up and practice.

The postures of Tai ji dao
1. Crossing the Saber by standing as if riding a tiger
2. Moving, Turning, Thrusting, and Spreading Vigorously
3. Making the Saber and arm one, a level line and looking left and right.
4. Moving one palm and the saber as if a white crane spreads its wings.
5. Drawing the Saber and One palm in as the wind rolls the Lotus leaves
6. Moving the saber in every direction
7. Moving the Saber and one palm in and out
8. Kicking up and striking a tiger
9. Keeping the body upright and holding the Saber slanted
10. Revolving the Saber as if pushing a boat
11. Freely coordinating the three movements of the saber with three of the lower limbs
12. Moving the sber as if parting water to both sides and jumping
13. Withdrawing the saber

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