This year's New York seminar

This year's New York seminar

Postby JerryKarin » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:28 am

I attended this year's New York seminar, which was actually held in Danbury CT, not far from NYC. I hadn't gone to any seminars for a few years so this one stood out for me as quite different from some previous ones I had attended. I think Yang Jun has really hit his stride in teaching these seminars and also differentiated himself somewhat from the way his grandfather taught. This time Yang Jun took each move of barehand (and to some extent sabre) and explained it in several parts: 1) footwork 2) arms/hands 3) other aspects such as waist 4) explanations and stories about the name 5) applications, generally demonstrated on the very good-natured subject, Bill Walsh, 6) how to work this move in push hands. The applications in particular were far more detailed than Yang Zhenduo ever used to show us and he often gave several applications per move. He got into fairly advanced topics like joint-locking which I can't recall Yang Zhenduo ever mentioning. Altogether way more forthcoming about applications than I had ever seen at these seminars before. Possibly he did this because there weren't any absolute beginners attending. Because he is no longer using a translator and his English is now quite good, Yang Jun was generally able to talk faster and pack in more information. I found it extremely interesting and learned a lot. The initial lecture on theory was also very different from the lecture Yang Zhenduo used to give in basically the same form every year.
I also enjoyed seeing old friends like Bill Walsh, Audie, Mari Lewis, Aiki Kelley, Holly Sweeney, Kent Oldfield, Andy Lee and many others as well as making some new taiji friends. Many thanks to Bill Walsh, Yang Jun and everyone who attended for a great experience.


[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 08-13-2006).]
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Postby Pamela » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:51 am

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for sharing your positive experience...

Though I have enjoyed two of M.Yang Jun's seminars previously, I am now enticed to check out the new and improved Yang Jun seminar! I'll be sure to catch the next~

I am especially interested in hearing the form name explanations and stories you mentioned. Image

...May I inquire...do you recall anything interesting said about the Hai Di Shen, "Needle at sea bottom" postures titling? If you are free to divulge, of course~

Thank you,
Best wishes,
Pamela

[This message has been edited by Pamela (edited 08-14-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:57 pm

Yes, actually he did mention a fable source for the needle at sea bottom. I think there was some story about Shijiamoni (Sakyamuni Buddha) having a task where he had to recover a needle from the bottom of the sea. So it refers to reaching down low (sea bottom = low). Unfortunately I can't remember it too clearly and I may be mixing it up with another story. There was a lady there named Louise who was taking copious notes and promised to send me them when she got them typed up, so I'll confirm when I get those. I will try to think of more of the stories and post them as they come to me, or when I get Louise's email.
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Postby Pamela » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:23 pm

That would be wonderful!

I am quite intrigued at the prospects and look forward with great eagerness to any details you could provide...

Thank you Jerry. Image

Best wishes,
Pamela
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Postby Audi » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:38 am

Hi Jerry,

It was terrific to see you and everyone else at the seminar. I share your appreciation for the teaching that was presented.

I feel that I made a number of breakthroughs at the seminar that have left me quite excited. Some of the highlights for me were:

1. getting a much deeper feeling for how external structure supports internal structure,

2. getting a much clearer feeling of how to sink qi,

3. feeling more clearly the link between sinking qi and fajin, expecially with the saber,

4. understanding more clearly how and why to distinguish full and empty in push hands and how it works in the upper body during form,

5. widening my understanding of how "Seeking stillness in movement" can apply to self defense,

6. understanding for the first time why the abdomen should be kept loose,

7. widening my understanding of the use of palm orientations.

As for Needle at Sea Bottom, I remember some connection with Shakyamuni Buddha, but I also thought that one of the early mythical emperors (Yu the Great?) threw the needle into the South (or East?) China Sea to calm the waters and bring them under control. Apparently, there is still a folk belief that throwing heavy objects to the bottom of the sea helps to balance yin and yang and calm turbulent seas.
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Postby Richard Man » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:34 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Audi:
...
As for Needle at Sea Bottom, I remember some connection with Shakyamuni Buddha, but I also thought that one of the early mythical emperors (Yu the Great?) threw the needle into the South (or East?) China Sea to calm the waters and bring them under control. Apparently, there is still a folk belief that throwing heavy objects to the bottom of the sea helps to balance yin and yang and calm turbulent seas.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's correct. It's that pesky Yellow River kept flooding that Yu controlled...
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:48 pm

Jerry,
I only got to attend the last day of the hand form seminar and the push hands seminar here in Louisville this year (along with participating in the ranking test).
Since I was unable to attend any of MYJ's seminars last year, I was able to see the remarkable differences in between MYJ's style over two years time.
And it was remarkable.
Yes, I believe a lot of it had to do with his comfort with English. He was very clear and I was able to understand everything he said. His pace was faster, but not necesarily on the showing of forms, he was just fitting in a lot more information on the background of each posture and showing a lot more applications and push hands aspects during the lecturing.

Since I attended the push hands after the hand form seminar, I found his demonstrations of posture to push hands techniques very helpful when we did that.

I found my one day of the hand form seminar (day 3, I really needed some help on my section 3) to be one of the most helpful days of learning TCC I've ever spent.
I look forward to next years seminar and am going to make certain sure I catch the entire thing.
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Postby fol » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:49 pm

Thanks for the seminar review! Now those of us off to Detroit this weekend can get even more excited.

Audi, you've now mentioned twice your deeper understanding of "sink the chi." Hmmm--why not try to voice it in detail, for those of us with no understanding at all!--maybe in a new thread?--fol
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:59 pm

Oh, and it was my priviledge to get to meet Andy Lee as well.
I was honored to be able to push hands with her for a time at the seminar. She has a light touch, I felt remarkably gauche pushing with her but she made me feel at ease.
Would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all her help at the seminar.

Also would like to thank Michael Coulon for all of his wonderful advice during the seminar. I would not have made it through the push hands seminar without his support. He also came to our practice the following Saturday morning, with Bill, and once again helped us all with our push hands skills.
Our little group greatly benefited from his experience and teaching that day. He got some of my fellow students to do push hands who have never tried it before.
I now have more push hands partners than ever before thanks to his remarkable generosity in visiting our group and helping us along.
Though I'm still working on keeping my elbows where they should be, I feel I've come a long way thanks to his help.

Of course, I need to thank Bill W. and Carl for their continued support.

And last but certainly not least, Master Yang Jun for his incredible generosity in teaching these seminars.
I've never understood pushing hands as well as I do now that I've taken the seminar with him. The few minutes I got to push with the Master were remarkable.
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:05 pm

fol,
If I hadn't just started a new job, I would be there in Detroit myself!
You are in for quite a treat at this seminar.


Bob
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Postby Pamela » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:16 pm

Audi and Richard,

Thanks for your elaborations on Needle at Sea Bottom posture story/title origins.

Though I scoured the internet for this particular lore though, I didn't find it. If anyone has seen this story published on net or in a book, I would appreciate the tip.

Thank you,
Pamela
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:44 pm

Greetings,

Regarding Needle at Sea Bottom, there is also the novel, Journey to the West (Xi you ji), in which the Monkey King wields a ruyi cudgel, which he obtained from the Dragon King at the bottom of the sea. It was a huge pillar known as the “sea-settling needle,” which the Monkey was able to shrink to the size of an embroidery needle. See Wikipedia page on Sun Wukong:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Wukong
and the novel:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_West

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:38 pm

There’s also an informative Chinese Wikipedia page on the ruyi cudgel, including references to its origin as the “sea calming needle” (dinghai shenzhen), placed in the Eastern Ocean by Dayu (as mentioned by Audi). Fun trivia!
http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A6%82%E6%84%8F%E9%87%91%E7%AE%8D%E6%A3%92

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Audi » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:08 am

Hi Louis,

We seem to have been sufing some of the same sites!

I also noticed some references to Nezha disturbing the sea" (ÄÄ߸ÄÔº£) and recall Yang Zhenduo telling stories about him at seminars. Do you understand how he fits in with the Great Yu and the Monkey King's "Do-as-you-wish, golden-hoop cudgel"?

In reading some of the websites and trying to disentable the stories, I feel like someone trying to research Santa Claus and trying to reconcile Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, elves, the Grinch, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Take care,
Audi

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 08-30-2006).]
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Postby shugdenla » Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:25 pm

Another Yang stylist (a former teacher)mentioned that many names in taijiquan are not necessarily literal meaning or translation. The sea bottom point is allegedly on middle to upper rib area!
Classical acupuncturist on this site anyone?
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