Sunday, 22 November 2015

My Favourite Books

I love this one. Wu style Taijiquan by Wang Peisheng & Zeng Weiqi.

As you can see it is somewhat battered and it is a book I keep going back to. The information in it is brilliant and the line drawings are superb. I love the way the applications are so clearly drawn and explained.

Another interesting feature is the way the postures are given a self feeling ,i.e.., " right foot firmly rooted in ground. There is wriggling in right palm and sole."

The pushing hands routines are clearly descried and illustrated and the section by Master Yang Yuting is priceless. The ISBN is 962-238-015-8  It was published in 1983 so I'm not sure if it is still in print.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Re-vitalise Chen taiji retreat

If you're interested in finding out about Chen style taijiquan whilst having a weekend break, then look no further.

Re-vitalise Chen taijiquan retreat - December

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Don't Wait

Some 16 or 17 years ago I used to work privately with John Kells in his Islington basement flat.

Twice a week I would grope my way trying to understand his energy centric, spiral, figure 8 heartwork. It was in many ways a shock departure from my previous tai chi comfort zone.

The job of a real teacher is to cut through all the garbage you put up in your mind as resistance and break you down to the point of realisation. It is uncomfortable and many give up. There were frequent admonitions and exasperated cries of "can't you even do that " and so on.

Perseverance eventually brought a number of realisations. One of them is " don't wait".

We would practise connecting to an incoming punch followed by uprooting, then downrooting. The mnemonic was JEARL - Join, Enter, Assist, Raise and Lower.  John had a way of making you feel trapped and your response always lagged behind.

If you are working with energy as opposed to just physicality, then you will develop a sensitivity to others. When you feel the spark of connection you must go forwards to meet the other person. If you wait then the incoming energy (of the punch) will strike you, This going forwards to connect and interact is beyond conventional thinking about time. As  a result I was then able to uproot and downroot John.

There is no going backwards in this type of work. To go backwards is to invite the energy of the other person to land on you. This work became even more interesting when my tai chi friends Steven and Charles joined in the sessions and made them livelier and enriching.

Monday, 2 November 2015

In my Salad Days

Some photos from my younger days!

Did Ch'eng Man Ch'ing ( Zheng Manqing) study with Yang Chengfu?

The title of this post is a question that seems to be perpetuated in various forums.The implication being that he didn't.  My favourite one is that Ch'eng Man Ch'ing didn't appear in the "training diary" of Yang Chengfu, who was , I believe, illiterate. Work that one out!

However, in Louis Swaims translation of Yang Chengfu's  " The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan" he has a passage on page xi which is  a quote from Yang Zhenji, 2nd son of Yang Chengfu, which states "Taijiquan tiyong quanshu was written by my father's disciple, Zheng Manqing, according to my father's performance narratives and requirements. This is factual."

Good enough for me. No comments required.