After reading Rick’s Current Training it’s prompted me to do a little write up of my own current training.
My current training focuses on – yiquan, silk reeling, chen taiji with some yang taiji sprinkled in. One thing I’m really trying to emphasize and make it core to my training is the zhan zhuang of the yiquan system. I’m not up to speed on the whole system as I’m still trying to take the first step, that is consistent standing. Fong Ha has his whole “100 hrs” thing, he challenges anyone who is interested in standing for whatever reasons to do at least 100 hrs of standing before coming to any conclusions. As of now, I’m currently at 11 hrs and 15 mins as kepted by my trackslife track title 100 hrs of zhanzhuang. Within the standing, I’m currently focusing on three main postures: (1) wuji – hands at sides, (2) Not sure what this one is called but hands around dantien with arms rounded, (3) universal post aka hugging tree with arms around heart height and rounded. Havne’t gotten into the visualizations or anything like that, just trying to let me thoughts flow naturally. Currently doing 15 min sessions, but will most likely bump them up to 20 min sessions after the new year.
Silk Reeling.. ahh.. this is the one that I know I should be doing more of but not really focusing time on it. For me, I’d much rather do some form work than silk reeling. The Taoist Sanctuary has some interesting notes on silk reeling. Would be very hard for someone to follow without first getting some instruction on it, but it’s very precise and what needs to happen at what point. I feel ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t really done any silk reeling in over a week!
But then again, the above statement is not entirely true if you consider the form to be comprised of silk reeling. Take any movement of the form and break it down into it’s silk reeling components. Is that not working on silk reeling? To me, that’s like the whole 2 birds with one stone thing. I have to admit though that it’s very difficult to work on the form and try to break down each movement into its silk reeling component while not detrimenting the flow of the form. Gotta try to do the 50/50 thing, don’t focus too much on silk reeling, but then again don’t forget to think about it.
I was doing laojia yilu this morning and really enjoyed working on the silk reeling aspect. After the single whip, there’s a couple of double handed ward back movements and it was really fun to break that down into silk reeling components. I was gauging the timing of my movement. Does the double arm ward back coordinate with the weight shift back? At times, I would shift too quickly back and others not quickly enough. To me, the form can really address all aspects of training: stance, central equilibrium, silk reeling, mind, the whole shabang the but hard part is to know when you’re ready to start layering. Layering too much, as I have done in the past, results in a lot of discouragement and the desire to quit all together. Reminds me of the time in which I refused to do double handed silk reeling for a month b/c I was so discouraged with it.
In the chen taiji form aspect, I’ve mainly been focusing on the laojia yilu but will throw in the modern 38 form from time to time when I want to mix things up a bit. Personally, I like the laojia better and feel it has more body harmony than the 38 form, but the 38 form is a bit more interesting with the sprinkles of xinjia interspersed throughout.
The sprinkles of yang are mainly there to satiate my desires to jump and jump and jump. This satisfies the “am I missing something important in X style?” or “is X style really the key and answer?” type of stuff. This is one of my major faults and I blame it on myself. Think too much without doing. But which one should I be doing? Which one is better to focus on? Is yang more high level than chen? Is yang a more refined version of chen? Is yang where it’s at? Is chen more mechanical and yang more energetic? Does chen hold the secrets to taiji? Or perhaps they’re all wrong and Hao is where it’s at as that’s one of the most energetic forms out there.. ? You see.. easy to fall into this trap and yang is there for me to play around with concepts and techniques. This satisfies my comparitive inquiring nature.
What’s really funny.. well not really so, but I think it is, I’ve been debating on “which yang” is the “way to go”? Is is the Yang Cheng Fu (YCF) yang via the Yang Zhenduo line? Or is it the Dong family yang as Dong was one of YCF head students? Or perhaps it the TT Liang yang via the Cheng Man Ching (CMC) camp with the energetic modifications (fair lady’s wrist, parallel feet to open lower back energy gate, modified wave hands to “massage” the qi in the body)?? Personally, I’m really quite fond of the Dong family yang set. To me, Dong Tu Ling’s form is just the shite! His posture, stance, and focus is just amazing!
Ugh.. there I go again. Need to stop with all the wandering and just start walking down the path. But which path should I take, the one one the left or the one on the right? hehehe..