Friday, December 7, 2018

Liked on YouTube: Using Internal Discipline of Classical Tai Chi in Soccer

Using Internal Discipline of Classical Tai Chi in Soccer
Examples of top Soccer Players using Internal Discipline of Classical Tai Chi to generate power in their long ball kicking movements-examples from World Cup 2018.
via YouTube

 Master Hwa's latest video showing the high-level movement of professional soccer players shows and explains detailed momentum based external movement followed by internal movement. Lower quarter body movement of soccer players in this latest Youtube video also shows Yin/Yang pairing quite vividly. As does this photo of Stephen Hwa and Tom Kostusiak I made where it shows blurred/clear mirroring Yin/Yang "pair" separation. Thus putting "...when one part moves, everything moves..." of the Tai Chi Classics out to pasture.

Monday, December 3, 2018

What "it" is

What "it is! 

 Regarding the above "What it is" discussion link and s a teacher of Classical Tai Chi I guess I will never be happy with "...being happy with misplaced praise than ruined by well-placed criticism...". 

 What I think about Rum Soaked Fist's praise on "internal discipline" in sports: First of all in this newest video  Joe Montana and Tom Brady   stabilize the hips and use "upper quarter body" (above the hips). so the statement "...shoulder, hip harmony..." is not germane to explanations. Nor is " ...5 stage map..." as concerns development in Tai Chi and it is off the mark as an explanation of "internal discipline" and thus not sufficient to explain "upper quarter body", etc. However " not something anyone can agree on ..." is somewhat promising. Well, I am somewhat relieved that people at least admit to being bewildered in light of the fact that as my own teacher has said: "...don't argue Jim, it is pointless because they don't do "Internal"..." 

Regarding what Rum Soaked Fist said about videos and "internal" it is difficult to explain, much less "agree" if one has not actually done the trials and tribulations of learning and experience as shown in this video   for example. 

So when they say ( "it's too bad "it" is not something anyone can agree on as to what "it" is, even on an IMA board, when we probably all can agree that it can help in many other ways.") I can only quote my own teacher from his book "Uncovering the Treasure": "There are so many books, classes, and styles of tai chi today. In many of them, there is talk of "internal energy" yet the definition is vague and the route to achieving it left unexplained." ; "The most important instruction on Internal Discipline passed down from Wu Chien Chuan to my teacher Young Wabu is "Every movement in Tai Chi Form has to have two complementary parts of the body, a moving part (called the yang part) and a stationary part (called yin part). When the yin-yang junction is located in the torso of the body, it is an internal move. When it is outside of the torso, it is an external move."

Friday, November 23, 2018

Classical Tai Chi is Internal Discipline

Laoshi Stephen Hwa Ph.D. performing compact round form "brush knee" utilizing "internal discipline", Rochester, NY

 Since post-Qing Dynasty, about 1911 and the "popularization" of Tai Chi in China the few Tai Chi Grandmasters "simplified" the "forms." This "simplification", circa 1950's was avidly and no doubt promoted as "Beijing 24 movement Form"  with appropriate governmental intrigue per the PRC. It was taught to the general public but also to internees in the many Communist "re-education" camps.In simplification, they removed more than the "internal discipline" that you see here: Internal Discipline  

In removing what the essence of Tai Chi movement was, they also did away with the need for explanation. The learning was made more difficult in doing this because it became an act of constant memorization of a sequence of movements with no explanation of rationale. In so many words i
n teaching the "internal discipline." people were told and to this day are told to "just follow along, and you will get it."    

Internal Discipline enables you to initiate movements specifically and exactly from the torso above the hips, the internal core of the body (abdomen and back) rather than from the external parts of the body (the limbs) and even the hips in some cases since they are a major joint of the body.  It cultivates and mobilizes your internal energy for health benefits and martial arts applications. 

Classical Tai Chi or Tai Ji utilizes the philosophy of yin and yang in every aspect of its practice. For every internal movement, a moving part of the body "yang" works against a stationary part "yin" that provides support and power. There then exists what is called a "junction" between yin and yang and it always is located in the torso. When an internal move is performed correctly the practitioner feels sensations of stretching and intense energy flowing across the junction in an otherwise relaxed body. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"In a fight anything goes"

Link:  Classical Tai Chi in a fight ...Not

and here's all the  Link:  speculation why "not" and the speculation is way off the mark

From Master Stephen Hwa: "Now if you know Tai Chi like in the fight between Wu Gong Yi and the other guy, Chan Hak Fu. Now both sides know each other's art very well.  Now, I'm sure they both developed a strategy to counteract the other guy's strength. Now the other guy, if you watch the video (click here for LINK). Now I know (pointing to Jim Roach) you watched it many times, you find (the other guy an "external" White Crane martial art)  changed the way he moved.  In other words, he doesn't use momentum, body momentum at all. He knows the Tai Chi is really good to counteract momentum, body momentum. Body momentum, that is what Tai Chi is really good at.  And he just chopped away, just using his arms, so there is no body momentum...remember that? There was just a flurry of arms without any body momentum. Certainly, in that way, he cannot develop all the power and so forth. At least he tried to avoid being thrown by the Tai Chi. In that case, Wu Gong Yi is not using Tai Chi, you cannot blame him, because the guy is not using body momentum. 

So at that time (and even today on Youtube) people are saying how come Wu is not using Tai Chi?  So he is not using Tai Chi and so everytime, he has to block.  So he is using this (side of the hand)  and hitting him (on the arms) and after awhile.  So after a while, the guys' arms got tired because the muscle got hit.  So he, himself, goes in and hit his nose (he walked into Wu's blocks and his nose started bleeding profusely).  You cannot blame Wu for not using Tai Chi because the other guy does not use body momentum (he moves, I move, if he does not move, I do not move).  So the guy did this with his arms and Wu did this to block him, block his chops. One of his hands he cannot raise or something." It is to be noted that in subsequent interviews Chan Hak Fu talked about the soreness of his arms and difficulty in moving them after the fight. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Video Link
Link: Pulling body back and forth...not pushing

     aka Momentum Force vs. Internal Energy
Master Stephen Hwa told me when I first met him that the Yang Style, Wu Style forms I learned were "rounded Square Form" as is the universe of Tai Chi out there...I had no idea. Here's that "rounded" square form in operation: You decide to drive down the highway alternately and indiscriminately pushing your foot on the accelerator and the brake You would be using your engine to give the vehicle kinetic energy/momentum then throw the energy away by pushing the brake, over and over. You would consume much less fuel if you only drove steadily...think "Round" form in ClassicalTai Chi. Master Hwa, a Ph.D. Engineer, talks a great deal about momentum force, aka pushing forward with the back foot, pushing back with the front foot, referred to as "other" Tai Chi and all are "rounded" Square form...look for yourself on Youtube. All of these contribute to a movement that has "stops and starts" in it, one way or the other. When it comes to Classical Tai Chi "round form" using a "pulling" coupled with internal energy, not momentum and that difference is a really big deal. One might say that Tai Chi relying on "pushing with a foot" is extravagant of energy, whereas "pulling with a foot" truly stores it and releases it only when needed.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Semper Fidelis Classical Tai Chi is "mind-boggling"

My own teacher Master Stephen Hwa tells me in so many words that being frustrated over students not sticking with the art is somewhat of a common occurrence. However, in no uncertain terms, he adds the caveat that when you teach this art " is also the life we have chosen...".  So, "Semper Fidelis", I'm still standing as both student and teacher.  My student Barry was learning the "Square Form" of Classical Tai Chi and is closest to the camera in this video. He told me that he taught defensive tactics to Parole officers based on "external movements" from "external martial arts".  I also taught largely "external movement defensive tactics" to U.S. Customs officers as an additional duty as a Customs Officer myself.  I studied Tai Chi with the Wu family in Toronto at the same time I was doing Tae Kwon Do in Buffalo.  My fellow officers thought my traveling once a week across the border for classes was a "hoot". As my student Tom says, learning Classical Tai Chi is "challenging" but what I think is the most difficult is being "Semper Fidelis" to the art over many years. 

As Barry said: "The difficulty in maintaining true fidelity to the "Internal Art of Tai Chi" is mind-boggling. After having been involved in the external martial arts for an extended period of time, and seeing the difficulty many students have in maintaining fidelity to external movements only, and how long it takes to become proficient in those movements. Now, combine that with incorporating true "Internal" movement ! And one should see how important it is to stay close to a teacher who can correct/critique one's movement up close and personal. Without that help, one will be sure to develop poor or inerrant tendencies, which only further "adds up" against you developing your skills to their highest levels."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Classical Tai Chi is the epitome of "Neigong"

Neigong exercises by definition need to combine "special breathing" with movement and in most cases are indicative of the "large frame" Tai Chi needing additional exercises. When the Classical Tai Chi "Compact Round Form" is done correctly, each movement no matter how small is a Neigong movement and does not need special breathing techniques...the breathing is natural and without conscious/deliberate intent. From Wikipedia: "Neigong exercises that are part of the neijia tradition involve cultivating physical stillness and or conscious (deliberate) movement, designed to produce relaxation or releasing of muscular tension combined with special breathing techniques such as the "tortoise" or "reverse" methods."  

This Classical Tai Chi as a Neigong tunes the nervous system by using slow movement and sensitivity. Slow movement with sensitivity favors the nervous system with a more accurate and discriminating perception of the mechanics of the movement. Square form develops this. Yet, not all will have the aptitude or perseverance to develop the brains' ability to sense and correct any potential excess and unnecessary effort.

Learning "Round and Square" Forms

Classical Tai Chi as a Neigong refines the nerve signal in the body and is referred to as "Qi". Classical Tai Chi may be considered as a means to return to childhood. The Internal Discipline of the Form movements first tunes the nervous system in the body so that the complex and powerful internal movements will become natural and spontaneous. In China, a healthy and well-tuned nervous system is considered to be paramount to a healthy body. Physically, the internal movements penetrate to the deep recesses of the torso, stimulating and invigorating the organs and the circulation systems in the torso. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

You know several martial arts are they "offensive" or "defensive"?

Even a jury of non-martial artists would be hard pressed to find anything other than "guilty" when the defendant says:  "He was walking toward me in what I perceived as a threatening manner, using harsh language, so I launched myself at him first".  My common sense question as a juror might well be "Could you have gotten away in the first place, and why did you throw the first punch or launch yourself in order to "defend" yourself? 

My teacher Stephen Hwa, Ph.D. tells me that Classical Tai Chi is a pure "defensive martial art". In the video you see him explaining and demonstrating the difference between "offensive" and "defensive" with the catalyst explained as "jumping off" or momentum force. So the question is if you launch yourself in any fashion toward the opponent to "defend" yourself, how is that a "defensive" tactic?

I have taught quite a number of students that do external or what are called hard style martial arts. Certainly, one can be attacked by hostile people, hostile animals, etc. But the question for me is at what cost do you defend yourself?  I agree with Master Hwa that " a fight, anything goes..." But is your integrity, common sense, and training guiding you in "anything goes" defensively or offensively toward the attacker? From time to time, one of my students will remind me that that there are martial arts better, faster, stronger and quicker to learn that Tai Chi. So in that reasoning, could one learn to do several different martial arts, learning several times faster than Tai Chi and be several times better?  Many indeed, very pretty, even flashy but are these several arts "offensive" or "defensive" because if they have a hint of offense, then don't they cross the line? 

 In the 1990's I was contacted by a martial artist named John C. John had seen me doing Wu's style sword form and asked for lessons.  I told him I would teach him the sword if he learned the Wu's Square Form first. Note: This is not Classical Tai Chi's square form. John reminded me periodically that he had learned 7 different martial arts faster and appeared in an Inside Kung Fu article. He said that he learned those faster than he would ever learn Tai Chi and hence never did learn the sword. 

John, however, did not use internal discipline where one part in the core moves and one part does not move in any of the 7 arts, by the "jumping off" definition his arts were "offensive".  My student Barry who did Karate and taught defensive tactics as a parole officer did not use internal energy. Barry told me that he has learned several martial arts but that learning internal discipline has been the most challenging, by the "jumping off" definition his arts were "offensive" Another of my students Anh has done Wing Chun for a long time but says learning internal discipline is more challenging and sophisticated.

In conclusion Master Hwa makes a great point that there is a big difference in the use of force "offensively" as compared to "defensively". In another segment of the video he also states that Classical Tai Chi because of its dependence on a non-moving part of the body is a purely defensive art.  If one is not moving that one part of the torso in other words, then how can you launch yourself toward the opponent while maintaining that non-moving part albeit in full momentum?

Liked on YouTube: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Rochester New York, Wu Style

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Rochester New York, Wu Style
Classical Tai Chi Group Of Master Stephen Hwa & Classical Tai Chi of Buffalo Group of Sifu James Roach perform round & square form. In Chinese: Online School: First Online Video Tai Chi Class:
via YouTube

Liked on YouTube: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Rochester New York, Workshop

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Rochester New York, Workshop Segments of workshop on internal discipline by Master Stephen Hwa - (In Chinese: See our website for other training: Introduction to Wu Style Tai Chi - Tai Chi Martial Arts Application - Sports & Classical Tai Chi - Tai Chi Internal Discipline - Tai Chi Health Benefits - Tai Chi DVD Library - Online School: First Online Video Tai Chi Class:
via YouTube