Sample BojiLite Corrective Video 3

The main topic of this video is the quality of the parries demonstrated by members of the Facebook BojiLite Learning Group.

In a nutshell – they lack the short and sharp quality that brings with it a shocking power when the parry slams into the opponent’s arm.

But then hold on, what if the opponent throws a fast jab. Can you still use the parries?

Good question – there is a secondary lesson here which I will reveal to members in the future about this point.

NCF7

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Anatomy of a Fajing

Here’s a fajing demo I did to explain something about something :-

Watch the demo and listen to the sounds. Noticed anything about the fajing demo?

Yes? No?

Take a look at another example from a different Tai Chi style :-

The fajing is powerful too. But noticed that the mechanism employed is different? This is what we term the back leg thrusting fajing model.

Its too bad I didn’t managed to tape whole body as I just propped the phone on a chair and ended up with half body. But all is not lost. By using screen capture of the video we can also get a better idea of what is happening. You’ll have to click on the picture to get the full view

AnatomyFajing.png

After you have a look or a few more looks then I will give some comments.

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The Gung of Hand Rod

The Hand Rod of the Tai Chi Ruler system is little seen and little known to the public. It is a different system of Tai Chi that is said to descend from a royal family in China.

Master Leong Lin Heng learned it from a master in Hong Kong and taught it as part of a Chi Kung routine. Below is a picture of Master Leong teaching Tai Chi Ruler in a park in Ipoh in the late 90s :-

Leong

As you can see in the picture above Tai Chi Ruler seems to be for old folks, another airy fairy, chi-gungy, exercise. However, Tai Chi Ruler is in fact a combat art.

Some of the things we learned seemed simple, like a one movement kinda Chi Kung exercise. Its martial application seemed absent. But don’t let the looks fool you. For example, take a look at this two men Hand Rod exercise as demonstrated by Master Leong’s grand teacher.

LongRuler

At first glance it looks like a cooperative push hands type of exercise using a tool. But then it doesn’t make sense. OK, maybe using a tool of a longer length can make you more sensitive. Maybe.

Or maybe its a tool to extend your awareness. I like this better. But no.

This is what I think is the real reason for training the Hand Rod (OK, so I cheated by using a broom here but a rod is a rod………. ) :-

There! Was that what you suspect the Hand Rod to be too?

Looking back at it now the method should have been obvious but only with the benefit of hindsight. I have long suspected this after reading this portion of the very first book I have of the Tai Chi Ruler system :-

LongRuler2.png

However, as they say with time comes skill. So it is only with practice, reflection and insight that the secret purpose of the Hand Rod revealed itself.

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Addict

Tai Chi is like a drug. To stop the shakes consume more.

This is not a politically correct way to put it but it gets the point across. The point was made when my student commented that his hand started to shake after he had slackened his practice for a few days.

So I said Tai Chi is like a drug. And when drug addicts start to have the shakes one way to stop it is by taking the drug again. Of course, this is bad advice if I am talking to a drug addict.

But in the context of Tai Chi, if your hand shakes its because the tension has come back. So the easiest way to alleviate the tension is by practicing.

The mildly interested Tai Chi player is one who will never get far, if anywhere. This is because he did not spend enough time to replace his old habits with that of habits infused with Tai Chi principles.

On the other hand a serious Tai Chi player will keep working on the movements to the point where it is like a drug. You just have to practice every day, as much as you can in a day, chipping away at problems one step at a time, until you make a breakthrough.

So to be a success in Tai Chi you need to work at it like an addict. At least this is a good “drug” and does not harm you unless you practice it wrongly. So to keep your mind and body oiled, poised and working healthily take your daily dose of Tai Chi tablet.

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Learning Details

A Tai Chi form can be a wonderful toolbox from which you can learn all sorts of stuff.

In our Tai Chi learning we can use White Crane Spreads Wings to train soft, heavy hands. An example of how to do this is shown by my student :-

What he is doing here is to borrow the transition right arm movement when we change from White Crane Spreads Wings to Brush Knee, Twist Step to train how to relax the arm and move it diagonally across his body using the 6-harmonies principle in tandem with the 5-Count mechanism that is covered in the eBook TaijiKinesis Vol 2 : Learning the Taijiquan form.

However, his movement is not precise enough so the power is not expressed at the optimal level. You can tell this from the sound of his palm striking his body. Before this he also tried hitting a solid post to check his power as can be seen below :-

Below is my demonstration of how to do it correctly :-

The correct application of the principles will allow you to have heavy, relaxed arms – you can hear the sound of light striking on the post below :-

The videos here do not explain how to do this arm movement to obtain this result. So how do you do it?

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Feel Rain, Open Umbrella

I am offering a training Koan this morning. It is “feel rain, open umbrella”.

Of course, sometimes even if we feel the rain we won’t open our umbrella because :-

a) We don’t have an umbrella with us

b) The rain is too light for us to bother

 

“Feel rain, open umbrella” is the result of two experiences yesterday.

The first experience is of course being caught in the rain without an umbrella. This is not normal as I usually have an umbrella.

So with or without an umbrella I just had to react as best under the circumstances. In this case it was to pedal furiously to get to my destination faster though if it really poured heavily I could seek nearby shelter.

The second experience is discussing the use of the rowing exercise in Aikido with a student. You can see the rowing exercise in the video below.

 

The application we talked about is how the rowing exercise is used as a counter to an opponent grasping both your wrists. You can use the technique to pull the opponent forward off balance before pushing back using the back of your wrists. The video below illustrates this.

As you can see in the video the teacher was able to pull the student off balance before pushing him back. My point is as long as I am pushing without keeping proper balance then I can be easily pulled off balance too.

The question we explored is what happens if I keep my balance, just grasped my student’s wrists and just held on. He would then have a harder time pulling me off balance.

The answer is of course to somehow find a way to break my balance through movement. This is because most people tend to react when pulled or pushed and you can exploit their reaction against them.

It is not a big problem to deal with an untrained opponent. It is the trained person whom you have to worry about. In Tai Chi if I hold your wrists and you try to pull me I would let you pull me.

However, we still keep our balance and we let your pulling energy to tell us how to react. This is what I mean by “feel rain, open umbrella”.

Depending on the factors – how strong, which angle, which position, etc – given during the pulling or breaking of balance attempt is how we respond to it to nullify the attempt and counter the counter.

Of course, what if our wrists were grabbed? What could we do?

Using intent, we would apply a different method to induce the opponent to use strength without realizing it. Then exploiting his resistance we could then send him off balance.

At its root this is the same general principle as applied in Aikido!!! Except the process is different.

This is why though we find the same techniques in different styles such that we can say “same, same”. However, the way the process works can result in “same, but different”.

And that is the fun of learning and exploring different styles. Feel rain, open umbrella.

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Empty Emptiness 2

I know that I have gone some ways towards achieving the top 1% performance when Paul messaged me and wrote :-

But the ad lib video was fascinating because haha, all in all I didn’t like it.

I would be very surprised if Paul can see everything that I am showing here. I did ask him to take a look again but this time to keep in mind say Yang Cheng Fu’s 10 essential points as follows :-

1. Elevate crown, lift spirit (虛靈頂勁)

2. Swallow chest, expand back (含胸拔背)

3. Relax waist (鬆腰)

4. Differentiate substantial insubstantial (分虛實)

5. Sink shoulders, drop elbows (沈肩墜肘)

6. Use intent, not strength (用意不用力)

7. Upper lower body coordinate (上下相隨)

8. Internal external to coordinate (內外相合)

9. Connect continuously with no break (相連不斷)

10. Within movement seek stillness (動中求靜)

In performing the form most practitioners meet the requirements on different levels of conformance :-

1) Total conformance – Points (1), (2), (3)

2) Near total conformance – Points (4), (5), (7), (9)

3) Harder to conform – Points (6), (8), (10)

To most practitioners Item 3 can be more difficult to justify conformance so its not surprising that teachers in general like to think they can meet these three requirements when they do not. There are tests that can be used to check understanding and actual (as opposed to perceived) conformance.

If you are attempting to meet the requirements be careful not to force your body to do it as some parts may cause you to add extra stress to your joints such as the knee. For example, when trying to meet Point (4) it is common to see the leg on which the weight is on shaking especially when changing to the next technique.

This is the result of misunderstanding what this point means and also confirms that the practitioner is trying to force the performance using physical motions instead of applying the proper intent to get there.

If Point (4) is difficult to achieve then Points (10) would be near impossible because it requires good control of one’s intent to govern the body’s movement. When you can achieve this then you will approach a level of simplicity that conceals the complexity within.

Its like how a tsunami is like a ripple out at sea but when it reaches the shore it becomes devastating. Similarly, when playing the form we should be like the tsunami gently rippling but when fajing become like the tsunami hitting the shore.

It is for this reason that Tai Chi is an exercise for the mind as much as for the body. Attaining the 10 essential points in your performance of the form is not impossible as long as you follow a proper plan for learning how to get there.

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