Incorporating the Principles and Qualities into my local Taiji training

Now that I'm beginning to understand the 13 points and body structure better it's affecting both my practice of our Stage 1 lessons and I find it creaping into my local Taiji practices here where I live. It's interesting, the 13 aren't really different than I've been taught in my local Taiji lessons, they just seem more detailed and more to the point than the general Taiji principles I've been taught in the past. As Sifu describes them over the course of the lessons, he doesn't just remind you of the principles, the 13 points are very specific and he describes them in ways that explain how to do the principles/points, not just that you should do them. I was close in the past, but what's the old saying, miss by an inch, might as well miss by a mile.

My previous practices have allowed me to work some on Song at a basic level and I do think it's given me a head start on our training, but it only gave me some experience with suction and condense and very minimal, fleeting experience with expand and project. Now it's like each and every practice layer onto the last to stoke the fire (energy) and they reveal more - now I can actually feel opening and closing and the condense and expand that they create. I can feel if I have the suction and condense in/on the sternum (never had this before, only in/on the Dantien) and in/on the Qua.

This is allowing me to reassess my alignment and structure in my Taiji and standing meditation training locally. I can feel that I don't have the 13 points and the Yin, Yang and neatral with most of the alignment/structure I've practiced in my Taiji training. It's close, but there's little or no Yin/Yang energy in some of it. More Yin, very little yang. Biggest adjustment has been to the hips and the Qua to get and maintian the energy in/on the center of the hips and on the front of the body and to stretch/expand the Mingmen to allow the Yang energy to open up.

Over the years of my previous practices, I've practiced relaxing, relaxing the shoulders, dropping the elbows, hollowing the chest, and using the waist to coordinate and control all movements (all directions) and moving the body as one, but I'm now discovering that's not the same as true Song and maintaining Yin, Yang and neutral. I'm only at the tip of the iceberg, but at least I can now tell that the iceberg is there waiting to be discovered.

Practice early and often. Don't underestimate the Bitter Pill and sitting. It's helping me to watch the videos over and over and over. I get something new every time.

Comments

 

Hello Jeff

I’m sorry but I felt compelled to comment your post because I felt your description, perceptions and your path very much alike to my own.

After a few months, now, each time I return to previous lessons for review and watching carefully, I feel like my understanding grows in a geometric manner.

Although I don’t practice early and often - I regret but some personal reasons make me a very peculiar student - I do not underestimate Bitter Pill and sitting and watching the videos frequently. Sifu's teaching is so enlightening that following each lesson and practicing it with his instructions will add immense to our kung fu.

I totally agree with what you’ve said in your last paragraph. Anyone who follows this regimen will get amazing results.

Paulo

 

Hi Paulo,

It's nice to hear you are having similar experiences. It's reassuring. It sounds like your making good progress. I'm anxious to keep moving forward.

I agree that I feel a much better understanding if I come back to a video multiple times. It seems like every time I watch one I see or hear something new and important. I don't know how many times I've thought, wow how did I miss that, that's important.

It would be impossible for me to get this without watching each video more than once and then revisiting them later to view again with additional experience from practicing the new lessons and a new perspective. I find I miss a lot the first time through. Maybe I'm not a great listener :-).

If we were in a live class with Sifu over a period of time, he'd be able to introduce topics and then review them and practice them over an extended period to allow us to understand them both mentally and physically over time. So, I'm trying to do that with the videos. The one advantage of the videos is you can watch and listen to something as much as you want or need to.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I'm going to do some Bitter Pill and some Kungfu "Harvesting" for Thanksgiving.

Hi Paulo,

I wrote a response and somehow it didn't show up. So I'll try again.

It's reassuring to hear that you're having similar experiences. It sounds like your making good progress. I can't wait to keep move forward. This is adding a whole new dimension to my previous training. It's like getting the second half of a book. Now the limits of my previous training and most of the questions I had are getting answers.

I don't think I could understand this stuff without watching the videos many times and coming back to them after having practiced future videos. The additional practice and skills help me better understand the previous skills. The one advantage of the videos over in person training is the ability to review as often as needed.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I'm going to go do some Bitter Pill and some "Harvesting" in honor of Thanksgiving.

Hi Jeff,

Sorry I’m so late in answering you. I’m about to move to a new home.

Replying to posts takes a little longer than posting directly on the blog!

Like you I’ve the same perception of the limits of previous training. Maybe it’s easier for the absolute beginner. Nevertheless previous training helped me to better understand the concept of “recognizing”. I’m in the process of discriminate and reformulate those previous questions.

Putting my intention on my attention makes a lot of sense helping to coherently organize these teachings.

Thanks to Sifu, it seems that everybody here at Sifu On Demand is being through the same process of coming back to the basics many times in spite of Sifu’s opportune references in more advanced material… that’s right there’s always something new!

I often think about brain plasticity. For chi to be recognized, as you put it: Practice early and often :)