Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 386


This week in the park, it felt like the change of seasons. We started out in our usual place, an open field, and it started to drizzle. It has been so dry that it was welcome, but our usual solution to rain is to go into the Gazebo, which we used often during the pandemic. This time we sheltered in a grove of trees for the short while it was wet.

We have added quite a few interested people over the last year, so the Gazebo is not large enough now to allow the usual players to go through the long form, so we work on the short form or pieces of the longer forms. I contacted the city parks department about donating a large canvas structure so people could be in the park during the damper months of winter, but they weren’t interested. So we’ll just have to make do with what we have available.We only missed one day in the last two years due to weather. Most people think of the Pacific Northwest as cold and wet. Our climate is changing to hotter and dryer.

Stephanie is working on the first section of the long form, so we reviewed the two “Play the Fiddle”. Both of them use an arm bar as the application. The first uses a “step up”, which means to close the distance between the player and his partner, and “step back” which means to increase the distance. They both use “Lieh” energy which means “to squeeze” – the first uses squeezing up and down, while the second uses squeezing side to side.

It was a challenge to design the form so that the repeated moves got different applications, using different internal energies. So here is my challenge to you. Do your usual form and see if you know at least one application for every move. You might take only one section to start with. Then see if you can come up with another application for those moves. This is one of the best ways to gain an intimate relationship with your form. If you create an application, you’ll most probably never forget it.

Having a partner is a great help in being able to come up with something new. It is also a good way to make a friend for life.

P.S. As I sit on the top of the Summer House writing this, the clouds are tinged with yellow and float towards the northeast. The Stellar Jays have shown up for the peanuts. They are a bit nervous and don’t settle. I then notice two Eagles circling overhead. Ah, the Yin and Yang of life.

Note: Don’t forget the change in schedule. Saturday practice will start at 9:30 instead of 9, and Partner Cane Form starts Fridays 9 to 10 AM on October 7. Email me with any questions. See you then.