Hello Steve James,
Actually, my posting of the quote provided from Yang Cheng Fu was meant as an independant comment...with no reference to Louis' story.
I simply thought it would be helpful to the discussion of the 'speed of Taijiquan'-the motive behind the idea being -the more complete the board topic is, the better, no?
I am simply providing another point to ponder supplied by a 'traditional' Taiji Master. I don't know exactly what master Yang Cheng Fu meant by it, and won't be attempting to translate either. I am employing your advice about acknowlegement.
Onto some issues you've raised: You said,
< I think Louis' story is appropriate to this, no? Do you think 'slower is better' means either that 72 chews are necessary or that 72,000 would be better? > - SteveJ
I think.....If I ask a room full of people to picture a cyclist riding through a forest, that MOST would picture the cyclist moving at a moderate speed, A FEW would picture a three wheel bicycle progressing at a turtles pace, and the LAST COUPLE would picture a racer tearing down the forest path at a break-neck pace.
Without a definite guideline of 20-30 minutes to practice a form, there would always be some who would go to the extreme, and not realize it were beyond moderation.
I personally beleive in moderation with some extreme measures for the purpose of perfecting and also for developping ourselves beyond our present limits. (Practicing slowly to become faster).
Kicks and rooster stances seem like the occasional 'extreme' example, considering the extreme weight distribution to one leg. It seems to me that this is a type of limit expansion training of balance.
In the case of balance: Good balance, to most, would be the ability to remain perched on one leg with the appropriate applied mental concentration. To a gymnast good balance would possibly allude to the ability to do a one handed hand-stand on a balance beam six feet above the ground. To someone with a middle-ear disturbance simply maintaining themselves erect on two feet without swaying may prove a difficult task.
I also note that extreme practice is an occasional occurance in the form, not the rule of thumb.
You quoted: < "breathing is attuned to each of the movements of the body opening and closing. Inhale on opening, exhale on closing. " > -SteveJ
That is very helpful to my understanding of 'opening-closing'. I'm glad you pointed that out specifically. This can assist me in finding where the opening and closing actually occur.
You provided :
< " During inhaling, the chi goes inside but does the lifting, and during exhaling, it goes out but sinks..." > - SteveJ
So, if I am holding my breathe, is it logical that my chi will rise?
Also when 'taking a fall'...would the fact that we must exhale mean that we are sinking the chi to fall without injury?
It also seems to me that one could only practice as slowly as their lung expansion/contraction would allow within the limitations of the open/close 'rule'. Once you run out of breathe, you would have to begin the next posture. One would really need excellent breathing skills to stretch the duration of the form considerably and maintain the link between open- close and breath.
< "...because Taiji breathing is based on prenatal chi(hsien tien). That is why it is a form of meditation. Such exercises can certainly keep your body healthy." > - SteveJ
What do you think of this portion of the quote?
It reminds me of some recent advice I heard that the action of Fa chin is to be used in moderation. What I guess this could mean is that preserving the chi unused would assist in maintaining a good health. Fa Chin would be the depleting of the chi and therefore may drain the health reserves...Just a guess. To me prenatal chi implies unused chi, but I am in no way asserting that what I say has any basis more reliable than my own opinion...That of a student.
Your posting has provided much thought provoking information...very interesting