Here is some more detail from your teachers about the topics they will be presenting at the weekend
Daoyin Yangsheng Gong Stress Management
A dynamic routine that provides the tools to effectively manage our stress response and chronic stress.
Daoyin Yangsheng Gong inherently works holistically; calming the mind and alleviating physical symptoms.
Having achieved in-depth knowledge of Chinese medicine and various martial arts Sha Guozheng created a set of health exercises to benefit body and mind, health and martial arts skills.
Baguazhang offers a variety of whirling, unforeseeable and stretching techniques improving especially the spiral energy.
The explosive and wide reaching techniques open, speed up and strengthen body and mind.
The very clear, simple and straight forward movements enhance concentration and strength bringing body and mind together.
1. How to practice Zhanzhuang.
In traditional martial arts practice Zhanzhuang, the Standing Pole is a very important practice. Compared to my experiences with Karate, and other martial arts, I quickly realized a valuable consequence of Taiji, as I studied in the WCTA, with Chen Xiaowang and Jan Silberstorff. The efficiency of martial arts for self-defense purposes has always interested me. So, after my first experience with standing meditation training (Zhanzhuang) in Chen Taijiquan, I kept asking myself: “What is this standing around, when combined with the slow movements of the Taiji, supposed to achieve in a severe, physical combat situation?”
Soon I noticed the first changes, I felt and filled my own inner space. I was calmer, and slowly the feeling of my inner centre developed. The training helped me to relax and let go of daily stress. This ability to relax and be calm even when under pressure or extreme stress, gives one the capability to be able to keep a better overview of a situation, which is of existential importance in a self-defense situation.
It is a very clear method and very helpful for daily life as well as for martial art skills.
I want to share this wonderful practice of standing with you.
2. Reeling Silk (Chan Si Gong) Basics
After the Standing we start to move a little bit.
Chen Style Taijiquan offers a lot of Basic Reeling Silk Exercises. The so called “Chen Family Qi Gong System“ or Chan Si Gong is simple and easy to learn through repeated practice of its gentle spiralling movements integral to Chen style Tajiquan.
Let us move together in spirals.
Practice of the taijijian is a great way to extend the range and benefits of barehand taijiquan. In this class, Sam shares some of the most important basics for holding and wielding the sword.
Partner work in taijiquan is by no means limited to push-hands. The same ideas at play in barehand partner practices—‘sticking,’ ‘listening,’ ‘neutralizing’—are also at play with the taijijian. This is a chance to quickly learn several fundamental partner-sword concepts with Sam.
We all know that leg and waist movement is an important part of taijiquan practice whether they be solo, partner, barehand, or taiji weapons. But, where does this movement begin or end and how is the stance supposed to be integrated into form and push-hands practices? Sam will show you the yin and yang of it all!
The past masters left brilliant instructions though sometimes perplexing teachings. One of the most fundamental of these is the ‘wubu’ or ‘five stance-phases.’ Sam will help you to unlock this ancient mystery in a way that will posively transform your taijiquan practice.
Internal movement starts from the centre, so it’s fundamental to have a clear appreciation of it.
Working on our emotions in order to reinforce our character.
Expanding and contracting is the fundamental principle of Taijiquan practice. By means of simple exercises it will be easy to experiment with it.
How to understand the internal movement with the use of simple visualisations.
Quietness has two aspects: the external inactive state of the body and the inner mental quietness.
The term movement refers to external movement as well as to the inner movement of the Qi.
Quietness and Movement are always to be looked at in relationship. There is no change without movement – and movement finds only complete expression on condition of inner ease / quietness. The inner ease is the basis of each Qigong and Taiji-practice. Each Qigong-exercise regulates the system of meridians and recovers the flow of blood and Qi and has the main aspect either in movement or in the quietness.
I will offer you Qigong-exercises to practise:
Neigong – Inner exercises and
Waigong – External exercises of the body
with the right balance of Meditation, Imagination, Breath, Qi and Consciousness for a quality of presence and awareness.
The body state and structure is not a static thing. It depends on your balance, as a dynamic state; You have to find a good inner adjustment for the distance; There is an up and down through your legs related to the weight; and all this has influence on your stepping and moving. We will consider four aspects of this over the weekend, each one being independent of the others so you can dip in and out.
Taijiquan solo forms are usually presented along a straight line with only few reversals or direction changes. Freedom from this linear approach is needed to give the art full martial and artistic expression. In this session, Javier will take you through solo and partner exercises that give you a much greater control of space.
The stepping-kicking practice—called ‘caituigong’ in Chinese—is an important part of ‘single-posture training’ and is used in martially-applied taijiquan. Javier will present the caituigong training, connecting it to ‘Taijiquan’s Theory of Energies.’
5 elements (push hands) with structure; Wood-Fire-Earth. After last year doing some introduction work, this year we will be looking a little bit closer. What is happening on a structural level with the theory of 5 elements. How can you feel it? If you didn’t participate last year, no problem- you’ll catch up.
5 elements (push hands) with structure; Metal-Water. After last year doing some introduction work, this year we will be looking a little bit closer. What is happening on a structural level with the theory of 5 elements. How can you feel it? If you didn’t participate last year, no problem- you’ll catch up.
Lifting Your Energy. From down comes up. From up comes down. And smile. We are going to connect upper and lower torso. After some initial exercises we let the energy find its way and once it stagnates we will try to give it a gentle boost to establish an upward connection. What happens afterwards, well, see for yourself. Not only for your tai chi, but if you need to relax here and now, this is a great exercise.
Soft vs hard, how do they enhance each other? We are going to have a look at softness and hardness. First checking if we can get this idea in our movement and from there on we will let these qualities enhance each other in a very swift movement, the one inch punch. Further development results in working on your FaJin. Having followed the 5 elements workshops mentioned before will be beneficial as we will borrow 2 insights from them.
Depending on the experience of those participating in each session we will delve deeply or just scratch the surface of the principles of this art.
I Liq Chuan (literally translated as Mental-Physical Martial Art) is an art of cultivating consciousness based on Tai Chi and Chan (Zen) principles of non-assertion, non-resistance, harmony of yin and yang, oneness and the present moment.
In the universe all things are created by conditions and function through the energy of yin and yang. The whole universe has yin and yang energy. When yin and yang energy is balanced, they are harmonized. Students are taught the art through philosophy and a series of exercises in order to learn to recognize and discipline the inner energy flow (Chi). Developing this art benefits the whole nervous and intrinsic systems and brings total control, harmony and awareness to the mind and body.
By understanding the harmony (yin and yang) of the body, recognizing the limits of the structure, the movement in each of the three dimensional planes of cycles, the student transforms this internal energy into internal power, accumulating Chi which propels the appropriate natural body movements. I Liq Chuan makes you aware of your strength, its limits, and the best use of your strength for self-defense.
As a system of Kung Fu, I Liq Chuan emphasizes the development of internal power through mental attitude and awareness. The training develops sticking and merging abilities, circular spiral energy, Chin Na, F’a Jing, Chi Kung, and most importantly, integration of the mind’s complete awareness in the present moment –be it in daily life or any situation. The “inner feel” is cultivated first, and then the appropriate external movement is merely an expression of the developed “inner feel”.
Practitioners of I Liq Chuan integrate this art into their daily lives to maintain their awareness by not hurting themselves or others. The awareness developed reveals the nature of everything. Thus, the student understands cause and effect in life and has the ability to maintain the “right understanding” in all situations. Right mindfulness is the mental state of being neutral, formless, and in the present. It is a state (Wu Chi) of being emotionless and unattached to but being aware of the physical world.