Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taiji and Basketball

I have been playing basketball once a week for about 3 years. Recently, I notice that my basketball skills have improved. I shoot the ball more accurately, I can play defense more efficiently, and at the end of the game, I am not as exhausted as before. When I bump into people, I simply feel myself less fragile.

During the game, I will have thoughts like this: If someone runs right into me while I am standing still, that person will fall down without me moving my legs, and that person won't know what happen. Have I pushed him or has he just fallen? I know it's a bit of a dream.

For defense, the opponent will go around the key along the path of an arc to look for an opportunity to go to the hoop or pass the ball to someone closer to the hoop. Since I am on the inside, my arc is actually a lot smaller to block the opponent's line of sight to the hoop, and I need to move a lot less than the opponent. I used to just chase the opponent around like a monkey, and it wasn't very efficient, and wouldn't have these thoughts related to circles.

I attribute this to practicing taiji regularly. I am physically stronger, I am calmer and have a clearer mind in general.

Toronto Practice Schedule (Oct 2010 - Jun 2011)

The Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method - Toronto practice group meets once a week. The fall/winter schedule is as follows:

Rough Woods Community Centre - Room Aspen A
110 Shirley Drive
Richmond Hill, ON L4S 1Y9

Date: Every Wednesday from Oct 6, 2010 to Jun 30, 2011
except the following
Dec 1, 2010 (No class)
Dec 22, 2010 (No class)
Dec 29, 2010 (No class)
Mar 16, 2011 (No class)
Jun 22, 2011 (moved to Thursday, Jun 23, 2011)
Jun 29, 2011 (moved to Thursday, Jun 30, 2011)

Time: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Kelvin Ho

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kelvin's Yilu on September 26, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 4)

  • Find fullness after contact, and then a slight intent can cause the other person to move. 
  • Stop the flow of energy, and then the energy is gone. 
  • If you are full, there is nowhere the opponent can stop the energy. 
  • A ball is full. 
  • Exercise: Elbow in, bring dantian to the rear foot or rear foot to dantian.
  • Stretch, don't move.
  • Exercise: 3 rubber cord exercises
  • Concept: Adhere, stick, link, follow
  • 3 halves of the circles
Our Italian friends

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 3)

  • Exercise: Touch. Don't let component detect any change, move in without pushing.
  • Exercise: Same move several time, the last time more rotation.
  • Process of learning taiji: Physical Stage - Strong (low grade), stiff, stiff but no muscle, solid, smooth, full, effortless (high grade)
  • Before you reach the real taiji state, there is always a technique to defeat each state in the physical stage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 2)

  • Start the action with a split: push foot horizontally and hand goes diagonally, so we have 2 vectors.
  • Force always goes straight. Body action can turn. Our job is to separate body and force. 
  • Hollow the side, while maintaining the outside (structure).
  • Exercise: touch blocking coat - elbow goes back, knee goes forward; hand continues to point forward, the waist turns backward, at the very end, hammer it. Knees need to be complete straight, so that if someone kicks on your knee, your kua turns, and you fall to the floor, but nothing breaks.
    1. Extend the leg
    2. The energy goes to the heel of the extended leg, so you are already there.
    3. Land your toe without your entire body come up.
  • Taoist theory: It's not the same, but it's not different. Experiment done at time A is not the same as the same experiment done at point B. Unfortunately, I already forget how this theory is relevant to Taiji.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 1)

  • Anchor the hands, pull from the front foot, mid section, shoulder, and elbow. On the way out, hand leads the elbow, shoulder, front kua, rear kua, rear knee, and rear foot. Extend the hand fully to the maximum, and then somehow the energy will reverse itself.
  • Everything comes from the foot.
  • Find the fixed spot on the opponent or point in space, then rotate around it.
  • Peg the rope 9 times, each section needs to be tight (with tension).
  • 2 S makes a figure 8, we perform 1 S, the other S is just the energy.
  • Cross hands: hands out and hit the limits (like walls), bring the shoulder to the kua by sinking the shoulders, the kua rotates down (another side of the kua actually rotates up at the same time).
  • Concept - Steal the beam, change the pillar: If you have 8 legs under a table top, you can remove two legs from one side, plant them at a different location, move the table top over to go on top of the two legs at the new location. When we move the table top, we are again pegging. Note that there is no concept of shifting in Practical Method.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Practice with Jay Smith

I got a chance to practice with Jay Smith, Master Chen's disciple at Maple Ridge. He came to Toronto for a conference at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel. We did a few Yilus, and we pushed hands. He gave me some good pointers on various Yilu moves. It was fun pushing hands with him.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Master Chen's Yilu in 2004

I have seen a number of Master Chen's Yilu performances. I like this one the best. It seemed to me that he gave this one 110%. This is the legendary performance on the slippery carpet.