It’s rather strange, but lately I’ve been feeling as if my right hip is higher than my left hip when I do zhanzhuang. I’ve been told that I really shouldn’t be looking down at my posture but I can’t help it! What looks right just doesn’t feel right! I keep thinking back to the correction that CXW made on me during my standing.. did he shift me a bit left or right? I know it’s one way or another but can’t seem to recall. I think it’s a bit to the left and I’ve been trying to do that myself but still feels funny. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps one of my legs might be slightly longer than the other? I don’t really think so, but I guess you never really know until ya bust out the old measuring tape.
I’ve commented before how things just felt smoother when I was doing yang as compared to the chen, but I think I found a midway point. I’ve been doing my chen form how I learned via the Chen Xiaowang (CXW) camp. It could be my own misinterpretation of the instruction but to me, it almost feels slightly robotic. Turn hips left 15 degrees, shift to right side, sink into kua, turn hips right 15 degrees. Whenever I do this, I, almost every time, over shift and my hips are too far to the right side and I have to readjust myself. I also feel tension in my right hip when I do things this way. Maybe I’m not loose enough in the left hip b/c I’ve had issues where I held onto too much tension in my left hip when I shifted which would cause the line connecting the 2 kua points to not be parallel to the ground.
I’ve tried doing the same movement how I learned form the instruction I received via the Chen Zhenglei (CZL) camp. A lot more of the “figure 8″ shifting was emphasized in the instruction and the same movement would result in the following instructional breakdown: Hand/body turn left about 15 degrees, push “over” with the left leg, as the left knee turns over in the shifting, this activates the right knee to turn out and the elbow to open up, sink. This type of motion results in a “figure 8″ being formed with the knees as the shifting pattern happens. As a result, I am generally aligned correctly without the need of additional adjustment of the alignment between my hips and thighs. Also, my hips feel much looser and don’t feel the tension in neither my right nor my left kua. I just feel the flow more when I do things this way, very close to the same kind of flow I feel when I do the yang set.
I also really like the way CZL does the single whip. After stepping out with the left leg, he shifts to the left a bit (should strike) and readjusts his right foot forward, shifts weight back to right side and proceeds in the “figure 8″ shifting initiated from the right side and opens up the body before ending in the single whip. I’ve even noticed some old footage of CXW in which he *did* things this way, but he’s changed things as of late. From what I gather from his method, his execution of the single whip consists of: stepping out to the left, heel down, turns left foot slight right and brings up elbow (weight still on right side). as the weight shift left, the left arm opens and he turn on his right heel to face the right foot forward. He ends up in a more “yang” style single whip with a traditional looking bowstance whereas CZL kinda has a half bow stance with the right foot at a 90 degree with the left. I wonder, why the removing of the initial shift/should strike/foot adjustment?
As I’ve noted before, I really dig the flow of CZL’s form. He’s very fluid and very calm in his execution, IMO. However, CXW’s fajing is explosive, but he doesn’t flow as well, IMO. Maybe I’ll switch the way I do things to follow that of CZL?