FIVE FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION WHEN MOVING IN STANCES
The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Intensive Taijiquan in Malaysia September 2008 started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 14th September 2008.
Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland
21st September 2008
Dear Jeffrey Sipak,
Originally Posted by Jeffrey Segal
What are the five factors to take into consideration when we are training moving in stances?
A big thank you for posting these question. There was so much material on the course, I probably would not have gone back to these points any time soon. And while doing so I realized how much of a treasure, they will be for my practice.
Why? Because one of the difficulties I had when practicing "moving in stances" was that I "ran out of ideas" where and how to move. These factors and the way Sigung taught them, make it easy to first select where I want to be at the end of the move and how I will be moving. Amazing . I will definitely spend time practicing moving in stances over the next few weeks. But first let's see if I did get the 5 factors correctly. Here is my answer:
- Directions : as given away by Hubert Sisook on his post above. Thank you.
- Leg mode : Left to Right, Left to Left, Right to Left, Right to Right (I just saw Ade Sisook added this one allready while I was writing this post)
- Reference point : Front leg, mid point, back leg.
- Yin-Yang approach to leg movement: Inside-out (Yin approach), outside-in (Yang approach) or straight
- Body movement : Clockwise or anti-clockwise
Are they correct? If so I feel confident about 4 of the 5 factors. The one I am still not very sure I understand correctly is the reference point. My understanding is that whatever we choose as the reference point is where the movement is started. If we turn to another direction this is also the rotation point. Is it? I think what confuses me is my understand of a reference point as a "fixed point" - i.e the point that does not move, while here it is the point that moves first.
If my understanding as explained above is correct, what does it mean for the mid point? Is it just the "rotation" point? Where does the movement start? I tried to review the video about this part (MOV05870 disk1) but however hard I try, I fail to see the link between the mid point and the movement sigh . I would be very grateful for any comment and help.
Warm regards from cold little Switzerland (4 degrees C yesterday in the morning)
"If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will have complete peace." (Venerable Ajahn Chah Subhatto)
Sifu Jeffrey Segal
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Australia
21st September 2008
Excellent answer, Andrea!
I agree that the scope of this exercise is enormous
One way of understanding the reference point is that this is where the back leg will be when you have arrived at your new stance. In other words, the reference point is where you need to get to with your new back leg before you can correctly move into your new position. Where there is a rotation, it's the point about which you rotate. It's also worth noting that when we talk about the point of reference, we're talking about the stance we're in before we move, not the position we're moving to! Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean.
Let's say we're training Bow Arrow Stance and that we're starting in right mode facing north. Please note that this is the starting point for each of the examples i.e. they are not continuous. For now, let's just concern ourselves with the first three factors which are direction, leg mode and point of reference . You'll notice that I just write "Left" or "Right" for the second factor. Thus, if we are starting in Right mode, "Left" means "Right-Left" and "Right" means "Right-Right".North, Left, Front means that we'll take a full step forward into Left Bow Arrow.
North, Right, Front means we would roll forward with the left leg and then advance the right leg (so we'd still be in Right Bow Arrow).
East, Right, Front means we would roll forward with the left leg and then turn to the right and advance the right leg into Right Bow Arrow (facing east). In this case, the point of reference is also the point of rotation.
East, Right, Back means we would roll back with the right leg and then turn right and advance the right leg into Right Bow Arrow. Here again, the point of reference is the point of rotation
West, Right, Middle means we would roll forward a half step with the left leg and turning to the left, advance the right leg into Right Bow Arrow (facing west) Here, the mid point of our original Right Bow Arrow has become the point of rotation and the place where are (left) back leg belongs.
And one slightly trickier example
South, Left, Back means we'd turn around and roll forward with the right leg before advancing the left leg into Left Bow Arrow. Alternatively, we could roll back with the right leg and then turn and advance the left leg into left bow arrow facing south.
Please let me know if that's clear.
Greetings from Melbourne
Shaolin Wahnam Australia
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