|The Chinese Internal Arts
|*** this issue has been archived off ***
|( only selected articles remain)
The Immortal Points the Way
The weekend started on Friday evening with Chen Ying Jun demonstrating the Chen style Taijijien form. A great start to a very enjoyable few days! It was marvelous to watch the powerful, dynamic, and some extremely quick movements. I was surprised that the weekend didn't attract more women (only Eva and I), as this is such an elegant form, with great subtlety and grace.
The Tai Chi Straight Sword is distinguished from the Tai Chi Sabre (or Broadsword) by having two sharp edges and a blade that is perfectly straight. There are altogether 49 movements in the routine, taking 4-5 minutes to complete. The colourful terminology of the postures of the sword form is in almost every instance, illustrative of the movement. For example 'Blue Dragon comes out water', 'Separate grass to seek snake', 'Ancient tree wraps its roots' and 'Falling flowers'.
On a personal note I found it very interesting how my memory has improved since I've been learning Tai Chi. Three years ago I wrote an article for this Newsletter called "A Beginner's Tale", in it I described my frustration because I couldn't remember even one or two moves. However, when I returned home at the end of the Friday evening I went straight out onto my patio and repeated the first section of the form we had learnt! Ying Jun managed to teach us the 49 movements by mid-Sunday afternoon, and although I could not repeat it all by myself, I could remember many of the moves, albeit not in the correct sequence. It was an extremely gratifying weekend.
Ying Jun ended the Sunday session with superb demonstrations of broad and straight sword. He is an excellent teacher, and displayed not only great ability but also a wonderful sense of humour. On numerous occasions over the weekend, with a great big grin, he would say, "Marvelous, marvelous" - Now where did Ying Jun get a phrase like that?
I would like to thank Karel and Eva for arranging the session, it was a great weekend. Karel and Eva are holding Taiji Jien seminars on the second Friday of each month starting in March 2001.
I have been busy recently with creating a Yiquan web site and it is now up and running - those with access to the Internet can have a look at it - http://www.yiquan.org.uk/. Any feedback will be warmly received. In particular, please take time to see if the information presented would make sense to someone who does not know much/anything about Yiquan and see whether you can spot any errors/omissions.
I have been meaning to write something about both of these 'problems' for some time but somehow other things always got in the way! However, recently both of these subjects were brought to my attention on a couple of occasions - even with a specific request to write something about it! As I have included the article on Internal Power from my web-site, I feel that this issue is particularly suitable for them since they both relate to the development of Internal Power.
Passing of Wind (and other bodily functions) According to a recent research (you name it, there is a research going into it somewhere this very minute), we all pass wind - on average about 14 times a day. I am not aware of any research into belching (as a curious aside - I had a look into my Pocket Oxford Dictionary to see whether 'belch' or 'burp' would be more suitable, and 'burp' isn't there!), but I'm sure w…, I mean you all do it fairly frequently, too. Not surprising really, as formation of gases is a natural process accompanying digestion. So why bother to write about it, you may well ask. Well, however embarrassing it may be, farting and belching is a positive sign of correct practice. It doesn't mean that you will have more gas if you practise correctly, what it means is that you will expel the gas you have when you start practising correctly. The 'correct' practice here refers to rotating your dantian. This will obviously vigorously massage your internal organs and produce the 'desired' effect! Thereafter you will be gas-free, at least till your digestion says otherwise again.
So next time, when nature draws attention to you in a loud voice, rest assured that the rest of the class is full of envy of your dantian accomplishment!