Out with the old, kicking and screaming all the way....
in with the old..no wait... I mean new.... surprisingly...
Since knee surgery, arthritis and other issues, one of those being getting old, I have to admit that an art, my favorite art, Xingyiquan, should very likely be left behind. My hips can't take it, my knees can't take it, and even standing in Santi Shi for 1 minute a side causes me 1 to 2 days of pain in my right knee. Additionally, it is currently impossible for me to do Yang Taijiquan, the art I have done longer than any other, 26 years. I can't even do the Yoga routine for arthritis I was doing prior to the surgery or the one I have been trying to do since the surgery. And I will admit this was all getting me more than a little depressed.
I have been going a bit nuts without some type of martial arts training, so I kept trying, hurting and failing. And the PT exercises, the Total Gym and Bowflex, although I continue to do them and use them, was not helping, But I have had to admit to myself, that even though I was really hoping to get back to Xingyiquan, at this point I have my doubts and have to admit to myself that it is not likely, or realistic, to work on it and think I can get back to it.
I do want to get back to something taijiquan, so I kept looking for ways to train Yang, and CMC styles, and pretty much everything I thought of, or tried, caused lingering pain. I did recently discover that I can do, most, of the Sun Taijiquan short form, this is a good thing (finally), and I’m working on it again. I have looked at Wu/Hao style and I think I may be able to handle that. I have not yet given up on Yang Style, but I just cannot handle it now, the knees simply do not like it, even the Cheng Manching form is not possible right now. So, I will work on Sun, it appears to be helping, not hurting, and I am seriously thinking about Wu/Hao a try, when I can get through the entire Sun Taijiquan short form again. So, I may be a Sun guy, possibly a Wu/Hao guy too. But I am not giving up, I still could be a Yang guy, it just may take a while to get back to it.
But I still wanted something more, Xingyiquan, which hurt me no matter what I tried. So I started looking for something, and everything I thought of, I was pretty sure would not work. I even tried a bit of Baguazhang and that did not end well at all. I was just bout ready to give up so to calm down and relax I popped in a DVD to watch, Ip Man 1 (Donnie Yen), and then it hit me. I decided to see if I could handle doing Siu Nim Tao again. I use to train Wing Chun and a bit of Chi Sau, actually I have trained Wing Chun on 3 different occasions with 2 different teachers and all I ever got through was Siu Nim Tao and Chi sau, and then…. I stopped.
So I started working with Siu Nim Tao, and to refresh my memory I have been using a video I have of Ip Chun doing the form and it has been an interesting experience. I was initially concerned about the Siu Nim Tao stance, but to my surprise, although a bit taxing on my knees, it is not hurting my knees. When I am done, my knees are a bit sore and stiff, but it is a sore and stiff like you get after a good workout. Not a sore and stiff like pain that tells you to stop and call your MD (which Santi Shi and the one time I tried Xingyiquan did). So far tt is feeling good and exploring it a bit on my own has been really great too, tension, relaxation, breathing, full body feeling, etc. Not to worry, if I am able to continue, and if I do continue, I will be contacting my second teacher to see if he is still teaching, and if I can meet with him to start training again. And maybe this time I will get as far as Chum Kiu and maybe just maybe Biu Ji.
With the return of Wing Chun things were getting better, but I realized I not only needed something like Yoga, but I wanted something like still Yoga. Doing a typical Yoga asana was not working well at all, pain in joints, especially knees for a day afterwards. Modification after modification left me mostly with Reclining cobblers pose and shavasana, basically all I could do, and not hurt myself, was lay on the floor. In an act of desperation I started looking around the internet for something I could do, which has always managed to fail miserably, and disappoint completely in the past. Then I came across Chair Yoga, and a DVD "Yoga Vitality" by “Body by Yoga”., so I purchased it expecting to be disappointed per usual, followed by berating myself for wasting money. . I was given a chair yoga DVD when I was having all the hip issues (arthritis), that was by Sting's wife, and although probably pretty good, I could do very little of it. Before I go further with this I should mention that I trained Kriplau Yoga and Power Yoga in my early to mid 30s and I returned to yoga in my early 50s with Hatha, and I have tried to keep up with it, at least until the knee surgeries shut me down, so I am not entirely new to Yoga.
I got the “chair Yoga” DVD and last night (Monday night) I popped it in the DVD player, after doing Siu Nim Tao, sat down and went through the fist, of 4 routines. After finishing, I have to admit, I was very surprised, because I have not felt that good in a long time. Even today I felt better than I have in weeks.
Most of Monday and for 2 weeks since my last visit to my doctor I was thinking when I get to my Orthopedic Doctor appointment (which was today), I will either be getting another Cortisone shot, more X-rays, MRI, more surgery or all of the above. Yesterday I was walking with a cane every time I went outside and sometimes even inside, today I have not used the cane yet and when I went to my appointment, we discussed a few options, cortisone being one of them, but we opted to forego the shot for now, wait and see (go again in 6 weeks). Ironically, the knee still hates sitting in a chair, and not being elevated, for more than 5 minutes. And a 90-degree bend is not my friend. But it is better than it has been in weeks, not back to normal, but better.
So, I may be a Wing Chun guy after all, and like I said before, maybe someone was trying to tell me something before but I was not listening (see start Wing Chun 3 times). However, I still feel the jury is still out on Wing Chun and Chair Yoga, could be a fluke. Santi Shi was helping for a couple days, until it all went downhill, quick.
And I just had my second night of Siu Nim Tao and Chair Yoga and I feel pretty good. And if I still feel OK later I will do Sun Taijiquan.
So, to sum up, Xingyiquan might be history and Wing Chun from the past may be the future. And what will happen with Yang style….. I don’t know yet. But, it is nice to know there seem to be options...so far
Enough from me...
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