Thursday, May 20, 2010

day 278: corrections - ju quan

  • lines
  • chen pao quan
  • ju quan
i need to preface this post on the Sunday class by noting that my previous Sunday post (day 276: ba tang quan) was in error. we private lessons we have been getting were not in ba tang quan but in ju quan (so the comments from the post are preserved, but the name for what we are learning is different).

i should also note that Ching-Chieh is leaving in June for 6 months for a dance project and needs to finish ju quan before then since the form is the basis for the project. unfortunately, because she's going to miss next weekend, it's putting extra pressure to finish ju quan off in the immediate future. as a result, we adjusted the Sunday schedule so that we're focusing only on ju quan in the time that Ching-Chieh has remaining before she leaves.

chen pao quan

we didn't go further into chen pao quan, but instead just reviewed the portion we've done to date. Phunsak was gone today, so it was just me, Ching-Chieh, and Jo-san.

ju quan

i missed a Sunday class, and so Ching-Chieh had to help me get caught up with what i'd missed, which was lines 5 & 6 of ju quan. with Phunsak out, she also needed me to review the 2-person forms so that she could practice them. Sifu then showed us lines 7 & 8 and the 2-person form for those. that was largely it, since we spent all our time practicing ju quan.

day 277: ugh, back again (again)

  • balance
  • opening
  • bagua leg form (tuei)
  • kyudo
well, okay, i had another break. this time i was out for 3 weeks. the 1st weekend due to grading, the 2nd weekend due to my brother's wedding (which was out of town), and the 3rd weekend because of grading again. i wasn't able to make it back until May 15. thankfully, i didn't miss as much as i thought i had--although it was still a fairly substantial amount.

bagua leg form (tuei)

it appears that the class has been in a review phase, with everyone refining xiao kai men and bagua tuei. i suspect Sifu felt it was necessary, since a lot of the beginners still need to learn both of these and many of the more advanced students have been traveling or away (i was gone, Ching-Chieh had to skip a few classes for a project, Phunsak missed a class because of a seminar, and Kieun was also gone for 3 weeks on his honeymoon).

this past Saturday was devoted to bagua tuei. i managed to remember the form, although Sifu commented there was still an issue with my tornado kick, in that i wasn't landing it with any balance. i ended up working on this for the class.

with most everyone back (me, Ching-Chieh, Phunsak, and Kieun), Sifu also announced his plans for the curriculum: starting in June, we will be starting Xing-yi. Sifu has taught it before, but apparently this will be the first time that he'll be doing it methodically--apparently, in previous incarnations he's done it as a weekend seminar.

i think this will be good (not just in terms of having a more sedentary curriculum, but in terms of learning the art itself), since according to Sifu it is very closely related to spear, and so is compatible with the spear training we've been doing on Sundays. in addition, it involves some physics that i think bridges the gap between spear movements and unarmed movements, and do so in a way that translates the body mechanics in a manner consistent with internal martial arts styles...although, i should note, Sifu has mentioned more than once that the physics are not just endemic to "internal" styles but rather are relevant to all martial arts styles.

the plan is to finish review of bagua tuei, and then commence with hsing-yi the first weekend in June.


as much as i had worries about returning to kung fu, i had more trepidation about returning to kyudo, largely because there are so many nuances that i can sense i'm not really getting. for the most part, however, it felt like a return to the familiar, with the form still being the same steps as it has always been.

tonight, i focused on the drawing of the bow, concentrating on working on drawing by opening my body structure into the bow. following the formal shoot, Sensei started the informal shoot early (prior to the tea break, whereas it normally occurs after). i took advantage of this to spend some time on practicing with my bow with just a dry pull (i.e., drawing without the arrow or glove), trying to expand my skeleton through hakawake to kai to zanshin.

Sensei observed me, and came over a few times to guide me through the arcs that i needed to be following. this was helpful, since it helped me map out the keystone markers (milestones) that my skeleton needed to reach. of course, repeating this consistently turned out to be another problem, since the movements were unfamiliar and required that i constantly check my body structure positioning in the mirror.