Sun. Aug. 28: Great all day practice in Durham with Sifu Fisher and his class. We worked the 15 basic exercises, and even though I didn't know them all Sifu Fisher had one of his student instructors practice along side me giving me instruction throughout. This group really works hard and are very very detailed and thorough. Sifu Fisher would not go on to the next exercise until every aspect of each exercise was being demonstrated by everyone (opening and closing, condensing and expanding, absorbing and projecting, etc.). Did a lot of work with the three planes and the transitions made when crossing neutral. Sifu Fisher really drilled the concepts as well, he would constantly shout out a question about the philosophies and concepts and expect answers. He really stays on top and knows his stuff, it was a great pleasure to work with him today, he taught me a ton about my movement and structure. A big theme for me today was keeping awareness through concentration on the 13. I could manage proper movement for a few seconds or so then something would change (mostly projecting from the chest and shoulders and condensing mingmen). Awareness was probably the main topic today in my opinion, everything came back to that. Sifu Fisher quoted Sigong Chin as saying "the secrets protect themselves", speaking to the fact that the secret is practicing with the proper awareness and concentration in order to really do the work and get the results. Found out a lot today about my own practice at home. Got to do spinning and sticky hands with a few guys there. I didn't do so awfully bad. Sifu is right when he says that this can be done in distant learning. As long as the principles were followed and the concepts applied I didn't have too much trouble keeping up with the spinning and sticky hands (but again, my biggest issues were projecting and expanding from the chest and shoulders, not keeping the sternum condensing and not fully opening the mingmen). The fullness of my manifesting the 13 points is something I really need to work on, like completely opening mingmen and continually condensing sternum and dantian. Sifu says all the time that if we are "making power then it is incorrect", I found this to be true in the partner work today. Anytime I tightened up or used force I merely locked myself up and was taken over. But when I either absorbed to open or projected to close in the right oppurtunities I was able to take over, it all came down to "playing my game" as Sifu has said before, and adhering to the rules as I was taught within my own body, and the result was an effect in the other person's body.