A simple blog about Martial arts, things I find interesting and things I'm trying to figure out.
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  1. I have been in pain, with my knee(s) for over a year, surgery was in mid-May 2020 and then complications due to scar tissue (right knee, left does have a meniscus tear again), and I have used all the physical therapy appointments my insurance would allow.

    In that time, I have tried to do Taijiquan (Yang and Sun), Xingyiquan, Wing Chun. Even Yoga and all lead to making things worse. I would do the PT exercises faithfully and things would be better for a few minutes afterwards most times, but not always, and never longer than a few minutes. I have been on and off a cane multiple times since May and even had a few times ,when I needed, use my crutches again. And living in the northeast we have snow, and even wearing knee braces I would spend at least 2 days in braces and walking with a cane. And in these last several months, I gave up and quit a few times too. Don't know why I went back, over and over again and kept trying, but after a few days, I'd try again

    I have looked for and tried multiple types of exercise to stay healthy, and gained weight in the process, but I finally found a light weight chair routine and a seated aerobic routine that I can do and my knees don’t hate me for days afterwards. And I also have a total gym and a bow flex so I can do some seated stuff on those for strength.

    Last week my knees started feeling, strangely, a little better so I decided to try something. I was doing a body weight half squat without issue so I picked up two 10-pound weights, did a half squat to see what would happen. IT didn’t hurt, so I added that to the routine. There was also a stair stepping exercise PT had given me, that I could not do due to pain that I decided to give a try, and that did not hurt either. I then added a standing, stationary routine with light weights, 5 lbs, based on Xingyiquan Wuxingquan (5 elements fist), and that worked great and felt great.

    Up to that point I was still trying to do Taijiquan and I was able to get through a Sun style shirt form with some discomfort, but Yang style I could only do what we refer to as the first 3rd. Although in reality it is not a 3rd, it is just the first of 3 sections.

    Monday, I decided to not do any Sun style and just try Yang. Much to my surprise I got through the entire form, without pain. It was a bit fast, 10 minutes, but I got through. 5 minutes later I felt like I wanted to do the form again, so I did. 12 minutes this time, still fast, but still no pain. I felt like a third time, but I did not want to push it so I decided not to do round 3. But it was nagging at me, I wanted to do a 3rd round, but I had made it through without pain twice and 3 seemed like asking for trouble. Seven hours later I had to give it a try again, got through, without pain (15 minutes) a bit fast, but no pain. I use to take 20 to 30 minutes for the Yang Long form, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.

    So basically, this is a long way around to say for the first time in over a year, I was able to do the entire Yang long form, without pain.

    My knee is not perfect, still feels very stiff and is most certainly lacking flexibility, but it seems to be getting better. However, I have been almost here before, only to have it nail me again and cause me a whole lot of pain. But it appears to be further along at this point than it has been since May 2020..

    I have to admit, it was nice to be able to do that long form again


    _Simon_ and yak sao like this.
  2. Well, this might be the end of this blog, not many folks on MT these days and no one really pays much attention to it anymore anyway.

    And it might also be the end of me being able to do any martial arts, even taijiquan. Might even be the end of being able to take a nice long walk, ride a bike, do yoga, stand for extended periods of time, etc.....

    My knee will not fully recover. I get only so far in the recovery process and then all of a sudden I can't walk again for a couple days. And the whole recovery process starts all over again, happened again last Tuesday.

    The MD is convinced it is scar tissue and feels that going in to remove it will only cause more scar tissue.

    So without further adieu...and yes I think this is overly dramatic, but it is the only song I could come up with that talked about the end

  3. I bit of a summary and an update.
    • Knee surgery last May followed by PT
    • Several weeks of PT there was a sharp pain in the knee joint
    • The MD stopped PT and gave me exercises to do
    • Returned to MD and things were still not good
    • MD gave me a Cortisone shot
    • 24 hours later, things started to feel better
    • For 3 wonderful days I almost had my knee back
    • Then, day 4, there was a minor twinge or two in the knee, no big deal… I thought
    • Day 5 pain returned
    • Day 6 pain increased
    • Day 7 it stopped bending and it took me 30 minutes to get it to bend again
    • Now back using a cane.
    During this time, I have also tried
    • Santi Shi of Xingyiquan and initially it helped, then things got worse, stopped Xingyiquan
    • Then tried Siu Lim Tao (Wing Chun) Initially things got better. Then it too went bad
    • Worked with Yoga, things were great for a bit, and then that went bad as well
    • Was still able to do a short form of Sun Style Taijiquan,
    • Was at ¾ of the Traditional Yang Taijiquan form
    • But once back on a cane, nothing.
    Also beginning to think the knee exercises from PT and the MD were causing me issues as was the stretching from PT, so that stopped just yesterday.

    Replaced PT stretches with old fashion martial arts stretches and that, so far, a whole 2 days in, seems to be ok

    This brings me to today, yesterday actually.

    I was sitting in my recliner, with nearby cane, elevating the legs. Getting very VERY tired of watching TV and just sitting there, so I began to think… “What the heck can I do”

    I started thinking about qigong and all I have learned and then Baduanjin (eight pieces of brocade) popped into my head. So, I gave it a try, and actually the knee felt better. Just did it again today and it felt fine. Now I have been down this road before (see Santi Shi, Siu Lim Tao and Yoga) so I will see how it goes.

    Also getting acupuncture and have an herbal oil to rub on the knee, and this seems to be helping as well, at the moment.

    I will return to see the doctor in a couple weeks and if things are still not good, I expect an MRI and then possibly more surgery. What the surgery will be, I do not know. Could be another meniscus repair, could be a partial or full knee replacement, I don’t know, time will tell.
  4. a short rant...

    Happened to come across an add for a fitness trainer today who was a "Certified" Taijiquan instructor. Had a nice shinny shield thing that even said certified on the webpage.

    I looked into the "certification".....it was from online, video, program, from a teacher , who was HORRIBLE at taijiquan.....no wonder taijiquan is dying...or dead...as a martial art.....and if this is what taijiquan is going to become...it deserves to die....

  5. 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...
    I'm done....
  6. I’ve been thinking, which Taijiquan style is “real” or “best”? Is there a best, or are they just different? Is there a style that has a better grasp on what Taijiquan is really supposed to be?

    First, I want to say, this is all my opinion based on my training, and things I have read over the last, darn near. 30 years training Taijiquan. Also, I am only talking about the following systems (family styles) here; Chen, Zhaobao, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, and Sun. I have trained the following, in order of longest to shortest amount; Yang, Chen, Wu, Sun. And I am considering Wu/Hao at the moment. And I doubt there are any answers in anything I am about to type…. I’m trying to figure this out myself….or if there is actually anything to figure out to begin with.

    The Chen family is given credit, and takes credit, for developing Taijiquan. However the folks from Zhaobao village claim they developed their taijiquan from the same source the Chen family developed their style from at roughly the same time.

    Legend says that taijiquan comes from Zhang Sanfeng, a Taoist priest. There is no verifiable historical proof of his existence; dates, times, etc., and length of life attributed to him vastly disagree, and some even say he is an immortal. This is all based on books written by reputable folks who are simply repeating what they were told by their shifu. Also note there is a Wudang Taoist style of taijiquan that claims its origin to Zhang Sanfeng (One of my old MT threads about Zhang Sanfeng)

    However there is a link between Chen Village and Zhaobao village in the form of Chen Qingping ( 陳清苹, 1795-1868) more on him in a bit. Also note the Chen family denies any link to a mystical Taoist named Zhang Sanfeng.

    Chen, and/or Zhaobao, being first, does that make them better, or the true taijiquan. Does being first mean that yours is the true essence of a thing? Or do those that take it from you develop it and make it better, or is it just different? The style is rather different in appearance to what you see from all other styles, except for Zhaobao which is similar. Also, Chen is said to have changed since the founder, Chen Wangting (1580–1660), designed it. There may have been one long form that was later split into Laojia Yilu and Laojia Erlu, and then Xinjia and a few others too. I once trained a form of Chen that was called Shandong Province Old Style Chen that was supposed to be from before the split and closer to what Chen Wangting did. But there is no way to know that for sure.

    Yang Taijiquan comes from Chen style. Yang Luchan (1799 – 1872), founder of Yang style taijiquan, who it is believed studied Changquan in his youth, later trained with his teacher Chen Changxing (1771 – 1853). From here Yang Luchan developed Yang style taijiquan. Sadly, we really do not know what original Yang style looked like. It is very likely that it had obvious fajin in it, which was later removed by his Grandson, Yang Chengfu (1883–1936). But it is also said to have been changed my Yang Luchan’s son, Yang Jianhou (1839–1917), who is the father of Yang Chengfu. It is also believed that the style of Yang Luchan was unchanged by his other son. Yang Banhou (1837–1890). Yang Banhou was the teacher of Yang Jianhou’s older son, Yang Shaohou (1862 – 1930). But we still do not know exactly what Yang Luchan, Yang Jianhou, Yang Banhao or Yang Shaohou taught. There are many who claim lineage to them, but many are doing a slow, fajin free, taijiquan form. And it is highly unlikely that anything directly from Yang Luchan was without obvious Fajin, so most of their claims, although they may be telling us exactly what their teacher told them, are likely false. Add to that the current Yang families work to delete any other form of Yang Taijiquan from history, other than that which comes from Yang Chengfu, and you find it very hard to figure out if a claim about links to Yang Luchan, Yang Banhou, Yang Shaohou, or even Yang Jianhou are real or not. I have seen one who made this claim and there is obvious fajin and it looks like Yang, but even then, without research there is no way to know if it is really from Yang Luchan or Yang Banhou. But, does any of this mean that it is better taijiquan than Chen or Zhaobao. Does the changes made by Yang Luchan show a better understanding or a further development of Taijiquan. And, for that matter, does the removal of obvious fajin show the same? Or are they just different? Is what we have today from Yang Chengfu better than all of them? I tend to think not, but that is only my opinion.

    On to Wu/Hao style. Wu Yuxiang (1812–1880) was a scholar who wrote many books on taijiquan. He trained in 2 styles of taijiquan before he came up with the style that later became Wu/Hao. The first is likely Chen but it could be Zhaobao, since his teacher was Chen Qingping, although there are claims it was Chen Changxing. The reality is more likely that Changxing was too old to teach and referred him to Chen Qingping, which I tend to believe based on the years we are talking about. He later trained Yang style with Yang Luchan and this is historically true. From that combination of styles, Wu/Hao style emerged, and changed, from what was originally done. There is a bit more to it when you are talking the Wu/Hao style of today and this link will give you the additional history

    But did this combination of styles give Wu Yuxiang insight into taijiquan that his teachers did not have? Was he able to better understand things because he was a scholar? Is what he developed better, or did it show a deeper understanding? Or again, is it just different?

    On to Wu style (not the same as Wu/Hao, not even related) Wu Quanyou (1834 – 1902) was a military officer, possibly a palace guard, during the Qing dynasty and he was a Manchu. He learned taijiquan from Yang Luchan, or at least that is the claim, some also say he learned from Yang Banhou. It is believed he actually learned from Yang Luchan’s son, Yang Banhou. In talking with my Yang Shifu, he does not believe that the Yang family actually taught Wu Quanyou the full Yang Taijiquan. He does believe they taught him a partial version that was basically defense without anything for attack. He thinks this based on what he was told by his teacher (Tung Ying Chieh, 1867 - 1961). Yang Luchan was a Han and from the Ming Dynasty and they believe he would not teach an enemy (Manchu) how to attack Han people. And refusing to teach a Manchu military officer/palace guard was not a good idea in those days either. Now this is possible, but even if it is true, Wu Quanyou was a Manchu military officer and already knew how to fight before he trained taijiquan. Wu style is rather different in its stances and extended attacks as compared to Yang style and I am of the belief that this is where Wu Quanyou’s prior training in marital arts shows up. Then, do we really know what Wu Quanyou actually did? It was changed by his son Wu Jianquan (1870–1942). It was then changed again when it went to Shanghai and changed again when it went to Hong Kong. Today there is a Northern Wu style, that is based in Beijing that is supposed to be similar to what was done by Wu Jianquan, and it looks different than the Southern (current) Wu family style, which is now based in Toronto Canada.

    Now, don’t take this wrong, I rather like Wu style taijiquan, would even train it if I lived in Toronto, but my Yang Shifu does not feel it is actually taijiquan and it took me a long time, and work with the style, to figure out why and later to agree with him. It does not follow many of the basics of taijiquan as they come from Chen or Yang. But still, this is my opinion, and I could be wrong, still, I don’t look at it as a taijquan. Could it simply be that Wu Quanyou and those that came after him changed it to something better, because of their background and training? Could it be that Wu family came up with something that Taiji people from other styles just can’t grasp?

    Yang Chengfu’s 10 essentials

    Chen Taijiquan Essential Principles

    Then we come to Sun style, of Sun Lutang (1860 – 1933). Sun Lutang was a rather accomplished martial artist before he ever trained taijiquan. He was considered a master of Xingyiquan and Baguazhang before he ever trained taijiquan with Hao Weizhen (1842 – 1920) (Hao Weizhen - Wikipedia) Did Sun Lutang’s background and expertise in Xingyiquan and Baguazhang give him a better understanding about all thing internal and make his Taijiquan a better type of Taijiquan?

    I’ve done some Sun style, and I like it. And even though it is called an old people’s style, due to the higher stances, I think it is the style that shows the most obvious applications in the postures. Also, it has a follow step that is very similar to the follow step that you see in a much later style called Jeet Kune Do. But to be honest, I am not sure it would be considered taijiquan if you are using the basics of Chen and Yang style as a test to prove if it is taijiquan or not. I am still working with it and maybe someday I will figure it out. But not for one second would I believe that I know more about any of this than Sun Lutang…or for that matter any of the people I have mentioned here.

    I do know doing something slow does not make it taijiquan, if that were the case you could take any Karate, TKD, or Wushu form and slow it down and call it taijiquan and it simply does not hold true. And when thinking of things like this you have to take in to account that there is a lot of trash talk between styles of taijiquan, so figuring any of this out, based on some of the written history, by reputable sources in Taijiquan, is not easy.

    Then, the whole thing could come down to what style is best for you. Where one person swears by Chen style and berates all others, there is likely another doing Wu and looking at all others as doing a bad job. And it could be, and likely is, understanding could also come down to what style fits you best (personal preference), and that is something I am still trying to figure out after almost 30 years.

    Years ago, Chen Zhenglei came to my area for a seminar, and my wife was going to be his translator. My Yang shifu wanted me to tell Chen hello and welcome him to the area. My Yang Shifu then said “Chen style is a good taijiquan, just the stances are to low”. I meant with Chen Zhenglei and told him my shifu wanted to welcome him to the area, to which Chen seemed happy to hear. He asked me shifu’s name and I told him. He then asked who was my shifu’s teacher. I told him Tung Ying Cheih. To which Chen Zhenglei said. “Yang style, good taijiquan, but the stances are to high”

    I’m done…..
    Flying Crane likes this.
  7. soon

    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.

    I’m done
  8. ….maybe

    May 20 was my right knee surgery, and things were progressing as expected until Thursday, July 16, 2020. I was walking, slowly, without crutches and without a cane. I was on my way back to my office, after a lunch outside. I did not trip, there was no jolting of the knee and then all of a sudden an incredibly sharp pain in the right knee that left me wondering just how the heck I was going to make the next 300 feet to my office. I could not put weight on it, and I had no cane. It took a couple minutes of standing on one leg but it calmed down and I was able to limp back to my office. I have been walking with a cane again, especially when I first stand up, ever since. I got kicked out of PT until I saw my MD, who told me to not return to PT. He did give me one exercise to do, a single leg squat, but only until it hurt and then go no further. I am to do this as often as possible during the day. I go back and see him in a couple weeks and then, I guess, we go from there.

    Now the pandemic; I have been working from home 3 days a week and I am in the office only 2 days a week (not counting the week I was forced in to quarantine). When this first started it was before knee surgery and I was able to do Sun taijiquan short form and the Cheng Manching form of taiji, and it was pretty great being able to do those a few times a day. After surgery I was not able to do anything until about a week before July 16, I was able to do the majority of the Sun short form again, just not the kick at the end. After the 16th, until now, nothing.

    There has also been talk of an early retirement incentive for us old, decrepit, government workers coming down the pike. I saw the bill and much to my surprise, I would actually qualify (dang I’m old), although I would not take it at this time, it was surprising that it was a possibility.

    With the retirement incentive, and being home so much, this got me doing was thinking more about retirement, and what I want to do. I have thought for years that when I retire I would teach taijiquan in my wife’s TCM office, but now, that is all I want to do. I also was thinking that I wanted to return to Xingyiquan.

    July 16 to 28; All those thoughts of retirement and teaching taijiquan and returning to Xingyiquan seem to be nothing but fantasies, because of the knee. I could not walk, I had knee pain most of the time, and I began to get depressed. I did continue doing the PT leg strengthening exercise that were not weight bearing, but that was all I could do. Xingyi was not going to happen and even doing taiji again seemed rather questionable too.

    Saw the MD on the 28th and that is when he stopped PT, but gave me one exercise to do. The partial single leg squat


    July 29, 2020; I Had a thought, if I was supposed to do this one exercise for strengthening, that Xingyiquan santi shi might do the same thing. This thought got me out of my funk, so I started standing in Santi as well.

    The first day the right leg only held me for 30 seconds before the knee joint had enough. Day 2 got me to 39 seconds (note, mowed the lawn this day and my knees hated me after that), day 3 got me to 1 minute 30 seconds and day 4 got me to 1 minute 50 seconds. Things were improving and it is measurable. So, even though I am still not sure I will ever be able to return to Xingyiquan or even taijiquan like before, there is hope it seems. And maybe my thoughts of retirement are achievable, time will tell.

    I am still doing the single leg squat, it is more like a 1/8 squat, and all the non-weight bearing PT exercises and stretching as well. I am going to see where Santi takes me, so far so good. Hopefully when I see the MD again I am doing much better and he does not order an x-ray, an MRI and possibly more surgery. I’ll know more it about a week and a half.

    What is this weird Chinese Internal martial arts stuff you ask…and even if you don’t ask…

    Santi Shi – trinity post standing

    I am a proponent of standing in Santi Shi, it is the basic stance/structure of Xingyiquan. However I do believe that many focus on it to much at the expense of the usefulness of the posture to Xingyiquan. It is important, it trains structure, but one should not forget, ultimately that structure has to move, and I think many do forget that.

    I start in Wuji


    Basically, stand there, breathe and relax

    Santi Shi

    Sun Lutang (1860 - 1933)

    The go into left santi shi (right leg back – bears most of the weight) I hold as long as the knee joint allows and then switch to right Santi shi (the numbers on the left leg bearing weight have been 3 minutes, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds, 3 minutes 30 seconds)

    The stance is generally weighted 70/30, with 70 percent of your weight on the back leg.

    So, hopefully, Xingyiquan basic training will help the knee recover, and get me back on track with marital arts. All this time sitting at home, in front of my computer, waiting for people to e-mail me with PC issues is boring, and time wasted where I could be doing taijiquan and, maybe, just maybe, Xingyiquan. Either way, depression gone and I am working on it, and it is time to get on the exercise bike and see what my range of motion is. That was used last time in PT for the left knee, time to see if it helps the right

    I’m done…..


  9. Just a short update

    Saw the MD and I was told to stop PT. I was also given one exercise to work with, a single leg knee bend. To not go to where it hurts, only go as deep as I can without pain, and do as often as possible. I see him again in 2 weeks.

    I just want my knees to work

    See what happens in 2 weeks
  10. Well, PT is done until I see my MD, which is next week. The knee is not happy and neither am I.....I decided today that if the year 2020 were an actual person, I would punch it in the face....repeatedly...

    only stopping to kick it square in the head

    of course...my knees don't work right...so I guess I shall have to stick to punching it in the head.

    I see the doctor next week and I am hoping it is no big deal, just a minor setback. I have plans, which my knees are a rather important part of, for the future and my retirement, which is one heck of a lot closer than I realized. Technically, if things go as expected, it could be months, but it is more likely 5 to 7 years.
  11. My knee is still not right, it is better than last Thursday when the sharp pain hit, but it is not better than it was last Wednesday.

    PT17, on the way in I started getting the lateral shooting pain down the shin, like I had before surgery and the fracture fix. Told them in PT and I have been told I need to contact the MD before I can return for PT.

    2020 just keeps getting better and better
  12. PT15: Nothing spectacular, but they did get me to do a deeper squat, which was good to be able to do

    Also, I have not been using the cane at all for a while now

    Next 2 days, got up, did all the PT exercises and stretching, felt ok, and then went to work. However day one they sent me home because of a sinus infection. On to day two at work

    Work day 2: Went to lunch with coworkers (masks and social distancing were followed) On the way back. Stepped off a curb, crossed a street, stepped up on another curb, took one step...and the pain that shot though the right knee almost made me fall down. And of course I had no cane so walking was not an option for a few minutes. Finally got so I could hobble back to my office. I left early to go home and iced the knee for 45 minutes

    PT16; using cane again to walk. Deep (and rather painful) tissue massage. My Lateral and Medial Hamstrings were literally hard as rocks. After that, more ice. I did walk out less dependent on the cane than when I walked in.

    Still using the cane today, but not for everything. I can walk without it. And as the day has progressed I am using int less. Did stretching today and actually did some yoga too.
  13. Well worth a listen IMO
    Sensei Ando - Happy Life Martial Arts
    Ramsey Dewey Interview
  14. PT is pretty much the same, and winding down, so not much to report there other than PT yesterday, right knee not happy today. Exercises and stretching helped this morning.

    The other knee.

    The left knee, the one that had surgery done June 2019, that has a meniscus tear.

    It appears the cortisone shot reduced the inflammation and allowed the tear to flatten out. Per the MD's advice, as long as it does not start locking again, we will hold off on surgery. If it starts to lock again it is back to him and likely back on the table for surgery.
  15. 13; Nothing spectacular, just a new, harder exercise, and no one is more surprised than me as to how hard it was. Feet together, about a 1/4 squat, weight on heals. Slowly step right leg, to the side to shoulder width. Then bring left foot to right foot....repeat...the reverse direction. MAN did that bother the right knee in the lower quad.

    14; Surprisingly, the above exercise, was a lot easier today. Also I was actually able to walk up stairs, twice, yesterday.