Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Classical Wu Style Tai Chi application of Hand Strums the Lute 手揮琵琶

Application of Hand Strums the Lute 手揮琵琶

"If the opponent raises up, I seem taller;
if he sinks down, then I seem lower;
advancing, he finds the distance seems incredibly long;
retreating, the distance seems exasperatingly short."

Attributed to Wang Tsung-yueh
Researched by Lee Scheele

This application is demonstrated by Master Stephen Hwa here: Hand Strums the Lute

This describes the dynamic internal energy for the variation on Hand Strums the Lute 手揮琵琶
This variation of "hand strums the lute" occurs in the Classical Wu Style Tai Chi form a number of times (3) that precede and intersperse the repetitious movement in Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane 野馬分鬃.
The internal discipline of the movement itself comes from the core with the arms being largely immobile.  The lifting of the opponent comes from what might be called a lifting movement of the core at the waist.  An analogy might be described as opening the lid of a trunk with all the energy at the hinge. The body "opens" from a low to a high position wherein the student is inclining slightly back. One sees this type of vertical core movement "opening" in the "preparation" movement, the first movement of the form albeit without inclining.

Master Hwa:  "In the Jou Tsung Hwa's gathering I picked a guy to come at me.  He came at me, I sat back and threw him. Everybody (laughter) and I picked a big guy, so he came at me. So you see, let me do it slowly like in the form. It is really this move that is before "parting". This is a movement to handle people who come over the top at you and you do this.

Student: (laughter) that was hard for me to either lower myself or fall over.

Master Hwa;  You notice when a bigger person comes at me, I do not raise my hands.  My hands are still down here, I just lean the body back. With my arms down here they are very strong, if I raise them then I cannot lift him.

Student: All I felt was the integrity of your form, I did not feel any pressure.

Master Hwa:  Right. When I did it at the Jou Tsung Hwa festival, a guy that I threw, said "you do it very smoothly".  You do not feel any kind of forced movement. Very natural, I think.  This is why we never lift our hand over our head in the form or otherwise. If someone comes over the top I do this.  This looks like the hand is over the head but it is not.