Saturday, September 03, 2011

days 315, 316, 317: (sort of) catching back up to the present

  • applications
  • point, line, curve
  • hsing-yi
  • miao dao
  • kyudo
yes, i know, it's been a few weeks since i've posted anything. things sort of went to hell recently in terms of workload, and i've been so preoccupied with work that i haven't had time to write anything, nor time to even reflect on what we've been learning.
if it's any consolation, the gap is somewhat mitigated by the fact that 2 weekends were preoccupied with the Las Vegas tournament, w 1 weekend devoted to helping people prepare for the tournament and the next weekend for the tournament itself.
as for the remaining weekends, i was sick 1 weekend and decided to stay home and recover, and last weekend was the first time i was able to attend classes--although, i still wasn't at 100%, and so could only last through the kung fu class before having to get back home and rest.
to try and get everything back up to the current, i'm going to agglomerate everything into a single post, and hope that it'll allow me to return to the regular posting schedule next week.

i was worried that i'd missed a lot in the hsing-yi classes. but from what everyone else told me, i only missed 1 day of material, since 2 of the weekends had been diverted to the tournament. essentially we're still going through the applications in the hsing-yi Shanxi 12 animals. Sifu said that the plan is to work through the applications in Shanxi, since that's the one still fresh in our minds, and then return and work through the applications in Hebei 12 animals, since it'll help us refresh our memories with that.
when i use the word applications i'm not referring to just practicing the techniques. Sifu wants us to try and work with them in a low-intensity combat setting, essentially merging them with gong fa. he says he wants us to see how to use the principles in the context of working against a hostile opponent, so that the techniques require a set-up in terms of timing, gate control, and movement. we didn't discuss it, but i also think it's getting us to practice ting jing, hwa jing, na jing, and fa jing in the context of a free-flowing unpredictable environment. it's a little tricky, and everyone is a little awkward with this, but i think that just comes with learning, and that it'll start to look smoother (and better) the more time and practice we get with it.

miao dao
i'm not going to say too much about the miao dao, since there's only been 1 class since the Las Vegas tournament and i missed it. people told me that it ended up not being about the miao dao but on other material, and that we'd return to the miao dao this coming weekend.
the last things we covered were the concepts of point, line, and curve. Sifu said we can look at the miao dao as an object that applies in 3 different ways:
it can operate as a point weapon, working to thrust, either in offense or defense
it can operate along a line, so that the blade moves linearly, either in offense or defense
it can operate along a curve in what is essentially 3-D space, either in offense or defense
Sifu said it's useful to recognize these 3 categories, because it helps to understand the nature of the movements in the form and recognize the applications that can come from them.

i've only been able to make 1 kyudo class since the last post, and it was the weekend when everyone was still returning from the Minnesota testing seminar. also, Sensei was in Hawaii running another seminar.
as a result, it was a class with just 5 people. it turned out to be good, since it gave all of us free opportunity to get a lot of practice shooting. Jean, who had been at the seminar, ended up still coming to class straight from the airport, and gave me some individual attention with respect to my form that i found useful.
i missed the gashuku weekend that provided more intensive practice because it was the weekend i was sick, and so i haven't got much more to say, but i suspect there's going to be quite a bit more as i get back to class. Sensei also announced another gashuku weekend for the fall, and i hope to make that.

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