It’s funny that I ran across a post title Doing Chen Like Yang on Formosa Neijia b/c this is EXACTLY what I was doing yesterday during lunch and was going to write about it!
I integrated a couple of “take aways” that I got when I trained under the TT Liang camp, these are:
- Keep the wrists straight (Fair Maiden’s Hand)
- Only Step as far as can separate full/empty
- Hold Postures for counts
I’ve mentioned the wrists stuff before and was surprised to get similar corrections from a chen instructor and CXW on keeping this area straight. Over time, I learned that you can still “appear martial” with a straight wrist by adjusting the angle of the elbow and lifting a bit instead of keeping the elbows fully sunk. This, coupled with the idea of “holding tennis balls under my arm pits” is what I try to incorporate in my current training.
As mentioned before, I still have issues with trying to go too low. I really believe it’s due to all my background with ultra low stances in the wushu I did back in the day, but I’ve been slowlying changing this mindset. Now, I try to only step out as “long” as I can still distinguish between full/empty and not “drop” into the stance while not letting my knee go beyong my instep.. wow.. that was a mouthful 🙂 Doing this has shifted my stances up but it’s strange that I feel quite a leg workout even in a high stance! I attribute this to getting the energy past the hips and into the legs.
Thirdly, I took away the idea of holding fixed postures. Under the TT Liang camp, each posture has a set number of beats it takes to complete, but when training, this could be extended to holding all postures for 6 beats. Personally, like Chessman, I prefer to hold the postures for a certain number of breaths. I tend to do either the 3 or 4 breath depending on how I feel. However, mostly, I’ve been training to hold the end postures for breaths, I think I might incorporate extending the transitions for breath counts too! I think that would be quite interesting an enlightening. Imagine a transition taking 3 breaths and then holding the posture for 3 breaths.. whoa! .. 🙂
Yesterday, I actually incorporated these three points into my chen form. I did the yang form first but then did some chen after and I must admit, it was quite fun. I really do enjoy the sequence and movements in the chen form. Something about doing the “blue dragon rises from water” or even the fajing at a slow speed is F-U-N.. heheh. I haven’t fully decided to make any jumps from chen -> yang, but at this time, I plan on doing both and having fun with them.