A simple blog about Martial arts, things I find interesting and things I'm trying to figure out.
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  1. [​IMG]

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  2. I have this hanging in my basement guǎn (Mandarin for training hall, aka kwoon in Cantonese)

    And it makes me think about what I am doing how I am training, and if I am on a plateau that I need to get off of or is it something else. But I also know that Bruce Lee made that statement as a young man in his early 30s who was in peak physical conditions. He was not dealing age related issues or with arthritis. This then leads me to another quote from a movie I think about as well while training

    The issue then becomes a balancing act between the two. Not using Bruce Lee’s quote as an excuse to push myself and thereby injure myself. Which is what I think I was doing in my attempted returns to Jeet Kune Do. I was pushing myself the first time, until a doctor told me it might not be the greatest idea due to retina issues. I then used it again to push myself back to JKD, to another school that was training a little different. That was until my hips and knees told me otherwise and I spent the next month or so in knee braces and limping. That was most certainly a case of “A man’s got to know his limitations”, and a lesson in listening to ones doctor, I was most definitely thinking about the wrong quote here. I truly enjoyed training JKD, but it was first and foremost against medical advice, and that right there should have alerted me to my limitation. Luckily, my body stepped in and forced me to stop, before I had more retina issues and ended up back in eye surgery or worse, blind. And from that, if I am honest with myself, and if I am looking to limitation, Xingyiquan is out for the very same reasons.

    However, I then fell back on “knowing my limitations” and ruling out a lot of things. Even forms of taijiquan, because my thought was “I’m too old and arthritic for such things….. best stick to the Yang style I do and forget the rest.” So, I stuck with Yang, and the addition of the Sun Short form did not seem to be an issue, so I could do that too. But I had a tough time getting myself to do Yang style because I was tired of it, I was done with it, it was no longer what I wanted to train. So, I did just the Sun style short form, it was not hard and there was little stress on my knees or hips. There were a few one-legged stances and one kick, but I could avoid the kick because my arthritic hip just couldn’t take it and I did not have to lift the leg too high for the other stances.

    But then, as I talked about in my previous post, I felt something was missing. But, my change to Wu did not come easily. I watched the form again and there are a series of one-legged stances and several kicks. One of those kicks form a one-legged stance. I thought, I will never do that, I’m too old and (once again [the excuse] the limitation) arthritic. Which means, I did not start immediately after “Wu style” popped into my head.

    But then the Bruce Lee quote hit me…. I began to wonder if it was possible to get some of what I lost to arthritis back. So, I began working on the Sun, with the proper one leg stances and the kick. And although the kick was not as high, or as impressive as it used to be, I was doing it, and it got a little higher and a little easier the more I trained it. And then I thought, if I can do that, why not try Wu? I then began working on Wu style again. The stances are a little lower in places and required the use of more leg strength in places as well. But I am doing it. I am far from the end of the form, I’m taking it slow, but I am at 2 consecutive one-legged stances, and the first one comes out of snake creeps down. Is it as easy as it was the first time I leaned in, in my early 30s? No, not even close. Do I go as low as I use to in snake creeps down? Not a chance. But I am doing it and I do feel I am getting ever-so-slightly more flexible and I feel my legs getting stronger. Last night, after doing the Sun short form twice, I did the partial Wu form, and I kept doing it over and over until I realized I had done it 8 times. For the first time in a long time taijiquan made me sweat and for the first time in a long time I feel wrong, and a bit guilty, if I do not go to the basement and work on my taijiquan at least once per style ,I have to go work on it, I just have to (note: Yang is not part of this any longer)..

    I need to put this here too; If you’re doctor tells you that you should not do something, listen. If you don’t like what he said, get a second or even a third opinion. In my case I had two doctors tell me about the retina issue and I had one prior to this tell me running, with my hips, is a bad thing…. Now think about the JKD striking and JKD foot work…. Getting hit and the head and foot work pretty much the same stresses as running…. so, I was stupid, and I should have listened to Clint, not Bruce, in this situation.

    NOTE: I cannot stress this enough....you should listen to your doctor(s)

    Overall, I do feel better from pushing myself more that I was, as well as not as much as I was. Basically, I think this can apply to many things, not just martial arts, but as martial artists I think we get stuck in this, I must keep pushing myself, no matter what, mentality which is not necessarily bad. Nor is it necessarily good, particularly as we age. It can get you to reach higher levels of strength ability and it can get you reaching for the call light in the hospital bed, and/or your cane too. We need to find that balance between Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood; push too much, injure yourself and you can’t train. Don’t push enough, things get worse and…again…you cannot train. Push yourself enough, to at least maintain and even, in some cases, improve. And at this point, I am improving and not hurting myself so I’m pretty happy about it, and it’s all good

    It is, at least to me, all about balance

    I’m done…
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  3. Or you simply may not want to accept it….. but there can come a time to stop what you are training

    I have been doing Taijiquan for a little over 27 years, and 24 years of that has been in Traditional Yang. But in those first 3 years, with my first Shifu, I learned the Beijing 24 form, Wu competition form, Chen Laojia Yilu and another Chen Form I only know as Shandong Province old style Chen. Also, various Jain, Dao and Staff forms form assorted styles as well, also throw in Bagua, Xingyi and Shaolin Long Fist too. And in the 24 years that followed I learned traditional Yang style. the Chen 18 form and worked on 2 versions of the Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-ch'ing) form, one from Zheng Manqing and the other from William CC Chen and lastly a short Sun style form. And of course, there was my obsession with all thing Xingyiquan, liking of JKD and short pursuit of Baguazhang, but I will not go there, this is about Taijiquan.

    My first 3 years, the second to last empty hand form I learned was the Wu competition form and I truly enjoyed it. However, when I started learning Laojia Yilu I realized that every form I did any other form, be it Yang or Chen, if I was not paying attention started to look like Wu, so I had to stop Wu to continue learning the new form and to keep training the older forms. I just could not shut Wu off, so I stopped it. (long after stopping the Wu style I discovered it was the same as the Wu Competition form taught by Li Bing Ci, which says Northern Wu)

    When I knew I was going to leave my first Shifu to get deeper into Chinese Martial Arts I looked first for Xingyiquan and I found no one in my area that taught it. Then I looked for Chen, and then Wu and found no one in my area either. Then one day I ran into my Shixiong (to me; senior student, older brother, of my first Shifu, basically he trained with my first shifu before I did) who had left previously, and he told me about a Yang Style teacher he was currently training with who was “the real deal” so I went and checked him out and trained Yang style, in the Tung Ying Chieh lineage” for the next 24 years. However, recently I realized that probably the last 5 or so years, I recently realized, it has been more of a love hate relationship with Yang style and for likely the last 10 years I kept myself going and training for 2 reasons, one the health benefits, second, just because I had done it for so many years, and I knew much of the martial arts of it too, so I just couldn’t stop, it would be wrong and disrespectful. As to the health benefits; I have arthritis in both knees, both hips and both shoulders and it was not getting better so that did not seem to be the case with me. But I do not fault Yang style for this, there are many people out there getting a lot of health benefits form training Yang style. As for the martial arts, not many know it, or even care to know it, but I am glad I learned it.

    The fault lies in me. I chalk my health issues up to lack of dedicated focus of the last 5 to 10 years. For the last ten years I do not think I was truly invested in the forms and the last 5 years I really tried to force myself to go deeper and at times, with varying degrees of success, but much of the time I was on autopilot when doing the form. And the result is kind of like lifting weights and you get to 30-pound dumbbell curls, and that is all you do to get stronger. Rather quickly your body figures out the minimum it must do to curl 30 pounds and you get no more gains and you can, in some case lose strength, same with my Yang forms, nothing seemed to be getting better, balance issues began to appear and I was starting to have problems doing Rooster stands on one leg and the kicks. None of the forms excited me any longer, I was not present, and I was on autopilot much of the time. Even with what was my favorite forms, the Dao forms. Like I said there were times of depth, but they were getting fewer and further between as time went on. It got to the point where the only thing that excites me about Yang style was push hands. Over the years I have taught Yang style forms and push hands and I have worked on the weapons forms and taught them as well. Also taught the associated qigong training, this left me totally convinced I needed to continue working on Yang style, too much time in, too much effort, no matter what I needed to get over this bump in the road and get back to serious, focused, training. The harder I tried the less success I appeared to be having.

    About 2 years ago I had a chance to learn a short Sun form, so I started learning it from Jesse Tsao. It was the one taiji style my first Shifu taught that I never tried. Something about Sun style really drew me in. It was quicker, and the stepping was very similar to JKD and it also had aspects of Xingyiquan, Baguazhang too, and it was taijiquan as well. So, I plodded along with Yang style, even started meeting with my Yang Shifu again to energize my training, and it worked the first few times, but then even that started to fade. I started looking to the form from Zheng Manqing to re-energize my Yang training. But I was still doing traditional Yang less and the Sun short form more. Same thing happened with Baduanjin (Qigong) by the way, it was no longer of any interest to me, so I stopped it, but I kept forcing Yang style.

    I have quit Yang style before for Xingyiquan and Wu style and Chen style, even talked about it here on MT. But I always got to the same place; “I shouldn’t stop Yang style, I have been doing it for so long, and the health benefits”, or “Why am I learning another form of Taijiquan when I already know Yang style”. So, I’d return to Yang, let the other styles go and moved on. The only style that usually hung on, do to my obsession, was Xingyiquan.

    About a month ago I had a thought “Why am I forcing myself to do Yang style.” And “Zheng Manqing is just an offshoot of Yang so why am I forcing this as well”, so I stopped all things Yang and did only the Sun style. I stopped Baduanjin about two weeks before and was doing no qigong at all. However, when I stopped Yang style I had this overwhelming desire to return to the Taiji Qigong I learned from Yang Jwing Ming, so I started working on it again and I am back to the standing form and the first moving set. As for taijiquan, I was happy with Sun and the old Xingyi addiction seemed to be fading. However, I did still like stance training and there is a qigong set I modified where I now include Santi Shi, but it is not exclusively Santi Shi and Santi is optional, and it depending on how I feel after the first posture of the set.

    About a week ago, I was doing the Sun Short form, and I had this feeling, that I have had before, that something was missing, this is the point where, when I was doing Yang, I would bring Xingyiquan back, or a few times went to JKD. However, I did not want to stop Sun style, as a matter of fact I have plans to get deeper into it. There is a traditional Sun style guy in New England I am hoping to train with in the Spring or Summer, fingers crossed. But this feeling was; there was something missing, and I never once thought Yang style or Xingyiquan, and as I thought about it what popped into my head was “Wu style”. This was followed immediately with the thought that maybe someone was trying to tell me something, but I was not listening, way back with my first Shifu when everything was becoming Wu style in the other non-Wu forms I was doing.

    So, I started to retrain the Wu competition form again, I’m long way from finishing it, I am only at form 11 or 12 now and I’m taking my time. But combining that with the Sun has fixed that feeling that there was something missing. And for the first time in a long time I am feeling the benefits of Taiji again, Rooster stands on one leg is not a problem. Last Sunday, I had little to do and I had this feeling I needed to do Taijiquan, so I did the Sun style short form about 6 times and the Wu style form 4 or 5 times and did the Taiji qigong form twice and Wuji standing. I have not been driven to train any forms like that in a very long time, and it has been a long time since I spent over 2 hours training taiji and qigong on my own.

    The next day, I was very stiff in the morning, but when I got going my legs felt great and I found myself in my basement once again doing Sun Short Form and the Wu Competition form again. Same last night and same this morning. So, it appears that I now train Sun style and I hope to expand that training in the spring or summer to Traditional Sun. And I also train Northern Wu and I hope to expand that training soon into traditional as well, found a teacher, in the Li Bing Ci line about an hour south of me. And of course, push hands on weekends and when and wherever possible.

    So sometimes it may be the right choice to stop training and move on to something else, at least I believe it is in my case. I can't help it if I'm a little slow on the uptake...

    I’m done

    Note: made a mistake in the first posting of this and combined 2 form names so I corrected the error. It is a Wu Competition form and I was referring to that as 56. 56 is a reference to a Chen competition form, I fixed my error, sorry for the mix-up
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  5. I have wanted to train Bajiquan for a very long time and I have looked for a legitimate teacher for many years. And in all that time I only located one person that was legitimate (he was a student of one of Shan Kai Shek's Body guards) and he was 4 hours away form me, but he would not teach Bajiquan to anyone. He would teach Xingyiquan and Tajiquan, but not Bajiquan. My guess is that he did teach some, but it was either only family or only long time students

    Bajiquan applications...enjoy

  6. Why the WWII Dadao was so heavy - from Chinese Long Sword

    From Here
  7. Or at least different that what I have been taught.

    I have been taught over the years that basically what you need to do is stand in Santi shi for as long as possible per side. Example: first stand with left leg forward for 20 minutes and then switch and stand with right leg forward for 20 minutes. I have also been told that if you cannot stand in Santi Shi for at least 20 minutes per side, per day, that you are not even a beginner. And that 30 minutes is the minimum requirement. I have also been told that you 30 minutes is a good goal to shoot for, but who has the time in the 21st century to take an hour out of their day to just stand there and 30 is better than 20, 20 is better than 10, 10 is better than 5 and 5 is better than nothing. I have also had a teacher that switched off every 5 minutes to reach 20 minutes. However, to me, the 5 minutes and switch, gives you nothing, no strength, no structure, not internal and no linking of upper and lower. But that is something for another post

    I have been reading;

    The Internal Practices of Sun Lu-Tang
    Compiled and Translated by Bradford Tyrey

    Sun Lutang (1860 - 1933)
    Standing in Santi Shi, left hand extended

    And he had a slightly different approach, for internal martial arts reasons, that I am giving a try. However, the expected amount of time is a bit hard to get but 30 minutes was mentioned in one area.

    He was concerned about building Qi in the body and balancing Yin and Yang and in order to do this he recommended doing Santi Shi at different times of day.

    I will simplify what was written here, but if you are interested it is found in the chapter titled “The Essence, Smoothness of Qi Within the San-t’i Posture”

    “While standing in Santi shi one must begin practice when the sun rides the southern Heavens {during the afternoon hours when the sun apexes in the southern sky]”

    This practice is to increase old Yang (male) energy. You stand in Santi shi with your left hand forward and for 72 breathes concentrate on absorbing and concentrating Yang energy in the region of the solar plexus. Then relax and allow the energy to accumulate in the Dantian.

    Then you are done with Santi for the time being and will resume in the evening.

    In the evening you stand in Santi Shi with right hand extended and you also need to be facing North since north is the direction Sun Lu Tang where Laoyin or Old Yin (female) energy is strongest. In the after evening Santi you are focusing on the Dantian to increase Yin Energy. For 36 breathes you try to feel the accumulate Yin energy around the body and then for 36 more breathes you accumulate Yin energy at the dantian. and then you need to continue standing for what can be at least 30 more minutes while allowing the energies (Yin and Yang) to mix and settle.

    I am not getting into a discussion here about Yin & Yang or Qi what I find intriguing is the separation of left and right Santi shi by hours and the times of day recommended to stand in Santi Shi.

    Not one of the teachers I trained Xingyiquan with has ever suggested a time of day to stand and they have all pretty much recommended stranding in left Santi to be immediately followed by right Santi. In the past I have always tried to stand in Santi in the early morning or early afternoon and of late all at night, But I am finding I simply do not have the time to stand, all total, for more than about 10 minutes. But then I am not really scheduling it either, I am just trying to fit it in wherever possible. I also do not seem to have the drive and determination, that I had in my 30s and 40s, to just stand there.

    I am going to give this type of standing training a try and see where it takes me, possibly if I have scheduled it and I separate left and right, I may just get my drive back to build up to 20 or 30 minutes a side, per day.

    And I thought maybe others might be interested in this approach

    I’m done
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  9. Wing Chun is a style I only dabbled in, and if I had not found Taijiquan and Xingyiquan I likely would have trained it much more. I came across this video of Ip Chun, at 94 years old, doing Chi Sau.

    Ip Chun - Born (1924-07-10)
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  10. September 14, 1991 I took my first Taijiquan class. After 19 years in Japanese and Korean marital arts, and a back injury.. I went to taijiquan

    This is not me, but this is the form I first learned.

  11. Since I have had the time (again) due to my knees (again)…and now my right wrist (a victim of Hindu pushups I think)…I’ve been doing some thinking about martial arts, training, exercise, diet, health.

    I realized my injury prone time started about 10 years ago… broke my ankle and then blew out a knee, and then another knee and spent a couple years on crutches, using a cane and wearing knee braces of various support strengths. And since then in an effort to get back to where I was with martial arts and health I have been all over the place in order to regain what I had lost and what I was trying to attain, and along the way reinjuring myself much more often than I should have and taking way to long to start listening to my body as it applies to training. Various exercise routines; various strength routines, cardio, yoga Etc. Assorted diets; balanced low calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lacto-ovo-vegetarians, Lacto-vegetarians, Ovo-vegetarian, Pollotarian, Pescatarian (Pescetarian), Flexitarian, etc. And assorted styles of martial arts too; JKD, Sanda, Yiquan/Dachengquan, a dash of Krav Maga, a return to Baguazhang, a return to Wing Chun, even started working with my old TKD and Long Fist kicks at one point. Considered BJJ, MMA, Hapkido, Ninjutsu, Aikido, Judo and even a return to old school Jujutsu of my youth (think early 1970s). I visited some schools I was considering and realized the school and I did not fit, or my schedule did not fit the school or my arthritic knees and hips simply could not sit that way so I did not go further there (but I am still thinking a few months of no gi BJJ would not hurt me…or maybe it would). But after all this jumping around trying other styles I have to admit it did benefit to various degrees, but I really have not gotten all that far, or at least not as far as I feel I should have after all that, and would I have gotten further if I just buckled down and did the work on the styles I know best, like I did prior to the injuries.

    When I broke my ankle, I was a Yang/Chen Taijiquan guy and a Xingyiquan guy too (truth be known, and as many know here on MT, I was addicted to Xingyiquan), but even then, I tried different styles to see what I thought. But after the injuries the extensive recovery time with the addition of arthritis, Chen Style is out of the question, some Xingyi postures are difficult and overall Yang Taijiquan and Xingyiquan lost a lot.

    I want to say here, that in most cases, I blame the re-injury more on the workout routines I was doing and not so much on the other styles of Marital arts, although I did get a detached retina training Wing Chun, and I did not do my knees any good in the incredibly misguided return to TKD and Long Fist kicks.

    I also now realize all of this was trying to shortcut the problem and not put in the needed time and work necessary to achieve my goals; a better understanding of Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and Internal (whatever that really means). I will admit JKD did show me a lot and get me back on the path in the very brief time I trained it, JKD opened me up to a lot of possible applications within Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and even Yiquan (what little I know of it, that I am considering now) that I had not thought of before. Even though this will likely get me taken of the list for the Xingyiquan Christmas party, I see a lot of similarities between JKD and Xingyiquan

    But all this looking and cross training hit me in the face in push hands and I came to the realization at the push hands group I have lost a lot of the full body usage and the feel of a “Internal” marital arts guy (internal used for clarification purposes. I do not put a lot into the separation of internal and external).

    All of this is a long way around to saying I am looking at a different approach to exercise that is based on my own research that I have been doing as it applies to exercises old guys should consider doing and not doing. On the “Internal, body unity side I am going to start working on some things from Ken Gullette, and some things from Paul Andrews ( Xingyi Academy) and I found a bit of exercise gear that will help me do this. I will talk more about this after I give it a try to see if it does what I hope it will do as it applies to full body unity, fitness and health.

    I will still be doing some things with the Total Gym (Don’t want Chuck to come after me if I quit :D), just not as much as I was, and of course the treadmill has to return, for fast walking (4mph), not running. Had a physician tell me I should not be running anymore.

    Basically, being much closer to 60 than 50 and having a much longer recovery time, limited time to do everything I want to (as has been proven to me by my failure to keep up with the program I designed), and in an effort to not reinjure myself, I am looking to center all of this around Taijiquan, Yiquan and hopefully Xingyiquan (knees still a bit of an issue there), in an effort to improve in these styles and understand them and apply then as it concerning health, fitness and martial arts. With a goal of being a competent, at least what I consider competent, teacher of these arts when I retire in 7 to 10 years.

    Additionally: I have located a Xingyiquan teacher who appears to be very good who is 2.5 hours from my house and I have located a Yiquan teacher that is supposed to be very good who is also 2.5 hours from my house. Most unfortunately, they are in opposite direction from my home, one east one south west. Hopefully more on those later.

    As for diet, looking back I had the most success and felt the healthiest when I was a Vegetarian. However, I feel, nutritionally speaking, that Flexitarian is the best way for me to go. But red meat is completely out, my old, mostly vegetarian, stomach can’t handle it anymore. Although I am willing to risk it in a good Chinese restaurant ;)

    Once I start the Taiji/Xingyi/Yiquan centered workout I will post on what it is and how if progresses

    Lastly, there are 2 things that keep popping into my noggin on this, one is form Bruce Lee

    If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. - Bruce Lee

    The other is Clint Eastwood

    A man's got to know his limitations - Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood)

    I’m done
  12. I have had to stop JKD class...again. Basically the overall feeling at this point is..... "Dang I'm old"

    I probably should not have gone back in the first place, due to the thinning retina issue. But then this class was not focused on striking as much as the first and focuses more on techniques. Also, although the first school was awesome and I would recommend it, my schedule simply did not match the first school. And I was really lucky finding the second school since it was equally as good, just from a different perspective of JKD

    The current school; I go to class wearing knee braces and I'm fine. But when I train at home in those same knee braces I'm not fine, my knees hurt for 2 days. So I take a 2 day rest and try training again.....and my knees hurt for 2 days. Noticed about 2 weeks ago that my knees did not feel right at all even with 2 days off. Then doing regular work any homeowner has to do I noticed my knees, mainly the left getting worse. So I went to wear a compression sleeve on that knee most of the time. But then I went to push hands class twice in one day this past weekend and I felt great. So I went home and tried to do some JKD on the heavy bag. This was a mistake.

    The knee sleeve no longer helps the left knee, but the right is doing ok, does not seem to be as much of a problem as it was previously, but it is still bothering me a bit. However I am once again in a semi-rigid knee brace for my left knee just to be able to walk normally. Can't do taijiquan, Xingyiquan, of Yiquan stance training due to the left knee, without the knee brace. And now even with the knee brace JKD and Xingyi are not really good ideas right now.

    This decision was actually harder to make than the last time I had to stop JKD do to the thinning retina. That was basically "If get hit in the head" "Then possibly go blind" kind of thing (sorry about the Computer programming If/Then reference, I am an IT guy after all). But this time my brain clicked back to the younger me who believed you need to work through the pain. And when you are in your 20s and 30s that actually seems to work....although I do believe you pay for it later...but in your 50s it does not work and you need to stop and recover, or you will eventually stop because you can't do it anymore and you won't recover

    I truly enjoyed the training, the other students and the teacher, but at this point it is probably best to take a break to get the knees back and then do some strengthening and lose some weight. Then depending on where I am at with the other arts I train, and based on my schedule, I might be able to return.

    I'm closer to 60 than 50, I'm arthritic, and currently over weight. But I am still not ready to say I am to old and beat up for JKD....I might be, but I'm not will to admit it just yet.

    I have now given JKD a try 3 times, the first time my right knee and the teacher relocating to the southern part of the US stopped me. The second time it was my eye and some minor hip and knee pain (but no braces were needed) The third time it is my left knee with a little help from my right. Who knows, maybe the fourth times is the charm...when and if there is a 4th time
  13. The Five Element Palm Qigong Seminar - scheduled for September 29 and 30 in Albany NY has been cancelled
  14. …., with the possible exception of "Xue Sheng the clueless", post…

    AKA; we all knew this would happen…he's addicted, he can't stop.....so why doesn’t he just accept it, quit trying to stop, shut up and train

    Yeah, I started training Xingyiquan again. I think it was a combination of the JKD class and my overactive ego in push hands, but I found myself standing in Santi Shi and working on the 5 elements again.

    It will be 27 years on September 14th that I have been training Taijiquan, consequently that is the same date I left the Japanese/Korean marital arts for Chinese Marital arts. In that 27 I have trained various competition Taiji forms, dabbled in Sun Style and there is even about 5 years of traditional Chen in there as well, and of course various other CMA styles, including Xingyiquan. Of that 27 years it has been 24 years that I have trained Traditional Yang Taijiquan with my Shifu. During this time in taijiquan I continually get to points in the training where I am convinced I finally got it….it makes sense….. only to discover I have no clue as to what is going on…or that what I thought was a peak, was just the ridge of a much larger mountain with no discernable path to the top…so I start looking for a way up again. I’m not complaining mind you, and I am not even surprised by this…. well not so much anymore, which is why I keep training. And my most recent return to push hands training, after a 3 year…or was it 4 year hiatus, has shown me exactly how much I have to learn and re-learn, and I’m working on it.

    However, I have never felt this cluelessness with Xingyiquan. I have most definitely felt like I was on a plateau but I always seemed to know what direction to go, or how hard I had to work to get off it. Heck even the internal aspects of it make a whole lot more sense and seem easier to understand than Taijiquan ever did. My Xingyiquan training also started over 25 years ago but it was not as contiguous as Taijiquan due to the lack of teachers so I have no definite length of time I have trained it, and there has been multiple teachers, but it is likely I have somewhere around 10 years in Xingyiquan, but yet it is easier for me to understand. I get the same feeling from Jeet Kune Do too, and I only have a total of about 2 months official training in that, meaning with a teacher. And although this will likely be considered Xingyiquan Blaspheme... JKD has taught me a lot about Xingyiquan...

    I am not giving up on Taijiquan, I am still training Yang style and I am still going to work on push hands. But I am also going to start working with Sun again, since it does seem to make more sense to me that Yang style does. I don’t know, could be the Xingyiquan influence in Sun that makes it easier for me to grasp. And I am going to continue working with JKD for a bit. I enjoyed what little I trained before on the Jerry Poteet side of the fence, but I am really liking this Dan Inosanto side of JKD.

    So long story short, it seems like Xingyiquan is back and I am once again going to have to look for and travel to find teachers. But I have time, I have 7 until I can retire and likely 10 until I do retire and in that time I plan on training Xingyiquan and very likely Sun taijiquan. I will still train Yang and I will see how far I can take JKD, but if I stick with Xingyi and Taijiquan

    At this point I see JKD like this

    “Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.” – Bruce Lee

    So, I see a possibility that I will let JKD go and be back to a Chinese Internal Martial Arts guy…. or to be more correct…. an Old Chinese Martial Arts guy.

    Enough from me....
    TSDTexan likes this.
  15. Ego

    Ego - noun, plural e·gos.

    1.the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
    2.Psychoanalysis. the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
    3.egotism; conceit; self-importance:

    I let my ego get the better of me recently (number 3 of the above definition). The "I have been at this for 2 decades" kind of ego that produces irritation and blocks learning. The, "why is he looking at me and saying this; I’ve been at this longer than he has” kind of ego that is better described, at that point, as arrogance. I was irritated and I honestly had no reason to be, since everything that was said, was not said directly at me, it was said to the group, as a whole, but it most certainly applied to me.

    I’m not proud of it, not one little bit didn’t like the feeling during or afterwards and I am not too happy about it now. My only consolation is that I may have been the only one that noticed, or at least that is the story I’m telling myself in hopes that it is true. However even if someone else noticed it is nothing that returning with a better, attitude, a more open mind, less arrogance and less ego won’t fix it. Basically, return with the mind of a beginner, a student, a person there to learn, since in fact that is why I am there in the first place.

    But it was not a complete loss, I did notice it at the end of the class and I turned it around a bit then. Also, I learn something and it got me thinking, about many things, one of those being my training; where it has been, where it is, and where it is going.

    It may change, although I also find I am asking myself how much I can change it? Or a better question, how much am I willing to change it at over a half century old? But then I also ask myself what about 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, would I be better off, the same or worse, if I changed now? That time will pass whether I do anything or not. But at this time, I am thinking I need to do something different. And this is why, although I am not proud of it, I think this attack of ego might not be such a bad thing, it got me thinking and I learned something.

    Well that is all for me for now, later

    TSDTexan likes this.
  16. I have to stop thinking I'm old

    “If you start thinking you’re old subconsciously, your conscious mind is going to take hold of that and your body is going to start acting old, feeling old. Then you’re old.” - Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr (70 years old)

    This is Sam Bryant at 70 - started working out at age 44

    70-Year-Old Man’s Shockingly Muscular Body

    I have had my share of health related issues the past few years and I have noticed that a result of all that is I has started regularly referring to myself as old and I recently, after another health scare that I thought was my heart, I realized I think of myself as old as well.

    Luckily it was not my heart, still not sure what the problem is actually, but it is not the heart..... all this has made me rethink a few things, and one of those is training and what I need to do. Now after coming across Sam Bryant I have much more than I realized to consider

    Moral is...you are as old as you think you are..... the mind is very powerful.... we need to use it wisely..