Subject: Lesson one question
The workshop info on the sight is from 2011. I thought I’d send these questions to you in case the parea email address isn’t checked frequently, out dated or is not used.
I have purchased the set of DVDs. I showed my friend (Yang practitioner) and he says it’s the most complete DVD course he’s seen. He pointed out the internal movement is not something that’s normally taught on video. He suggested doing the round lesson and then put the square form dvd to do the same section or vice versa.
I am at the cross hands in the lessons but I have a question about tai chi walk and Lesson on opening moves.
1.) When doing tai chi walk when put my foot down with my heel raised I’m pretty flexible and can almost get my foot to 90 degrees. When I tilt my pelvis I can’t put my foot down cleanly the heel can’t drop cleanly because the heel sort of gets in the way. I have to decrease my angle to easily push my pelvis down and pull forward. Is this a common occurrence? It feels odd controlling the angle putting my foot down. Can I decrease the angle? I don’t think I compromise the stretch when I plant my foot. This problem is more intensified when I wear shoes.
2.) When doing the opening form on the first turn from south to west you end up on the toe of your right foot. Before performing grasp the birds tail do you reestablish the right foot by lifting the toe of the right foot so I can plant the heal on the ground, pull forward and then turn to the left 45 degrees. I cannot tell from the video because it looks like a subtle move. I have the issue in question 1 when doing this move and I think tucking the tailbone makes it worse since in can point my toe at an even greater angle.
Sorry to ask such questions so early in the DVD. An extra question on form history
I was told Yang Luchan does his Yang form upright. Brush knee was the example I was shown. Yang Chengfu does brush knee leaning forward more like Wu. How does the second generation change the posture from upright to a straight lean?
I have included Master Stephen Hwa's address at firstname.lastname@example.org and so a copy of this will go to him. This per his instructions on the web page. I did the video editing and my own student did the videography, all of the teaching at the workshop is by Master Hwa. I'm sure you understand as a student of his and out of respect, I can only defer to him when it comes to questions about his DVD series. I would rather that credit go to him for information and answers to questions.
That being said, it sounds like you are making good progress so I can certainly offer my encouragement, repeat what I have been told and not my opinion in light of what I have learned from Master Hwa:
I have reiterated your questions for convenience:
1.) "How does the second generation change the posture from upright to a straight lean?"
2.) " Before performing grasp the birds tail do you reestablish the right foot by lifting the toe of the right foot so I can plant the heal on the ground, pull forward and then turn to the left 45 degrees.?"
3.) I have to decrease my angle to easily push my pelvis down and pull forward. Is this a common occurrence? It feels odd controlling the angle putting my foot down. Can I decrease the angle?
What I have learned myself:
1.) Regarding any questions about why "second generation "changed" from upright to lean: I can only repeat what I am told to my limited understanding and ask you a question: How could it be changed when it was already in a state where it was far ahead in its progress? My teacher tells me Wu Chien Chuan told Young Wabu "it cannot be changed". I see he did not say it was changed or it was not changed... he said: "it cannot be changed". Over time, I eventually began to undrstand this when I realized not only the learning is multi generational but the eventual consequences...the "benefits" as well..."time" invested is the ultimate and deciding factor to all understanding.
2.) When I had questions like this I would remember that my teacher would say "you perceive you are moving a certain way , but in fact you are not moving that way" and he would urge me to remember " sometimes the appearance of reality is actually an illusion" . For instance, I would think he was moving the quarter body movement a certain way and tried to do the same, later I found my observation was not correct, I was scrunching my chest. I also find that I was advancing by learning all the form in a short period of time but from time to time I would take a turn for the worse. He explained to me that was because I did not have a firm foundation under my form practice. Once I "perceived" I was "familiar" with some movements, like quarter body I found I started getting careless. This is another reason why I don't put much stock in answers to questions. I figure if I have questions and expect "answers" and not "experience" what good will it do? So, I find out things for myself and as Eddie Wu told me: "the form is your treasure box, not mine"... Master Hwa says the treasure is in a process of "Uncovering".
3.) I discovered through trial and error and as "plugging away" that I continued to think I "got it" and yet I did not. I find the DVD series wonderful in that one can go to it hundreds of times with the same question, wherein there is no teacher that would listen to that same question hundreds of times in person. He tells me this is why he incorporated several different views in his videos, so I could see his moves at different angles to decrease chances of a wrong impression. I also find that viewing the "question" over several days with fresh eyes each day was of great help.
I hope a reflection of my own experience helps and I realize I do not supply you with answers. I can only encourage you to continue with your study. I defer to my own teacher for his comments on your email and this is forwarded to him.