Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Four Levels of Attainment in Taijiquan

I would like to share this with you guys. Got it from the book Beyond Taijiquan - by Wong Choon Ching. Attainment can be classified into: 1) Hao Shou (good hand) 2) Qiang shou (Strong hand) 3) Kao Shou (Skilled hand) and 4) Miao shou (Wonder hand). What are the differences between the above?

When a punch is executed by an opponent... (I quote verbatim from the book):
All of them should be able to intercept the punch with their yi. But, the hao shou intercepts the punch after it is launched, the qiang shou does it just after it is thrown out. The gao shou senses it the moment it is launched, while the maio shou senses it before it is launched.

After sensing the punch:
The hao shou connects the punch with a heavy touch, being an act of the bones and muscles, which leaves an undesirable effect of alerting the opponent. The qiang shou's connecting is lighter while that of gao shou and miao shou is more insubstantial, being an act of the yi-qi energy. The moment the punch is connected at the hair level, their yi penetrates into the very bones of the opponent, the skill of adhering and following comes into play to sense the opponent's intentions and to keep his movements under control. The composed minds and dong jing (understanding one's jing or energy and the ability to act or react aptly in accordance with the yin-yang principle) reflexes of gao shou and miao shou enable them to do just the right thing intuitively. They can effectively hit their opponent the moment the latter moves to attack. If the opponent's punch is on the way, they will tap it and lead it into emptiness.

Note: above text in italics are my own addition.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

There's a saying in China: A good teacher is measured by how many masters he produces.

 I realized today why it is important that one should have a good teacher. Yesterday I attended a workshop which lasted from 10:30am in the morning to 9:00pm at night and 7 to 8 hours (minus lucnh, tea and dinner breaks) I have achieved what I could not achieve in two years of hard work on zhitui song yao. Here's my experience: -

From: Lim KIan Tee [mailto:kiantee.lim@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, 7 October, 2012 7:45 AM
To: 'Hoh Man Chai'
Subject: Workshop at Help University College of Art and Technology on October 6 and 7, 2012

Dear Mr. Hoh,
Regret to inform you that I will not be able to attend the second day workshop today due to personal reasons. However I am truly glad that I had made the decision to join the workshop for I discover this morning that the step by step zhi-tui songyao gong fa taught by Kong Xu laoshi yesterday has indeed given me the results that I have not attained in over two years of hard work on the same form. I woke up to find that my qi has definitely sunk to my dantian and I experienced the kind of ‘rooting’ into the earth I have never felt before. Even a very slight movement of my toes will send qi surging up my legs, spine and all the way up to my head! Excited, I immediately do form no. 9 (Tan Tui Qiao Zu Miao Tai Ji) of Xingshen Zhuang with my eyes closed. To my amazement I could do it with my eyes closed without losing my balance. This is something I could not have done before even though I have been a serious zhineng qigong practitioner for close to nine years. Please convey my heartfelt thanks to Kong Xu laoshi. He is truly a great teacher.
Warmest regards,
Lim Kian Tee

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Kung Fu Panda 2 Movie Clip "Inner Peace" Official (HD)

Inner peace - So how do we get this inner peace thing going for us in our practice? In an earlier post I had written about harmonizing our wisdom mind and emotional mind wherein we reach a state of deep relaxation during zhan zhuang. I guess this is the inner peace kungfu panda is talking about.

That was attaining inner peace while in static meditation. So how do we achieve inner peace while in motion? I found mine in my taiji practice:

In order to flow with the qi it is important for the practitioner to find his inner mind (inner peace) before he commences practice. From the moment of kai bu or legs apart we are in the state of wuji or without limit. In this state we are deeply rooted into the earth (a sense of firm connection of both feet with the ground below) while at the same time we feel extended: a conscious feeling that we are hung and pulled by an invisible thread up towards the sky. This gives rise to a feeling of being stretched on both ends leaving our body relaxed and free to move between these two anchors. At this moment we have not quite arrived at our destination of inner stillness or our inner mind (unmoving) mind. What is needed arrive at our destination is the connection of our mind with our breath. Focus our attention our breath (mindful breathing) and notice the in-breath penetrating deep from all directions into our dantian and our out-breath penetrating into every cells in our body before returning to the infinite. The connection of heaven-man-earth is now complete and we have found inner peace. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply and savour the serenity of inner peace. When you are ready to move (the beginning posture of taiji) the mind moves first sending a spiral of energy (taiji) to our muscles thus commencing motion from stillness. In motion yin-yang is manifested. This interplay of the yin and yang does not stop until our mind commands it to. That is when our minds sends a spiral of energy  to execute the closing posture and return to the state of wuji wherein the yin and yang anergies are reunited.

You will know that you have attained a good level of mind cultivation when you are able to maintain the heaven-man-earth connection throughout the entire duration of your taiji form execution. By this I mean maintaining the STILLNESS OF INNER MIND while doing your taiji.