Santi Shi and there may come a time...
I had high hopes for Santi Shi as it applies to helping my right knee and it was initially rather successful. But then I started getting diminishing returns, and instead of being able to stand longer the duration began to get shorter. The left knee was doing great and going longer rather quickly, but the right started to become more of a problem.
I decided to give Xingyiquan Wuxingquan a try, since I have been seriously considering returning to it when the knees were doing better. I went through all the elements, twice, slowly, and in a higher stance than usual, noticing how the knees felt, realizing there were things I could no longer do, and at least one I doubt I will ever do correctly again.
So, I have stopped standing in Santi Shi, and this got me thinking. I can’t do Traditional Yang style taijiquan and I can’t do the Sun Short form at the moment either. What made me think I could do Xingyiquan, even slowly, in a higher stance. It was actually less painful than taijiquan, but there is no way the way my right knee felt during Wuxingquan was a good thing.
I am glad that I did try Wuxingquan though because it got me thinking. I have stopped, and started, Xingyiquan many times over the years for various reasons, but this feels different. I am not saying I will never do Xingyi again, my history with Xingyi tells me that may not be the case. But age and infirmity may have won the day here when it comes to Xingyiquan. And maybe it is time to except that I am one heck of a lot closer to 60 than 55.
The last time I tried JKD, my first Shifu (trained with him about 29 years ago), who is from China and in his late 60s, was there, we talked and he asked me how my taiji was and then asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was going to give JKD a try. He looked at me for a second and then said….” You’re too old, Jeet Kune Do is for young men, you need to focus on taijiquan”. I am beginning to think that the same might apply to Xingyiquan these days, I just might be too old.
Not to worry, I’m down, but not out. I do expect to get back to taijiquan, both Yang and Sun and I may even look into Wu/Hao. And there is another art, I have been involved in before (not JKD), that I am going to try this evening and see how that goes. I have trained it on 3 different occasions and liked it, but could not do it with everything else. Maybe someone was trying to tell me something back then, but I was not listening.
More on that later.... maybe.
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