Training is an interesting experience.
Of course, when we train in our school we believe every moment is training, and we take time to work on our connection and our alignment, movement, breathing, relaxation in everything we do, while not working at it. The idea is to feel all that while not thinking about it. To just be. This is when you are the most natural, most powerful. In case you want to try this, you have to aim to ‘feel’, not think. If you are typing, and you are thinking about relaxing your forearms, and breathing through your fingers, you will have trouble in life. You have to not think about it and just feel your way through it. Have fun doing it!
And then there is of course focused training where you are working on developing specific qualities. By either practicing the form, or conditioning or pushing hands, you can limit some of the other variables, and zoom in on a certain quality you would like to develop.
So, I have been doing the 108 for over a decade now, and I am starting to really appreciate the form. There are infinite things you learn from the form. That’s right, if you learn the principles right, you start learning from your body as your body goes through the form and starts changing. As your body changes and adjusts, new connections keep getting developed and you start becoming aware of things you weren’t aware of before. From this awareness, you start a discovery process and you even start being able to control things you couldn’t before or didn’t know you had control over. The body keeps transforming and the new awareness provides an ongoing ever-expanding learning process.
Let me give a more concrete example of what I mean. A couple days ago while doing 2 person work, I experienced two lines extending from my bubbling well, through the back of my ankle, up my sides, through my armpit, all the way to my fingers became more distinct. When that happened, my Dan-Tien expanded and became more condensed, but more free. All of a sudden I could whip out my motion from my Dan-Tien in a much more powerful manner than I could before. The interesting thing about this is that as time goes on, it seems there are so many different types of connection to the Dan-Tien. There are different connections that are established or connections that were always there that you didn’t know to utilize because you weren’t aware of them. As you become more and more aware of these connections, your freedom of movement and the power of your movement naturally increases. Not only that, but your overall comfort of the body and emotional confidence increases as well.
This freedom of movement comes both through working with others and working by yourself. When you are working by yourself, the advantage is that you get to listen to your body without distraction. You can often times feel your integrity better when you are by yourself and a lot of natural connections are discovered while doing the form. When you find a new connection while practicing by yourself, you test the connection by working with someone else. Another person gives you good feedback and a reality check of your own sensitivity level. But of course, it can happen in the middle of two person work as well. In this particular instance I was practicing my Fa-Jing (Bouncing someone), and found the connections in midst of practice. I was feeling how my structure feels against my partner’s structure. When you look for this sensation, at some point his structure becomes really light. Also, it feels like he is starting to go in that direction even before I start. Then I just follow through that sensation and he goes. Sometimes, it helps to have a real person standing there so that you can feel how the weight feels through your body. You feel how your body wants to move naturally and how it feels powerful and how it feels weak.
It’s kind of a treasure hunt.