It’s been difficult to find the time to go to lessons. With all that’s piling up with new responsibilities and tasks, the idea of taiji lessons has fell a bit to the wayside for me. Before, I used to take private lessons due to the long commute of the instructor (min of 3 hrs round trip drive!) and that was close to either once a month or at most every 2 weeks. This really caused a shift in my own training, as noted before.
Anyhoo, had a chance to work on some taiji yesterday during the afternoon. I figured I’d try and simulate a class type warm-up so I popped in a DVD I had of Chen Zhenglei where he goes over the warm-up routines and some silk reeling. It was kind of nice b/c it was as if I had an instructor to follow. Did the basic warm-ups and then proceeded to do some silk reeling.
I’m actually quite amazed at how different silk reeling is between the various masters. For instance, CXW has both feet generally parallel and facing forward while I notice that CZL has one the lead foot slightly pointed out while the rear foot pointing in. While this is a subtle difference, the change in foot placement really makes a difference in the weight shifting throughout the exercise. With CZL’s methods, the weight shifting is kinda like a figure “8″ pattern with the hips. This pattern results in a kind of spiraling motion with not only the hips but a rotation of the thigh muscles during rotation.
In addition, the hands circles are different between the 2 methods. I think CZL’s method for the single handed silk reeling takes and interesing “inner ellipse” in reference to the frame of the body. Also, the timing of the figure eight weight shift and the coordination of the lead knee turning with the elbow is proving to be an interesting challenge.
So, I played around with those for a bit before getting into some form work. Ohh.. forgot to add that I did some standing zhanzhuang as a precursor to all of this. Can’t forget that.. As I was doing forms works in the living room, I didn’t really want to do such a long set that would require a lot of space. I’ve learned a couple of chen short forms: 19, 38 by CXW and recently the 18 by CZL. Of these three, I’m actually starting to enjoy working on the chen 18 essence form created by CZL. I think the main reason is that I enjoy doing the laojia yilu and the 18 form is basically the essential movements from the laojia. Also, I really like the flow of the 18 form. Overall, this resulted in over an hours worth of personal training.. I felt pretty good and had a good session.
Just curious, what do people do for their own personal training?