Friday, September 14, 2012

Luo Lessons

Reviewing physical events is hard to do in words - One can wax lyrical about an 'eye opening session' or the 'mind blowing week', but it never really means much to those that were not there.
This is particularly true of seminar reviews, and this is a pity, because it would be fabulous to understand a little more about others' methods, and the participants' interaction with them. But how to communicate 'experience'?

That said, here is my version - A review of this year's seminar series with Luo DeXiu:

"Lessons for 2012" :-

The best way to really 'get' something, is to attach as many adjectives in front of the movement, and play with it - Do it soft, hard, fast, slow, smooth, chewy, heavy, careless, backwards.
Then do it twice.
Then add people ..... and then go back.

There are as many differences between the Internal Arts as there are similarities.

How the hell did anyone learn any of this without being able to ask questions?

It's hard to be unpredictable if you don't know what is predictable.

You can develop 'sticky hands' to such an extent that they feel like a cat's tongue licking your arm.

The thing you do BEFORE the thing that issues power is hugely important. Without it, stuff does not work as well.

Patience and watching/listening, sometimes confused with 'waiting', is hugely important in taking advantage of a set up. It gives you the timing.

The thing before the thing before, may be the key to a successful set up .... that's 3 beats you need to keep hold of.

Always keep your teeth together and your neck open and your feet alive when teacher says "This one a bit hurt" and grabs you to demo on. (Actually I learned this a long time ago ... but it's still funny - And no there is never damage, just momentary disorientation and shock)

It seems impossible to get out of the first 'O' of the OODA loop once you are stuck there.

I don't think you can gain Luo's level of skill unless you find it fun. The relaxed and fluid quality of his movement, and the power that this generates, only seems possible if you can smile.

We all need feedback as to how hard/soft we hit/grab/yank. You can't tell on your own.

Tai Ji is by far the nastiest of the 3 'Internals' - Favorite Tai Ji quote: "Outside, so nice, so smiling, so peaceful ... but inside, my heart is dirty! It's truth!!"

Bagua uses movement and psychology to set up the opponent before contact in the same way as Visayan Eskrima does with swords.

Oh, and a small reminder to teachers that feel like they are repeating material, and saying the same things over and over - this is not true. The space connecting your thoughts, words, and actions to the student is long, and filled with black holes. The message may take years to get through undistorted even if you speak the same language, use everyday words and are adept at physical theater. You are basically teaching the blind about 'blue'. It'll take some time .....

1 comment:

FSD said...

Sounds like a great seminar!

I really like the "thing you do before the thing that issues power", and the Tai Ji quote is hilarious.

Regarding the last bit on repeating material...I once had a student who walked into my school with a big smile on his face. He said, I finally got XYZ. I told him, I taught you that the first or second class, more than a year ago. And he said, yeah, but all of a sudden it clicked and now I REALLY know it. We had repeated it (verbally and physically) all along. And, I'm sure any of us who have been practicing for a while can relate. Good point.