I am 52 years old and been doing Martial Arts, most of that time but I still feel like I have unfinished business another thing to learn a style to try, I watch boxing and think yeah I should go back to it get myself back into boxing shape, just to show that I can? My training with Chu Sifu was about getting rid of ego training in an art to keep that art alive and to be part of a culture and to learn skills that are no longer taught. When I went to Krishna it was like an epiphany in a lot of ways what he was doing and showing sort of made the jigsaw whole for me, it made my Kung Fu better by opening my mind to different concepts and ideas. After illness I started Taiji but not just a mainstream style I wanted to train in a little known and rarer style, so went to Sun Style Taiji and in Dave Martin found a great guy with no ego who just wanted to do the best he could in promoting his chosen style. I am not sure where this blog is going as I write it I just need to get some thoughts down as to why after all this years I still feel I have something to prove to myself? Is it ego? is it vanity to be known as one of the best? or is it just the way I am made? I lost my dad when I was 12 years old and maybe not being able to prove to anyone that I was good at anything, academic has driven me on as I really feel within Martial Arts I have found what I was born to do, I have trained with some of the best guys in the world within their chosen arts and continue to do so when opportunity arises, as I sit here typing I think well I could train the old stuff pick up the sticks again, push myself to new heights physically and mentally, but I don’t want my mind writing cheques my body cant cash, to me that would be detrimental to my development, I think where I am I am meant to be, training in what I should be for my health and well being, I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone who cares to read this but would appreciate any thoughts you have, I have stopped at many crossroads along my Martial path, stumbled and fell many times, been kicked and punched without a blow being thrown, I suppose I have answered my own question, do I have unfinished business?yes, with myself
Since I started training in Hunyuan like anything I felt it would take time to adjust from the Sunstyle I had previously been studying as I had practised Sunstyle for over 12 years including Xing Yi and Bagua.
I can honestly say the results have been surprising I feel much stronger in the core and also more flexible and supple in my lower back which is great for me as I have an herniated disc at L4/5 that since starting to practise the Hunyuan seriously has given me no probs at all.
It could be a culmination of all the years of training but I believe it is the Hunyuan and the way I was taught that is making the difference.
Now I am back in Chiangmai I am doing some serious daily practice that includes the 24 Step Hunyuan Taiji form, Qigong and Wuji standing. The place I practice is great as it is secluded, but visible to other people. I get lots of people looking at my practice as they pass going to work or school, but that’s fine as I am used to that, having studied in China where the people always watch whether you are a foreigner or not. I am enjoying the practice but I will also supplement my training in the coming weeks with some cycling and swimming as I have joined a fitness centre locally and will take advantage of their excellent facilities.
Its been a very hectic week since I got back home to Chiangmai, its not been easy but I have managed time for training. In our new house we don’t have the same space as before but I have found a great spot to train its at a busy intersection at the side of our new house but its perfect for me I practise early morning and its great as a lot of other people are out walking or cycling so they stand and watch but are very polite and don’t talk till I finished which is a contrast to practising in China as people just walk in front of you and don’t think k they are interrupting your practise but this is great for your awareness training as you need to have an active concentration when in Beijing.
I will be back in the UK from the 23rd of November 2012 if any groups or individuals are interested in learning the Chen Shi Xin Yi Hunyuan 24 step Taiji form and applications then please get in touch via this site.
This form is an excellent way to gain strength health and vitality it has so much inside of a practical usage I keep finding new things about it everyday after I finish practising it and analyse my training.
Grand master Feng took the original Pao Chui and distilled the essence into the 38 step form and it is truly a unique piece of martial arts training.
The advice from my teacher Chen Hui Ying was too only practise it once a day and the 24 step form 3 times as I think it can develop too much yang energy so needs to be balanced and at my age and experience health is more important than practical techniques so I have kept to his advice but enjoy training this form everyday.
Once you have practiced the single, double and stepping push hands you can begin to learn how to use Sun Style Taiji, Xing Yi and Bagua using the freestyle method.
When I first when to Teacher Lei Shi Tai in 2005, this is how he taught me by using the freestyle push hands as a base. Then trying to use techniques from the form or the 5 Element Fist at first, then introduce other techniques getting progressively more difficult and potentially dangerous for your partner. As the Bagua has a lot of trips and throws as Lei Laoshi demonstrated many times introducing me to trees and bushes as well as the floor on many occasions, but it was always done in a good way with no anger or outward showing of force and it was a very enjoyable experience.
Training the push hands with Chen Laoshi is completely different he can make his energy disappear so you feel nothing. Then he gives it back to you with your own and his energy combined, truly inspiring and an honour to have him teach me.