Thursday, September 16, 2021
From Uncovering the Treasure by Stephen Hwa, Ph.D. available on Amazon.com we take snippets of information about "Compression forces that exist in the body". "Our spine is constantly under compression forces due to the action of gravity on the body. I suspect the repetitive stretching of the spine by this move is one of the contributing factors to keeping the body's structure robust even in old age. The up and down energy flow is an important contributor during Form playing to maintaining continuous internal energy circulation." P. 59 "Not keeping head, neck, body, and the back leg at a straight line: A major problem for most new students especially those who have studied other styles of Tai Chi before. They will try to straighten the body perpendicular to the ground instead of leaning, or have a knee bent on the back foot, thus the body forms a crescent moon shape instead of a straight line. This weakens the forward fajin power similar to the problem with "heel not on the ground". Also the compression at the lower back is unhealthy to the lower spine. There are reports of a group of tai chi practitioners, practicing such style, all having lower back bone spur problems in their old age. The knee bend of the back leg puts uncomfortable strain on the Achilles tendon and calf muscle, and most likely will result in "heel not on ground"." P. 125 "Attention on the spine includes: protecting spine from excessive compression forces, giving the spine opportunity to stretch from time to time, strengthening the muscles and tendons around the spine through Form practice. Attention on the hip, knee, and ankle includes: avoiding overextension of the joints, such as the knee projecting beyond the toe and high kicks, avoiding torque or shear force in the ankle, knee, and hip joints by following rules such as "hand follows the foot, elbow follows the knee, and shoulder follows the hip" or "upper and lower body following each other"." P. 127 "The concave curvature in the lower back region in Picture X-1 indicates localized compression and stress concentration of the spine in the lower back region. The punch motion in the Form will create a reaction force adding more stress at that location. This situation will be substantially worse if the punch hits the opponent since the reaction force will be much higher. In fact, it may bend the body further backwards hurting the lower back and losing the power. A group of Tai Chi enthusiasts of this style in Shanghai practiced together regularly, including push hands and sparring. At old age, every one of them had lower back bone spur problems. In Picture X-2, the spine and back leg form a straight line to allow the reaction force transmitted along the straight path to be absorbed by the ground, without any stress concentrated along the spine. In addition, the energized abdominal muscles exert an upward stretch force on the spine which serves to minimize the compression stress along the spine."
via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ3Lw45NH1Y
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
This is a slow-motion video snip of the Classical Tai Chi Square Form. There is no sound. What is important are the many hand movements, the turning of the feet, and the timing of them all. If one learns Cloud hands then this section will undoubtedly be of concern because of its complexity and timing.
via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_shXC7kC5cA
Monday, September 13, 2021
Saturday, September 11, 2021
倾斜 Weight distribution in Classical Tai Chi
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Classical Tai Chi is a martial art, and if it were an art like painting, a "one-inch punch" would merely be one type of brush stroke in a universe of methods. I digress, but I have a particular place in my heart for those who belittle Tai Chi's fighting ability, a special place in the heart, especially for those who engage in Tai Chi learning for only a short time and say that. Digressing further, let me tell you of a Judo vs. Kung Fu story, but it could be any martial art. I was personally acquainted with both teachers. It seems a Kung Fu Master who was renting a Judo Dojo said: "… don't do Judo, Kung Fu is better…." He meets the Judo Master while in the Dojo, who, with an upraised chair, said, "…so Judo is no good, Kung Fu is better…"?
Monday, August 30, 2021
Liked on YouTube: Learning and evaluating students for Internal Discipline of Small Circle Tai Chi mp4
Learning and evaluating students: With the https://ift.tt/2OfwbtJ Master Hwa has made a Gem for learning. I cannot say enough and rightly so because as he says, "...it is streamlined to facilitate student learning..." I only tell a little of my own experience here as I have gone on to digest what he passes on through "Teachable" and use it for my own classes. My experience has been: There is an adage that only those who pay the most $$$ for Tai Chi lessons will stick around. I have found in many ways, this only works if the $$$ also comes with a good student. Above all, In the relationship between teacher and student, the ball is ultimately in the student’s court. No one can teach you if you’re not willing to be a student. The corollary is true as well: A motivated student can learn from even a mediocre teacher. And when a real student meets a real teacher—that’s when the student’s world changes...I have been motivated to learn. That happened to me when I met Master Stephen Hwa. Years ago when I was teaching Wu's Style large frame at my own studio, my calligraphy teacher told me there was a Tai Chi teacher at the Chinese club who was called the "General" because of his strict teaching and call for dedication. Well, I had approached him years before that, in my early 30's and although he was strict, he was fair. My own teacher from "T" Tai Chi came with me to approach him to learn Chen Style, we had both grown disenchanted with "T" style. He told me that he would teach me but he would not teach my own teacher...why? Well, as Master Hwa says at about 17:15, teachers not only taught but they EVALUATED students attitude to see if they not only can learn, have talent, show promise but above all have a good attitude. I still do much the same, it is ingrained when I teach. I don't tell students I can't teach them but their "attitude" does do the "weeding out" process itself. My hopes in a non-pandemic future lean toward making it much more of a discipline that keeps students interest. Master Hwa talks about "...students complain because they think the teacher holds back...". My experience has also been that students complain about everything under the sun and I will leave it at that. The story from the calligraphy teacher was that the teacher told prospective students the charge for the class was $100 but if they stayed the course he would give it back to them...I like that quite a bit. However, much like Master Stephen Hwa, that teacher never charged me one thin dime...I learned a lot and above all am still continuing to learn and how to teach...I like that even more.
via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGO77LzDRps
Sunday, August 22, 2021
"Square Form Manual", Stephen Hwa, Ph.D. , "J.R." James Roach, "Classical Tai Chi Forum Index", J. B. Milne "Wuji (無極) Positions & Zhan Zhuang (站桩) Applications".
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Think you have the video right from just one view?...think again... "Grasshopper". You can send me your own video OF YOURSELF doing this and I will be happy to critique it...you need to view it several times initially and read these instructions: Stepping, walking, shifting weight are all dependent on the lower body and it is not easy. My own teacher Master Stephen Hwa says "...it is difficult...". The physical internal discipline of the core for the lower body is not readily recognizable for many just starting out and even for many, they think they "...got it..." and they do not. Most think that simply putting the toe down slowly is "internal" but it is not and it has to be powered by the core...not the leg. Per his instructions from 2007 and the DVD, you will note at .20, (20 seconds) into the video you will see a "crimp" appear in Master Hwa's shirt. This is indicative not only of the foot lowering the toe BUT ALSO MEANS THE PELVIS HAS PUSHED BOTH SLIGHTLY FORWARD AND DOWN TO LOWER THE FOOT. THE MOTION IS REALLY THE BEGINNING OF WHAT THE FOOT AND LEG WOULD DO IF THE PRACTITIONER TURNED 90 DEGREES "HALF-BODY", ETC. EXCEPT IN THIS CASE THE ENERGY JUST PLACES THE FOOT DOWN FORWARD. HIS LEFT SIDE REMAINS STILL WHILE JUST THE RIGHT SIDE MOVES. He talks about it here from the book, p 91: Lower body movements are the foundation of Tai Chi. Poor footwork and poor lower body posture will prevent one from learning Internal Discipline later .I. using core power for leg movements, such as lifting and stretching the leg 2. keeping the body's center of gravity under control, not allowing the body to fall forward as in the common walking motion 3. pulling the body forward or backward not pushing by the leg. During push hand and Form practice, the sitting back move is often followed by the body moving forward move. To make this transition from "sitting back to moving forward" smooth and effortless, one can take advantage of the stored "sitting back" energy in the forward leg by depressing the toe down with the pelvis drawing the body forward to start the forward motion by pulling with the forward foot. The cycle of back and forward moves can be practiced while waiting in line, watching TV, etc. It strengthens the lower back and stimulates the internal organs.
via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCL9aZjSPUU
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Multitudes of Yin/Yang Junctions