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|Saturday, November 22nd, 2008|
|Monday, September 22nd, 2008|
Quick question about Indian stuff...
I mentioned earlier that I'm in India right now studying; I'd like to do some research on the connection between yogic concepts/beliefs and the origin of Xinyi/Xingyi. The thing is, other than that the connection exists, I don't really know anything more than that, so I don't know where to start looking. Could someone who is knowledgeable in this area nudge me in the right direction with some things to look up and questions to ask? I'd appreciate it a lot! Current Mood: hungry
|Thursday, September 11th, 2008|
Thought maybe I should introduce myself. I've been studying Xingyi for about two years (Zhang style and Hebei style) and a little bit of Taiji. I am also interested in TCM, though I only have the barest knowledge base of it. I studied at Wudang during August and was unimpressed by the level of traditionalness - they would claim that they taught Daoist styles and then have all the students practice Sanda and not really how to apply the things in the forms they teach - but I really want to find a Xingyi spear teacher so I can get more in touch with the basic principles. I'm in India for this semester, though, so that will have to wait until I go back to China in the spring.
|Sunday, September 16th, 2007|
|Sunday, July 15th, 2007|
Natural body movements
IF YOU want a robot to move more gracefully make, it as lazy as possible. So says Oussama Khatib of Stanford University in California, who is looking ahead to a future in which humans interact more closely with robots, and where we will expect them to move more like us.
By modelling how people move, Khatib found that we naturally minimise the energy used by our muscles. "Humans are sort of lazy," he says. That is why we sip coffee with our arm at a 30 to 45-degree angle to our bodies, not with our elbow higher up or tight against our torso.
He then applied the same energy-minimising criteria to direct the way a computer model of a robot moves. In that way, he said, "we are able to produce motions with the robot that look very natural". ( New Scientist )
|Tuesday, December 12th, 2006|
|Thursday, June 8th, 2006|
Has anyone read Kosta Danaos' book 'The Magus of Java'.
If you have ever wanted to see the footage of John Chang setting newspaper alight with his bare hands by allegedly channeling his yang energy, here is the clip online:http://www.mysticfire.com/ntsc/76063/eastmovbg.html?cart=104498885712174496
Even if you have not heard of this man, it is worth a look. He is an acupuncturist by profession who lives in Indonesia. There have been many discussions on the internet about this man, but I think this is all very relevant to people's ideas on whether chi's potential is real or not.
Do you believe it?
|Wednesday, June 7th, 2006|
Visualisation or not?
Hi, I've just joined this community, and I have a question which requires a small introduction.
I am currently teaching in Guilin, China, where I have been lucky enough to meet a very experienced old man who has qualifications as an advanced chi-kung and acupressure practitioner, and who is willing to teach me for free! :)
He has been teaching me a moving chi-kung form which he says is a special form which brings health to all areas of the body, etc, and I give him respect for his experience and knowledge on the subject.
However, he has explained and demonstrated to me sensations and visual phenomena related to chi manifestation which I remain skeptical about. Many taoist exercises require the use of 'visualisation', and imposing structures on the world, and I consider this a serious danger when we are changing our bodies, and thus the foundations of our perceptions.
One hears all these stories about 'firing chi across empty space' and such, but there has never been anyone who can actually practically demonstrate any of this without asking their audience for something in the first place, be it to stand very still and close their eyes, or to 'focus on the shape of the air' (!?), or something of this nature.
I have indeed had sensations and seen things, but I am worried that I am creating these things in my head. Previous good teachers have said that sensations come on their own and do not require visualisations.
Does anyone have any comments on this?
|Monday, May 1st, 2006|
It has been a while since I've visited EmptyFlowers. A friend and I were looking at it the other day as an example of superb web design, when I noticed some new stuff. I promised myself I'd scour through it and look for new information, and I found this gem:
After learning to cultivate qi in the body, one learns to convert the qi into useable power and project it from the body. This procedure is called Fah Jing. Fah means "transfer" or projection," and Jing means "power." As soon as qi is condensed inward toward the center of the body, the mind actively "burns" or "accelerates" it and converts it into a different form of energy - one that feels like an electric current and in some cases even like an electric shock. By following the proper practice procedures, one can then achieve control of this feeling and success in Fah Jing, the transfer of power.
n Xingyi, the primary focus is developing yang, not yin, internal power. The body remains soft until the final moment of contact during a strike at which point the body stiffens. The results are explosive, likened to that of a mortar round going off. In a fraction of a second, the jing is transferred out of the body like a cannonball, aggressively obliterating the opponent.
A brief bit of entymology: 發 (bow opening the path) 勁 (internal river of strength).
I know roughly how to do that "condensation" and ignite it to get that electric current. Sometimes, when I do during form practice, I'd get the cold current running. Unfortunately, I don't think it is very coherent or very balanced yet. I'm lacking some more master keys.
My primary purpose right now is to stabalize this, so any suggestions in that regard is welcomed. Here are the points for discussion:
- Mantak Chia had something where you're condensing it into a qi dot. I havn't been able to figure that one out without getting me a headache. I didn't figure out how to condense it into a qi ball until today (the key being to let it condense itself, much as amirta drips from the crown). I'm thinking that Sun Tzu said something about a boulder rushing down a mountain, heh.
- Now, has anyone been able to effectively store the ignited 勁 long-term? My guess is bone breathing but I don't have a large baseline right now. It does turn it from the electric eel feeling to cold thrumming.
- This is the yang ignition, so where's the yin?
|Wednesday, January 11th, 2006|
I'll probably post this later in my personal journal to get a broader feedback. This relates to baguazhang.
Heat and pressure are the usual indicators of qi. The character shows steam coming off of rice -- heat and pressure. I've always worked with manipulating pressure in and around the joints, inflating the fascia to varying levels of success. I've never been able to move pressure into the marrows of the bones. I was trying to accomplish several things:
(1) Induce a state of deep vibration inside the bone. I had been able to accidentally do this through sitting meditation, and recently through circle walking properly with the tactical forms and one of the mother palms.
(2) Do something about the excess yang energy -- polite way of saying active sexual essence that drives young men bonkers. Managing this is a significant for me. I'm in my 20s, male, and I'd rather put it to good use building things than chasing tail. I find that when my mind is calm, this energy is very much usable. When my mind is stressed, this causes a lot of problems.
(3) Related to (2), an internal art like baguazhang uses up a lot of sexual essence. Sometimes it amplifies it and that sucks; giving in to it means not being able to practice for a few days.
This morning, I was playing with the yang energy and tried to lead that into the bones instead of pressurizing the bone marrow. I did this by slipping my focus inside the bones with a set intention of absorbing the heat rather than trying to force the heat in.I knew that bone was peizo-electric as well as peizo-thermal. At some point, the target (the sacrum) quickly developed a "fluttering", usually an indicator of excessive qi. Fairly soon, my skeletal structure started to buzz, like it does when I do enough circle walking. The reproductive imperative disappeared. The bones eat up a lot of heat.
Playing with pressure has always been fairly easy. I can do this with fingers and most of my friends who tried this were able to get some effects within minutes. It's major drawback is the feeling of exhaustion. I think this has to do with attempting to manipulate pressure without having an adequate absorbtion of heat stored inside the bones. The two, I suspect, works together along with Peng jin that develops the kind of internal power that the Neijia is famous for.
|Monday, October 3rd, 2005|
Hey, I'm new to the Neijia list. I've been doing Cheng Baguazhang, Hebei Xingyiquan, and a little Yang Taijiquan for about a year here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
I've been trying to learn my teacher's 18-move version of the I Jin Jing (the "Tendon and Muscle Change Classic" Qigong). Each move is very complicated, so it's been eluding me. My master has been way too busy to write the moves down (he and his wife are having their third child by C-section today!)
Does anyone know where I can get a list of the moves? I don't read Chinese, so English names would be good. Current Mood: energetic
|Saturday, August 6th, 2005|
eating bitterness... or rather PAIN
I have been doing taijiquan for four and a half years, and I feel pretty good about what I do, at least when I compare myself to the other taiji-lepers in this town. I spent my first two years doing yang-style with a teacher who was moody and liked to instruct with chatting and whose esoteric language went way above our heads. I realized I enjoyed training but couldn't understand most of his lingo and realized he didn't want to focus on the basics, so after a few conflicts with this person, I started training for myself. Six months later I went to China where I studied chinese and trained taijiquan for half a year and it was great. My taijiquan-teacher there was good natured, had a good sense of humor and the group was basically fun to train with. We (me and my girlfriend) were the only two westerners there and we learnt traditional chen-style (chen style old frame first and second form).
After that I basically trained alone for two years and it has been hard, especially mentally. It was lonely and I lacked an environment to discuss and train with. Around this christmas, my relationship was falling apart and I was overworked, so I stopped training completely.
But with spring comes new times and new ideas. I started training again and by March I was again doing three rounds of laojia yi lu every day. Something that makes me sweat profusely. In addition I got a new friend, an aikido-geek and we quickly realized there were similarities and since he wanted to learn taijiquan, I started training him. In addition some other friends wanted to learn and as summer was approaching it was possible to train outside (this country can be insanely cold sometimes...). Suddenly I had a group of students and I was feeling good about training. AS summer has progressed training has become more and more easy. I can do 10 sets of laojia yi lu, or at least thought until this morning that I could. I was doing five sets this morning (it took me about 1,5 hours from 8 am) but couldn't understand why my hands were so cold, they were warm during the second set). I couldn't understand where the blockage was, I thought it was shoulders, but nothing helped.
My little group of students arrived at 10 am. We did some standing exercises and a form walkthrough, I was warm, but my hands were still cold. Then I complained about the exercise called "shake foot and stretch down", where you're basically doing splits. I have never succeeeded at this exercise, so we did some stretching for that exercise. After that we did another form and it felt like something had disappeared from my lower back. I was completely relaxed in the lower back region, I was sinking down to some nice deep chen-style postures and then came the pain. My thighs were hurting like hell. I was unable to take the weight of the back in high postures, so I could only do deep postures, but in consequence I'm supporting all my weight on my thighs and it feels correct (I've never done better fajing than now) but they're not used to supporting so much weight. BUT my hands were nice and warm all the time. The blockage had been the tightening of the muscles in the lower back!
I feel like another milestone has been reached, although it will probably take me a few months to gain enough strength in my legs to do this with ease, and in a sense it's a very humbling experience. I know there's still a lot to learn and there's no reason to avoid training any day. I'd prefer to do between three and ten sets every day and I want to relearn to do the second form, which I learnt in China but never kept up because I felt my skill in it was so bad.Once I go back to work, I will have to figure out how to do a morning session before work, even when I start early (8.15 am). It will be a challenge.
|Sunday, July 24th, 2005|
Seeing the Spirals
I was over a friend's house the other night, having a few beers and shooting the shit. He had an mp3 visualization running on his TV, and I sat there entranced by it. I wasn't drunk, it just got me thinking about Taiji.
See, in the visualization, almost everything was based around spirals. A spiral would expand outward, zoom in and out, turn into another spiral, etc. To me, the form is very similar - each posture requires that rounded circular/spiral structure. And though I am not able to do any fa jing yet, I often hear the term "spiral energy" used in reference to Taiji striking.
Since then, I've been trying to see the spirals within my own form. I feel like it's giving me a better idea of how each energy should be applied - or rather, maybe, a better feeling of it.
Has anyone else had something like this happen?
|Sunday, June 5th, 2005|
There is a common adomishment in the neijia for "rounding the shoulders" and "hollowing out the chest". Shoulders are hard to relax fully, but try as I might, I couldn't figure out how to relax them without slumping. You guys might have run into this too. I recently discovered a way, and while there are probably even deeper training still ... it's one of those "keys" that might serve you well.
The key actually comes from the "six harmonies" (liu he) -- feet to hands, knees to elbows, hips to shoulders. Each set flex approximately the same way. The feet and the hands have the same set of motions as do the knees and elbows, and the hips and shoulder. The shoulder and hips in particular include the attachment to the spine where the pelvis and the shoulderblades can slide outwards and expand or contract. I've always thought that the "six harmonies" is the movement strategy where your hands and feet move at the same time, knees and elbows move at the same time, hips and shoulders move at the same time ... but apparently, there is much more to it than that.
I really wouldn't have discovered this until recently when it feels like I have tennis elbows. I don't play tennis. Someone else had also commented that I seem to "lock my knees", even though my legs are flexed. It seems that both my elbows and knees carry undue amount of stress and tension and it has reached a point where it is causing damage to the joint surface themselves. In trying to release those locks and move without tensioning the elbows and knees, I found that you cannot do so with tight hips or tight shoulders. So the key (at least right now, that's the way it seems) to relax the shoulder without slumping is to open the elbows; in releasing the elbows, they invariably releases much of the tension in the shoulder at the same time. It is far easier to relax the elbows than to figure out how to relax the shoulders.
To extrapolate from the "six harmonies", there are a lot of hand changes in MA in general. For example, open palm to fist, flexing it up, down, left right, etc. In rotating the hands through those changes, I noticed that my elbows lock up again, which means I have to go back and relearn every hand/foot technique I have trained in to do so without corresponding tension in the elbow/shoulder and knee/hips area.
The combative side to this, of course, is if you can figure out your own body alignment, you can introduce them in your opponent -- the fundementals of all joint-lock techniques. That's probably why I've seen taiji push hands sets made specifically to train the other person's elbows.
Anyways, you guys have fun with that. I've got a lot of rewiring to do ...
|Thursday, June 2nd, 2005|
Free Tai Chi introduction seminar
Date: Saturday June 11, 2005
Time: 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Location: Silent Dragon School
83 School Ground Rd.
Branford, CT 06405
The instructor will be Stephen Watson. A new class will form the following week on the 18th of June. Mr. Watson can be heard on the website www.TaiChiAmerica.com where he was recently interviewed. Both new and experienced martial artists are invited to attend.
x-posted like a mofo
|Monday, May 16th, 2005|
hey all. i just joined. I do Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu and Nan Chuan(southern boxing) and dable in yang tai chi, shuai chiao, san da, northern stuff, sun style pa kau and drunken boxing. i'm looking forward to talking about internal arts with you all.
|Wednesday, April 27th, 2005|
Women in Bagua?
Hello from the UK, and good to find this community!
My interest in internal martial arts is mingled up with a general fascination for life, the human body, change and natural processes. I did Tai Chi for a year or so and found it changed how I thought as much as how I moved, which was great :) And I only scratched the surface of this stuff...
well, I've had a strange couple of years and really only just feel like I'm getting back on my feet. On monday I went to a Bagua class to see what it was I like, and I loved it. The movements are interesting and I find the centering aspect very helpful.
So I'm going to try a few more lessons and see how it goes.
My only concern is that I'm a rather small woman, and all the other people in the class are quite tall and substantial men! I had a look about the internet and it seemed all the photos were of classes full of men. I know martial arts are male-biased (at least in the UK) but I'm just wondering that in this case is Bagua not really suitable for women?? The first time I saw Bagua it was being done by a man in a park round the corner from my house, making this circle in the snow; he told me it wasn't something for women which is probably where my worry comes from.
No doubt this all sounds a bit naive but I'd appreciate any opinion. Have you come across women learning Bagua, and also is there such a thing as a martial art that's better for one gender over another? Also I'd be very interested to hear any stories/experiences about Bagua in general..
all the best
|Tuesday, April 19th, 2005|
With the risk of sounding stupid...
What's a good way to make a sandbag for taijiquan punching purposes? I want to hang it on a wall. Should I use a certain kind of sand? What are good materials for the inner and outer bag? Should I use a wooden board behind the bag? It needn't be very big.
|Monday, April 4th, 2005|
Taijiquan, old Yang form
I've gradually been learning the old yang form. So far I've just come to the first brush knee twist step which I'm about to learn. I love all the little details that are contained in this form and how it seems to flow more naturally than the short 37 posture yang form by Cheng Man Ching. The fajing movements are also an eye opener. The first one feels so good on my back that I love doing it over and over (with all the leading movements to build up the energy first, I find doing it by itself does almost nothing.) Current Mood: blank