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TJ April 5, 2012

Thur. Apr. 5:  LIMITS.  I have wasted so much time trying to emulate the shapes, etc. of Sifu... well, i mean that I've tried to make my body look just like his body when doing movements, etc.  In the last couple of days I've found my space, my niche in practice and it all came down to limits.  If i reach just a little with any part of the body i'm disconnected, no flow, muscles engaged, even a quarter of an inch here, a quarter of an inch there and its all gone...offline.  We are wanting a certain stretch, that's not to say ANY stretch.  The stretch that comes from a big movement is not the same as the deep, subtle stretch of a correct movement.  It feels so good, so deep and gentle... it's one that frees, not strains. I have to do what Sifu has said time and time again... work my budget, and yes, i look nothing like Sifu when I do the movements but I'm not supposed to at this stage.  Ease, maintaining ease, if it's requiring effort in a physical sense, even a little bit, and the smile is no longer there and my face is not completely soft and gentle and relaxed then i'm not helping myself.  After all of this time and practice I still may have only one half of an inch of correct movement to work with... but when I started it was like, an eighth maybe.

I suppose the real difference maker in how well I progress (or anyone for that matter) in our curriculum (or smoothly one progresses) comes down to how well I can follow directions, how precisely can I do what Sifu has told and taught me to do in the way in which he has instructed.  A year later and it's still coming down to figuring out that I am having these 'revelations' about things that Sifu said to me on day 1, hahahaha.  All part of the process.  Use your budget... if you're not at ease, if your posture or alignment or movements aren't promoting ease and release and a smile then dial it down a bit until the flow returns and each movement invokes a feeling of 'yessss, this is what I needed'. That's my advice, and don't worry about how dumb and inept you may look doing it (especially compared to what Sifu looks like doing it, cause it won't be the same).


Nicely done. It's simple, know and stay within your limits. We stretch and change our condition to expand the limits. Move beyond your limits too often and too much and you break. This applies to both the mental and physical aspects of our lives.

Hard work pays off.

I have the same trouble that Patrick is talking about. My problem, one of them anyway, it's I always over do the wrapping of the big toe. I can't seen to separate my foot from my knee. It feels like I am hyper extending my knee. I am trying to put less and less into it but it makes finding the big toe energy difficult if not impossible.

To find the 3 dimensions on the feet, use rocking.

Hey Michael,

One thing Sifu talked about in class the other day in regards to finding the big toe energy is really feeling and allowing the suction, condense and dropping down the front.  I have an issue with getting that third dimension on the big toe too much of the time.  But really putting the awareness on dropping down the front and letting it condense fully really did the trick for me.  Give that a try if you want.


Thank you, Sifu and Patrick. I will give that a try. I also have a hard time with feeling the down the front. I'm sure its there, I'm just not separating it out. Which videos describes the three dimensions in the feet?

Patrick, it doesn't matter where you begin, it matter where you end up. Copying the shapes of your teacher is a good start. Then, as you have found, you can see how your body differs from teachers. This is seeing thangs more as they are. Progress. :)