Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Aren’t weapons cool?

[Path to Mastery 2/23/10 – Wk24 D2 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

Tai-Chi Weapons

In the Tai-Chi weapon system the weapon is not treated as a tool that is separate from oneself.  One is supposed to learn how to be one with the weapon.  

Weapons typically is an exciting topic for a lot of people.  There is something fascinating about weapons.  We all understand instinctively that it is not easy to move a foreign object around like some of these experts do in movies.  When we see people swirling swords around with effortless ease and elegance as if it is alive it captures our awe.

Training with weapons is a natural progression from training without weapons because Tai-Chi is about relaxing further and further until one can harmonize with its environment to achieve oneness with all that is around.  So in order to deepen one’s sense of relaxation and in order to understand how to merge with foreign objects to achieve oneness, this is a great practice.  

Yang style Tai-Chi traditionally has 3 or 4 weapons depending on which family you speak with.  

Tai-Chi sword
Tai-Chi saber
Tai-Chi spear
Tai-Chi staff

According to some, the staff and the spear form is the same since second generation Yang family, Yang Ban Hou’s mother was afraid that her son might kill someone so she cut the spear tip off.  Real Tai-Chi practice of either empty hand or weapon, however, has no form. This is because one is supposed to learn how to follow the natural flow of the body or the object one is holding in order to blend with the flow of whatever is happening.  The form provides the opportunity for one to familiarize themselves through the experience of the people that came before them.  At the core of Tai-Chi concept, anything can be a weapon as long as you can sense it’s center and balance and you learn to follow it with precision.  

One learns that the weapon is supposed to be held loosely so that you can feel the weight of the weapon, and one learns that the weapon can be treated as either a new joint, or an extension of a limb.  One learns that the weapon has its own center of gravity, or natural balancing point, and that you need to listen for it and learn to follow and respect it while learning to borrow its center and join it with yours.  

So, in some ways, with what most people think of weapons, the concept is reversed in that you are not the one controlling the weapon, but that you are following the weapon.  Since you are following the weapon, you can access the full power of the weapon, and thus borrow its full strength.  

History of Tai-Chi Journey up to this point:

Before the blog opened to the public, we covered the single person part of the system.
1. Qi-Gong (Taoist Longevity, White Crane Qi-Gong)
2. Standing Meditation
3. Stepping Mediation
4. 7 Basics
5. Basic Form
6. 30 Form
7. 108 Form

Interactive training after we went public with the blog.  
1. 8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11)
2. San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)
3. Ba-Gua.(Covering from 2/16 ~ 2/19)
4. Weapons (Covered today)

Now we just need to cover:

Healing System

I saw your u-tube and your form has improved considerably!  Keep watching the video on the web, and keep reviewing your own video clips.  The Carry Yoke does look a lot better!  One key correction, Monkey Stepping back, when you step back, your legs can't cross.  You have to make sure you keep shoulder width.  Keep working hard.

Great comments.  Love it.  I think your comments are better than my blog! 

1 comment:

  1. So anything can be a weapon, so as long as you feel it's center of gravity. I love the adaptability, but my favorite part is that you don't control it you follow it and are aware of it. The object (weapon) is a part of nature and like taoism you are trying to align yourself with it.