Thursday, July 21, 2011

A TMA* Interlude ....

My teacher is coming next month from Taiwan.
Luo De Xiu is one of the world's best exponents and teachers of the so called Chinese Internal Arts .... in my humble opinion of course .... and every year he does a 'world tour' of schools and groups that practice his lineage of Bagua, Xing Yi and Tai Ji (The Yizong system).
This year he is focusing a great deal more on Xing Yi than in previous years perhaps because he harbors a slight worry that the more popular Tai Ji and Bagua will mean less people are going to be able to pass on the deceptively straightforward, and as such perhaps somewhat 'boring' Xing Yi.

And I admit it - I thought it was somewhat boring too. Bagua is much more fluid and beautiful and you get to work your body in all sorts of unusual planes and angles that don't appear elsewhere, and Tai Ji has at it's core a long, elegant form that can keep you entertained for decades ... but Xing Yi? Well it comes from military training from way back when they fought with spears and halberds, it is always moving forwards (almost always) in a straight (almost) line, repeating a simple series of movements left and right, and there are only 5 ways of doing that (... OK the 12 animal forms etc ... but they came later).
Of course now, years later, my appreciation for the simplicity of it's forms and concepts has grown. The forms are restful, meditative, and the power development and body integration that comes from practicing them is noticeable .... and you get to play with long weapons ... and swords ... and that's cool all by itself.
It keeps you healthy, flexible and strong too.

* TMA = Traditional Martial Arts

Here's my teacher demonstrating the 5 elements that make up the basic practice.
I find it incredibly restful to watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The more time I spend in the martial arts, the more I too appreciate the simplest things. Great video. I hope you have a great training session with him.