form in 20 minutes?

Postby Wushuer » Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:07 pm

There it is again! All I keep hearing is "Practice, practice, practice".
What's up with that?
You'd think, from everyone saying that all the time, that you might have to practice to get good at TCC.
Sheesh. Who'd have thunk?
I always thought you just said, "I'm a TCC Master!" and you were. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Fly faster than a locomotive. Stop bullets with your chi.

I have a personal testament to make on this count. I've said it before, but it bears repeating.
I stopped practicing TCC for a few years. When I came back to it, I had lost most of my skill.
That's right. Most. Not all, but very close to it.
It was almost as if I had never practiced TCC in my life.
It has taken me nearly three years of non-stop practice, "painstaking practice" as YZJ puts it, to get back to the point where I consider myself a practitioner again.
Three years people, after having studied under Sifu for fifteen years.
I lost my skill when I stopped practicing. I can't put it any plainer than that.

There is only one way to get good, there is only one way to stay good.
You wanna know what that is?
Aren't you listening, here??
PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then, when you're done practicing, practice again.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:39 pm

Wass'up Wushuer,

Hope 'twasn't my posting which triggered such a tirade!

I am only stating my accordance with the recent opinions presented for clarity sake...considering my evolving development.

I'm sure you could have accomplished one full repetition of the long form in the time it required you to vent those various vehement views on the importance of practice. Alot of energy too.

Why write, why read, why walk, why fish, why sculpt, why eat, why sleep,.....HEY, just practice!

I think I'm going to go and do absolutely nothing. Image

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:30 pm

Tirade?
I was going for mildly sarcastic humor. Guess I missed the mark.
No, nothing you said at all.
Just wanted to re-iterate the importance of form practice, give my personal testimonial as to why and hope it sinks with people that there are no short cuts, you need to practice to get good and then practice more to stay good.
If my tirade offended anyone, then I apologize.
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:37 pm

Yang Zhenduo sometimes talks about form practice as a way to 'simplify' your conciousness. Normally our mind is jumping about from this to that, busily chattering to itself. When you do the form properly, focusing on the requirements for each move and getting the ten essentials into it, this chatter is reduced to a relatively simple, focused task. Focusing means narrowing the view to a small range. This is why too much theory can contribute to the chatter rather than the simplification. If I start thinking about qi, bagua, and all sorts of martial theories it impedes this simplification process.
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Postby Michael » Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:01 pm

Psalchemist,

Why write, why read, why walk, why fish, why sculpt, why eat, why sleep,.....HEY, just practice!

Those are "practice", maybe not form, but--well maybe not sleeping and eating.

I should let Wushuer answer for himself but, he was just having fun, with some fustration, with some "emphasis", and with a reason. He has his own style, which I can appreciate.

Now I am not talking about you in any sense, but people often think that there are shortcuts---or rather WANT shortcuts. In my opinion, "Philosophy" gets one nowhere---past the general theory and framework upon which the art is based. Now it is interesting, thought provoking and has value, but practice is where 98% of it comes from. The simple fact is that you get back what you put into it.

I have been fustrated with two individuals that I have known that talk taiji, make themselves out to be not "masters" but very "advanced". So humble. They say "I don't have to practice much anymore." Implying that somehow they have embodied the skill. NOw that can be true of "real" masters. Usually "old" men who ARE taiji. Picking up a pencil is taiji to them. But for us mere mortals.....

Like Wushuer's time off, due to my back troubles, there was a time were my practice was very limited, usually just to strings of Cloud Hands back and forth on occasion. I saw the effects of the lack of practice after just a few months. My bad knee started to ache now and again, my immune system was no longer keeping me from colds etc.... My root began to "rise up", mechanics began to falter, I had to force myself to do maintanence sets to keep from losing more.

I am with Wushuer on this. There should be a reminder on everyones wall, tatooed on one's forehead---PRACTICE-- I have the character on my sword hilt and on my wall. But I am not always a "good boy" and appreciate Wushuers remarks. He can kick me in the pants anytime he wants. We as humans tend to get lazy and lose sight of simplest ingredient for success--work at it, and work at it harder.

Doing "nothing" is good also.

That is my "tirade" and I am sticking to it!

And lastly, I have always wanted to post this but kept forgetting---my favorite line from a Kung Fu movie---from The Tai Chi Master---now under a different title. Jet Li had grown up at the Shaolin temple,after mastering a number of stlyes---"I have found my style, and it is Tai chi." The way he said it is just a hoot! I still did not see him use his waist enough after "finding his style" when fighting...

Have fun!

I see Wushuer beat me...



[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 11-25-2003).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:20 pm

Greetings Jerry, and All,

Absolutely. Form practice is a sure way of quieting the “monkey mind.” Since I can’t do the form 24 hours a day, however, I try to bring that focus and mindfulness into the other things I do, whether writing, walking, parenting, consuming, voting, etc. There is even a mindful approach to laziness.

I do enjoy exploring theory, and would hope that in the process I’m simplifying rather than muddying the picture. So much of human activity is habitual and grounded in assumptions. I like to challenge the assumptions and try to displace unproductive habits. For me, philosophy is practice. It’s not just entertainment. I would certainly never consider theory to be a substitute for practice; rather, I think the ti and the yong belong together.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:29 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

I acknowledge your emphasis on practicing...for myself, I cannot neglect my practice for more than a couple of days without feeling the effects of lost progress.


Jesting nature of tirade gesture and conjecture duly digested and invested.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:41 pm

Greetings Jerry Karin,

Thank you for the quoting from Yang Zhen Duo.
Of course this is good advice...excessive mind activity during form practice is not to be striven for, but rather strictly avoided.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 9:07 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

You wrote,
<Doing the form faster will not build "martial skill" if you are not doing the form correctly.
Doing the form slowly will not build "health" if you are not doing the form correctly.
In my personal, humble opinion the most important factor to concentrate on to build either "martial skill" or "health" is proper form.
What is "proper form"? Doing the form correctly, using proper body mechanics and incorporating the basic skills of TCC into your form at the proper time and in the proper way.> Wushuer

In my personal, humble opinion...I think you are absolutely correct.

So now I seek simply the knowledge of the "basic skills" and "body mechanics".

Actually, I thought I WAS seeking the basic knowledge of Taijiquan, but seem to have encompassed, embraced and extended too far.

So,
Can I suppose that the "Ten Essentials" combined with the "Shi San Shi" would embody these systems in their entirety?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Michael » Tue Nov 25, 2003 9:17 pm

Louis,

I hope that your post was in no way "provoked" by my comments on "philosophy". I love the stuff myself...probably too much. Using it to simplify is my approach also. It is part of the whole,and not a substitute as you said.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 9:26 pm

Greetings Louis,

Drawing from Yang Zhenji, you wrote,

<Master Yang's response was that there are no "trick moves" in taijiquan, and that only repeated practice of the form will give one the capacity to respond appropriately in a defense situation.>

<I think that is very true of this art. It's not just an inventory of discrete techniques. Certainly push hands plays a crucial role in developing skill, but the foundation is form practice, where the perfection of muscle memory is established.> Louis

I agree that the form is the foundation of Taijiquan...absolutely.

Do you equate muscle memory to neurological memory, pathways?

I wonder, once a neurological pathway has been established if one can lose this memory if left unused...I am wondering if Gong and muscle memory are two different aspects, or one in the same.

Can someone explain gong in comparison with neurological pathways/muscle memory ?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 9:38 pm

dorshugla,

You wrote: "I have never(rarely) seen beautiful moves able to exemplify martial skill"

Well........I certainly have.

I have found that taijiquan form performed by dedicated practitioners in meaningful manner to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever observed.

Very moving, and the more skill behind the movements, the more beautiful it is.

Do most of the postures in the form not exemplify directly the martial skills of taijiquan?

Hence, practicing the form IS practicing the exemplification of the martial skills, when executed correctly.

Just my two bits,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:40 pm

Greetings Michael,

---------------------------------------------
Your overall post was duly noted and appreciated, thanks.

---------------------------------------------
you wrote:
>In my opinion, "philosophy" gets one nowhere---past the general theory and framework upon which the art is based. Now it is interesting, thought provoking and has value, but practice is where 98% of it comes from. The simple fact is that you get back what you put into it.> Michael

O.K....If you make it a thirty-seventy split, I think I could accept that. Image


---------------------------------------------
You provided:
<I saw the effects of lack of practice after just a few months. My bad knee started to ache now and again, my immune system was no longer keeping me from colds etc....My root began to "rise up", mechanics began to faulter, I had to force myself to do maintenance sets to keep from losing more.> Michael

I can really relate to a couple of those points...

For myself, after only a few days neglect I too get the sensation that my "root has risen up". That I am less grounded.

Do you think this is due to lack of accumulation permeating the Tan Tien, therefore lack of stability...or is it rather a 'loss' of structure skills, muscle memory, or gong?

I also noted no flu's or more than your basic sniffles from time to time, since I have begun practicing Taijiquan. It is truly great for immunity and general health maintenance.

---------------------------------------------
You stated:
<I am with Wushuer on this. There should be a reminder on everyones wall, tatooed on one's forehead---PRACTICE--I have the character on my sword hilt and on my wall.> Michael


Good idea.
Although not tatooed onto my forehead, I do always keep my little reminder close at hand. Image

---------------------------------------------
Lastly you exclaimed:
<"That is my "tirade" and I am sticking to it!> Michael

Image LOL

Best regards,
Psalchemist.



[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-25-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:57 pm

Greetings Louis,

You wrote:
<I do enjoy exploring theory, and would hope that in the process, I'm simplifying rather than muddying the picture. So much of human activity is habitual and grounded in assumptions. I like to challenge the assumptions and try to displace unproductive habits. For me philosophy is practice. It's not just entertainment. I would certainly never consider theory to be a substitute for practice; rather, I think the ti and yong belong together.> Louis

HERE, HERE, I second that motion! Image

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Nov 25, 2003 11:31 pm

Theory and philosophy are ok. No problem there. It's a matter of emphasis. As psalchemist said somewhere, one has to achieve a balance. Often on this board, emptyflower and some of the others you hear people leaping around from this arcane theory to that, and I can't help thinking that some of it is counter-productive because they charged right past the move requirements and the ten essentials and began shopping for more way too soon.
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