New to ranking

Postby JohnLamb » Mon May 08, 2006 2:32 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pamela:
<B>
Can you be sung and remain sung in front of these judges? Image
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pamela, again this looks like the main challenge for me. We did a practice session saturday for the rankings with the teacher seated, looking stern, taking notes. For some reason this made me feel very tight. I hope to overcome this feeling. It has never happened before when practising in public with "just" bystanders looking on. I did not forget any postures, but I lost control of my breathing and got out of breath early on which made it incredibly difficult to sink the chi.

Thank you again for your input.
John Lamb
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 08, 2006 2:48 pm

Hi John,

Image

That has been my experience too, I know that feeling well...onlookers in general don't know what you're doing, and are not qualified to know when you mess up the sequence or do something wrong...Ranking judges are straining to find them Image
Definitely nerve wracking.

But after reading Kalamondins descriptions of what the judges are seeking for level one, I see I am very mistaken in my groping attempts of assistance and advices.

I guess there is no need to worry about being sung after all...this should really remove alot of stress from your performance.

Smooth...and memorized...I'm sure you'll do well, considering you practice every day.

Sorry for the undue worry I imposed Image

Good luck!

Best wishes,
Pamela



[This message has been edited by Pamela (edited 05-08-2006).]
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon May 08, 2006 5:45 pm

Kal,
Wow. Thanks for that tip. I've made huge strides in keeping the sequence in mind using pnemonic devices.
I've sort of taken it a tad further though. I've made up little stories, for lack of a better word, maybe poems would be better... dunno... anyway, to go along with the two parts of the form I've had the most trouble remembering.
Here's what I'm using for the portion of Section the third after Embrace Tiger, which is where I start to mess up.
Using a Single Whip, the Wild Horse Parts its Mane, then Grasps the Birds Tail with the Single Whip and gives it to a Fair Lady, who Grasps the Birds Tail with the Single Whip but then releases it to the Clouds, another Single Whip makes the Snake Creep Down to grab a Golden Rooster who thinks the Monkey is Repulsive.

I know, it's not exactly Shakespear, but it has helped me get through that part of the form, where I have been freezing, consistenly today. I've done the long form three times without getting lost at all using this.
I've not quite got a tale for the sequence worked out yet after:
White Snake Spits its Tounge, Steps Forward Deflects, Parries and Punches the Grasping Birds Tail...
I can't quite make the Single Whip to Cloud Hands tale yet. I'm working on it.

Hey, it worked for me allready. Like I said, three times in a row I used just what I have so far and got all the way through without forgetting any of the forms.
So...
Thanks a bunch.

Now, if I can just stop wobbling and putting my foot down to balance after the turn during the Kick series in Section the Second, I'd be a LOT happier.
But, one thing at a time.
I'll take the triumph of finally having a solid way to remember the sequence in Section the third, which has been a nuisance for me for about two years now with no solution previously that worked for me.

Bob
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon May 08, 2006 5:52 pm

Duh, I just answered my own question by looking back at the first tale and just using it....
White Snake Spits its Tounge, Steps Forward Deflects, Parries and Punches the Grasping Birds Tail with a Single Whip then releases it to the Clouds, the Single Whip then Pats the High Horse with a Palm Thrust, Crosses a Kick then Steps Forward to Punch the Groin of the Grasping Birds Tail...

While not exactly a classic tale it helps me remember, so I'm all for it.

It's still a work in progress, and hopefully something I won't need for long.

Bob
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Postby JohnLamb » Mon May 08, 2006 6:48 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pamela:
<B>

Sorry for the undue worry I imposed Image

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pamela, rest assured that you imposed no undue worries here!! I think your advice was spot on!!

Cheers,
John Lamb
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Postby JohnLamb » Mon May 08, 2006 6:52 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob Ashmore:
<B>
another Single Whip makes the Snake Creep Down to grab a Golden Rooster who thinks the Monkey is Repulsive.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Bob,

This is hilarious!! and apparently effective. Nice job. I'm looking forward to hearing the completed poem. Maybe you can offer it for publication in the newsletter.

Cheers,
John Lamb

[This message has been edited by JohnLamb (edited 05-08-2006).]
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Postby JohnLamb » Mon May 08, 2006 7:01 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kalamondin:
<B>
I have met some students who attended practice sessions but were so discouraged by the many suggestions offered that they did not take the exam--in spite of being otherwise well qualified.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Kal,

I think I have seen this on saturday after only one practice session. One friend said straight out that they did not think they could do this now...after signing up to do it. Another is also expressing doubts. I will give the affected students your words of wisdom. I told them it is not competition but self-improvement. I hope they stay with it, the ranking evaluation that is. Thanks again for your input.

Cheers,
John Lamb
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon May 08, 2006 7:26 pm

John,
Glad you liked it. I tried for a while to come up with something for Repulse Monkey that is a bit less comical, but then I figured there was simply no way I was ever going to forget it this way.
Not forgetting it is the point, so...
I kept it.

I don't know that I'd ever complete an entire poem like this. I've only been thinking of a way for me to remember the bits that I have a hard time remembering the sequences for.


Bob
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Postby Pamela » Tue May 09, 2006 2:53 pm

Great news John...
Little worse than finding out that you have done damaged when your intentions were to help.
Thanks for easing my mind.
Best wishes,
Pamela
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Postby Kalamondin » Wed May 10, 2006 12:13 am

Bob, LOL - great poem Image Glad it's working out for you.

John, perhaps your classmates will feel more encouraged if they can look at the process of ranking as yet another opportunity for self-evaluation. It's hard to control what actually happens on the day of the test. Lots of practice helps those who have difficulty being on the spot (all of us?), but doing the form with a jolt of adrenaline from stress can lead to interesting results! Therefore, the ranking process can be less nerve wracking and more interesting if one thinks of it more of a self-evaluation without self-judgement instead of a scary panel of people passing judgement on one's self-perceived flaws.

Pamela, I thought your original advice was very good. Remaining sung and knowing the ten essentials just makes for better tai chi. Again, I'd like to point out that I'm only one person and other people may have very different perceptions of what to look for at the various levels, which is why it's actually to one's advantage to have a panel of judges instead of only one.

Best,
Kal
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Postby Pamela » Wed May 10, 2006 12:51 am

Hi Kal,

I found all your advices about ranking very informative and insightful...and last year would have found them relieving too Image
Though I have no more interest in ranking for my own part...

Um...Hope it's not too much of a disturbance to this thread...maybe you could just email me or something? But I was wondering if you still had the reference you made a while ago on energy emanations from the heart and mind? Do you recall which thread it was in, have a link, or the website which provided this information? My memory does not recall all that you said, and I find the idea of great interest right now...If you do recall, I would be very grateful for the reiterations.

Many thanks,
Pamela
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Postby JohnLamb » Wed May 10, 2006 12:50 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kalamondin:
<B>It's hard to control what actually happens on the day of the test. Lots of practice helps those who have difficulty being on the spot (all of us?), but doing the form with a jolt of adrenaline from stress can lead to interesting results!
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have found that sometimes when I am angry and start the form with "calm down", there seems to be much energy inside when I do the form. I wonder if this might be a tool I can use or if it is an undesireable approach. I know a little about sung-ness(?), but I am not sure how this relates to the mental aspect of doing the form. Any thoughts on this? Might it have something to do with raising the spirit?

John Lamb
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Postby JohnLamb » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:04 pm

Hello all!!!

I just wanted to post this follow-up. I was "lucky" enough to pass the Level 1 Beginner ranking in June. After all of the hard work and excitement, I never got back to you all...my apologies.

First, Pamela had it quite right when she asked the question about remaining "sung" for the form demonstration. Allow me to describe. We had 4 students, including myself, and all were from different teachers and had never practised together before. Once we began, it was nearly total chaos. I was in the front left corner and everyone did the form at their own pace. One was very very fast. Two were about the right speed. I became so distracted by the different speeds that I botched in Section 1 by repeating the 2 brushed knees. The accident was only the first repeat brushed knee, the second error was required to get into proper position for the deflect parry punch. I knew I had done wrong and it took me until the cross hands at the end of Section 1 to calm down. At different points, since I was so out of sync with the other performers, I nearly had two collisions. Later the judges exclaimed they had never seen such a thing. However, remembering Pamela's advice to remain "sung", I was able to overcome the situation and perform the remainder of the form smoothly and correctly (at least for Lvl 1).

The written test was pretty much just rote regurgitation of required facts, history, and the 10 essentials.

Everyone involved at the testing site from the judges to the helpers to the performers were uniformly helpful, respectful, and encouraging to us students.

Thanks also to Kalamondin for your fatherly and very accurate advice and information.

Lastly, a special thanks to Bob for the support and comeraderie we shared leading up to and past our testing (I should not tell you all, but Bob passed his ranking also).

I have now begun preparations for testing at level 2 and expect to train quite diligently. Hopefully, I will be ready for the testing next year.

John Lamb
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Postby Pamela » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:10 am

Alright John!

Congratulations! Image
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Postby Pamela » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:47 am

John....I wanted to thank YOU~

You have returned the favor with a depth I find difficult to articulate...

You have given me a precious gift in return for my small token....A restored faith ~ priceless!

May you always find your cultivations in TaiChi as fruitful and fulfilling as you do now...I wish you a prosperous bounty of future success in your endeavors~

Best wishes,
Pamela
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