Monday, May 4, 2009
Tai Chi Chuan Training - Yang Applications And Sword Form
Two-Person Yang-Style Sabre Form
Ah, yes. We had another great training session with our Tai Chi Chuan instructor Michael Gilman this weekend. The studio was packed with a good turnout of Michael's local students, My fellow Dojo Rat Corey and I, and Terry and Alex from Dojo Rat Southern Division (Ok, Seattle).
Michael started us on "Chan Su Jin" which is a study of spiral energy. This is something he had introduced before, but is complex to internalize and will require some personal work.
To do this, we started by tracing the Taiji symbol as above with our palms, first vertically then horizontally in front of our body. This was followed by tracing the same patterns (right and left mirror images of the symbol above)with just our internal organs. Outwardly still but inwardly moving our guts around, shifting the Dantien. Finally, and most difficult was doing this as we were walking in a large group circle, tracing the yin-yang symbol with our palms (one direction, then reverse image) in unison with our footsteps. Not as easy as it seems.
With regard to stepping, Michael talked to us about "5-4", which refers to having all five dantiens lined up on the lead foot (lifting the rear foot heal and shifting to ball of foot) before taking the next step.
These drills seem may esoteric, but work directly into proper rooting in applications of push hands etc. These are the golden hints that make Tai Chi Chuan work correctly.
We also worked on the energy of split, or lieh, which I am working out ideas for a video on. And of course, some of us had a lively few minutes of push hands also.
As a little suprise to us, Terry had asked Michael to introduce us to the two-person Sabre form, which Terry had been working on from Michael's instructional DVD.
I had seen Michael demonstrate the form before, but this is the first time we have tried to learn it. Terry actually did very well, as he had been studying the form for several weeks. We all had a blast (weapons are fun!) and I think we will be spending a few minutes on this form every seminar we go to for a while.
Stay tuned for some ideas on "Split", coming up...
Here's the link to Michael Gilman, at "The Gilman Studio".
And here is a link to Michael's YouTube Page