Saturday, September 10, 2011

day 318: review day

  • hawk
  • chicken
  • alignment
  • hsing-yi
  • kyudo
last Saturday was a much-needed review day. i think a lot of people are coming back from various vacations, trips, or absences, and so the timing worked out well.


Sifu has us review the Shanxi 12 animals, and that helped everyone get back to speed. it turned out that there were apparently some differences in how people remembered the animals, particularly with hawk and chicken. it took a little while to sort things out.

we also spent time going further into the applications in chicken, particularly w respect to the piqua-style movements in it. Sifu commented that the movements can vary in terms of which direction we're emphasizing force (e.g., either down or up) and that the direction can also change in mid-swing (i.e., so you don't have to constantly engage in a wind-up before you swing). he had us practice using it, since it is very different type of movement relative to what many of us have learned.

i found it takes a little getting used to, since there's a spacing and timing issue in terms of knowing when and where to be to control gates and engage the opponent. swinging the arms acts to open the torso, and so there's a bit of discretion that has to be exercised in doing so. however, it does serve to increase your space, and does intrude on the opponent's volume. based on the practice i had w Eric and Phunsak, i could see how piqua works if it's done correctly.


kyudo, as always, is a project. Sensei helped me out quite a bit today in terms of structural alignment. i've been working on getting my back and shoulders to align properly so that the bones make a stable structure once they extend through zanshin. it's possible for this to happen, and requires that the shoulder blades flatten out in line with the spine and the plane of the bow and arms. getting to know when this occurs, however, is a little tricky. Sensei worked w me on identifying when the alignment occurs.

he complemented me on my improvement, which is a positive. i can feel things have been getting better. but it's like he said in the past--there's always a period in time when you feel things are getting better, and then other times when it feels like there's a mistake, and then suddenly that mistake starts to generate a whole cascade of issues that causes everything to fall apart. i'm hoping i can keep things going in a positive direction.

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