2019年2月6日 星期三


專氣致柔的鬆柔太極拳
孩童因為涉世未深,保有上天賦予的天真,具備無知、無用及無心等三種心理特質,這也是老莊的「無為」之道,如老子第第十章:專氣致柔能嬰兒乎?因為,無知而能致專、無能而能致柔、無心而不執著,年紀漸增後,如何放下成長過程中所累積的塵垢,是人生境界提升的要素,也鬆柔太極拳法必須具備的心理素質。
(1)  無知而能致專:「知」有境界認知的問題,要能放下個人的認知,成長背景知識,傾聽跟自己不同的聲音,學習新的知識與文化。在太極拳推手互動中,要能放下人為的拙力與企圖心,才能感應對手的圖,才能訓練聽勁及懂勁,也才能施展「以柔克剛」的技藝。
(2)  無能而能致柔:「無能」是要在接觸拳法動作的當下,忘記過去的行為動作與技巧,使身手保持柔和與平靜,如拳法之「由腿而腰而行於手指」、「走化」及「吃虧即是佔便宜」等要訣是促進身體筋骨、肌肉及韌帶大鬆大柔的門徑。
(3)  無心而不執著:不執著而能傾聽,放下個人的身段,以謙恭及敬畏的態度面對事物,才能深入理解事物的本質。透過無知、無能及無心等修養功夫,而能回到孩童的天真,而能在拳架與推手應用上,致鬆致柔!
孩童天真無邪的心理特質,鬆柔太極拳架與推手技藝的修練功夫。如何放下身段及人為的企圖心,才能回到孩童的天真?


Teachings from Laozi’s tenth chapter in relation to Supple Taichi

In the tenth chapter of the Daodejing, Laozi writes : “By focusing one's efforts to attain suppleness, can one become like a baby again?” To become like a baby is to recover a child-like innocence. In this way, people over 50 years old can nurture their health and cultivate their mind, but it is also a training method for supple Taichi and pushing hands. Perhaps by letting go of one’s egotistic attitude and intentions, only then will one recover the innocence of a child? A child still retains his original innocence because he is inexperienced and naïve. He has no knowledge, no skill and no intention. These are not only three psychological qualities, but also philosophies for dealing with worldly affairs. Therefore, the wisdom of Laozi and Zhuangzi reads : no knowledge leads to concentration, no skill leads to flexibility, and no intention leads to detachment.

(1)  No knowledge leads to concentration :  The problem with “knowledge” is that it dampens one's curiosity. Because of our upbringing, education, past experience, we may believe we already “know” and have no interest to concentrate on new things. It is only by letting go of one's knowledge that one can listen attentively to another voice, and thereby acquire new knowledge and learn about other cultures. While practicing pushing hands with a partner, it is only by abandoning the idea of using force that one can feel and respond appropriately to the intentions of the opponent. Only then can one train tingjing (listening to the opponent) and dongjing (understanding the opponent). Only then can one reveal the skill of “softness overcoming hardness”.

(2)  No skill leads to flexibility : To show “no skill” is to forget whatever postures, movements and techniques one has learned in the past. If we have no skill, how do we deal with our pushing hands partner? The only solution is to focus on neutralizing his attacks by making the body light and nimble. All the better, as neutralization is a key skill to practice. It trains the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the body to be very relaxed and supple. It is the philosophy of “losing to gain”.

(3)  No intention leads to detachment : When letting go off one's egotistic attitude and not obsessing about an outcome, when facing events with a polite, modest and respectful attitude, then one can start to listen attentively, then one can deeply comprehend the essence of things. By literally doing nothing, anything becomes possible.

By cultivating the wisdom of no knowledge, no skill, and no intention, and thereby recovering the innocence of a child, and while applying it to the Taichi form and pushing hands, be relaxed and be supple!



        

2019年1月31日 星期四


Laozi’s sixth chapter reads : 


“Life in a valley doesn’t die, for here is like the womb of a mother. Continuously replenishing itself, never depleting itself.”
A valley can harbour all kinds of plants and animals, as well as chi, because it is empty and silent, welcoming everything that enters and lives in its space. Like for the rest of Mother Earth’s creation, generations follow each other, one generation giving birth to the next.
The neutralization skill of pushing hands in Taichi can be compared to the void of a valley. Body, mind and spirit are relaxed; true capabilities remain hidden. When practicing and unceasingly yielding to our partners’ attacks, over time the range of the neutralization skill broadens, the skill of tingjing (listening to the opponent) becomes more acute. Eventually, even brute force can be rendered void and the art of “softness overcoming hardness” can be reached.

2018年12月27日 星期四

【宋志堅宗師「原空位」「原體位」訓練法之要義】


宋志堅宗師原空位」「原體位訓練法之要義
易簡太極拳自然運動八法原空位、原體位、反動、帶動、盪動、沉浮、趁勢前進、 運動路線,是宋志堅宗師生前,依據楊澄甫大師的太極十要,及鄭曼青大師美人手、太極不動手及吃虧即是佔便宜等等訓練法,及個人更深蒂固的易理智慧,與個人終生奮戰不懈的求知精神而編創的訓練法。自然運動八法是以科學化的概念,有系統、有調理及有邏輯思考性的訓練法意念的直覺有所託付,得以在同一時間掌握身體上下、前後、左右及九大環節的鬆與定(陽與陰)組合,再藉由地心引力、慣性力或反作用力等大自然的能量,產生太極八法掤、捋、擠、按、採、挒、肘、靠及太極十要中的動作,這種以大自然的能量,透過意念啟動關節鬆與定(陽與陰)組合的現象,可以減少精氣神的耗損,是養生保健的良方,也是培養內在能量,展現以柔克剛」技藝的途徑。依循自然運動八法的哲理與訓練法,將太極十要及鄭子美人手、不動手等訓練法相互串聯,少了自然運動八法的哲理與要訣,太極不動手的訓練法,將只是空中閣樓,搖不可及。沉肩墜肘及含胸拔背也將只是外在的形態,永遠無法達到聽勁及懂勁,所必須具備的輕靈身手。下面就八法中的原空位與原體位等訓練法說明如下
原空位:身體移動時局部指尖或手掌保持原來空間位置不變,它是拳法動作的定位點,有定位點後,關節與肌肉,可依不同位置及角度,藉由地心引力、慣性力或反作用力,配合意念的直覺,啟動各關節鬆與定(陽與陰)的順序,及各部位動與靜的變化。不同的關節、角度與位置,以身體之進退、上下、左右及中定等法,產生太極拳架與推手的招式。如同頭髮之髮型,以頭皮為定位點,設計師得以輕巧及靈敏的手感,對柔軟的頭髮進行上下、前後及左右的調整,技藝高超的設計師,即可透過手感,展現美輪美奐的造型(太極拳勢與推手技藝)。另外,若將細小柔軟的髮絲整合一體,則其強度與韌性,也不亞於剛絲。如由右手轉換成屢採法或按法的過程中,指尖保持原來的空間位置不變原空位,再藉由地心引力,讓手臂緩降同時鬆肩鬆肘,產生沉肩墜肘的動作,配合身體的反作用力向前弓步即產生按式,若向後則產生採式,這也是鄭曼青大師所謂「太極不動手」的內涵。
原體位:是手臂局部保持與身體的相對位置不變,隨著身體整體移動。也就是說,身體的位置和方向改變時,手未自動,手與身體間無相對運動,這種保持手勢在身體原來相對位置不變的動作,在發勁時,可以確保能量完整的傳遞,如按發勁時,藉由身體對地面的反作用力,再將能量藉由下肢、腰、背及上肢的串聯,再將對手發出,而各環節串聯的瞬間即稱為原體位。原體位訓練法必須在身手鬆柔無阻的基礎上,才能展現貫串的整體能量,就鬆定(陰陽)的變化而言,原空位訓練法是練鬆的方法,原體位訓練法是練定的方法





2018年12月18日 星期二

Supple Taichi Workshop in the Netherlands and Belgium


Supple Taichi Workshop in the Netherlands and Belgium
Taichi is a treasure amongst the cultural heritage of the Chinese Martial Arts. Its techniques open a gateway to the ancient philosophy of the Yi-Jing, which describes the mutual relation between Yin and Yang. They offer an insight into Wuwei, the Way of non-doing to reach the Dao, as taught by the great philosophers Laozi and Zhuangzi. Through practicing the form and pushing hands training drills, the focus lies on polishing the skill of suppleness and cultivating the modesty of yielding to the opponent. In this way, health and vitality are strengthened while simultaneously pursuing the martial art skills of “softness overcoming hardness”, “stillness overcoming motion”, “small triumphing over large”, “slow controlling fast”, etc.

Master Wu Rong-Huei in the lineage of Yang style Taichi transmitted by Grand Master Song Zhi-Jian will teach Supple Taichi skills, during workshop will take care/handle, in compliance with the essentials from the Taichi Classics, to fix up/plan in detail the basics/fundamentals of physical relaxation, form, pushing hands absorbing/neutralizing, and advanced pushing hand moves/tricks training drills, along with comments on the Classics etc curiculum/program. This includes the ten essentials from Yang Chen Pu : “raising the crown of the head” , “draw in the chest and pull up the back”, “relax the waist and the abdomen”, “settle down on the pelvis”, ”sink the shoulders and drop the elbows”, “dissociate the full and the empty”… From Master Cheng Man Qing “Beautiful lady’s hands”, “not moving the arms”. From Master Song Zhi Jian “original space position”, “original body position”.The training drills of three Masters of the Yang tradition.


 


2018年11月6日 星期二

Laozi’s second chapter reads : 
Existence and absence, difficult and easy, long and short, high and low, high-pitch and low-pitch, forward and backward, within every pair the one generates and complements the other.”
This statement seems very contradictory, yet all these apparent contradictions stimulate the emergence of life’s deeper potential. It is a philosophy of life and a principle for self-cultivation. It teaches us that whatever our current situation is, it has the potential to change. And it teaches that things may actually be the opposite of what they seem.

Similar contradictions are found in Taichi. They describe the natural balancing between Yin and Yang. So, in Taichi, we find the skills of “stillness overcoming motion”, “small triumphing over large”, “softness overcoming hardness”, “four ounces toppling one thousand pounds” and “Yin and Yang mutually sustain each other”. The skill of “Yin and Yang mutually sustain each other” is to emerge naturally; the key is to hide the usage of Yang and to display the effects of Yin, or to hide the usage of Yin and to display the effects of Yang.


2018年10月17日 星期三

Master Benjamin Lo, a True Tai Chi Practitioner


Master Benjamin Lo, a True Tai Chi Practitioner

By Wu RH, Compiled and translated by Tang YY and Rick Yoder

My Tai Chi team has taught training courses in suburbs of Washington, DC, with three devoted students of Ben Lo.  Since 2000, in collaboration with David Chen and Joanne Chang and, after David’s untimely passing, with Charles Votaw, we had many great experiences working with American T’ai Chi players who embraced the teaching of Master Lo. 

In his class, Ben taught only what he had learned from Cheng Man-Ching.  Ben did not add his personal opinion or splashy frivolous techniques. Zhanzhuang (standing like a post) and form correction--the most fundamental of all teaching methods in Tai Chi Chuan--were also among the most favored activities in his class.

Even going back to 1990, post standing and form correction were all Ben taught in a class that Tang YY, my long-time translator, in North Carolina.  That workshop was organized by Frank Wong, a Cheng Man-Ching student, but it demonstrates that Ben Lo’s teaching style did not waiver over the years. 

In that class, YY recalls, Ben would, for each posture, correct one student until he was satisfied before he moved around the room and did the same for the next student. All the while, all students were sweating as they stood, body weight on one bent leg. Their weighted legs were burning, no doubt, but they were enjoying the class very much. Over the course of a few hours, and only a few postures, the class would learn the valuable lesson of simply holding the posture until the body could find the correct alignment and relaxation.  Ben Lo would correct and position each person, but their body had to remember it.

The source of their burning thighs was “bend knee down low”, or “bend low”, which sounds almost just like Ben Lo. “Bend low” is almost a trademark of Ben Lo’s training method.

Bending low usually means burning thigh muscles for a practitioner. Burning in the thigh, more specifically the quadriceps, is essential to learning Tai Chi Chuan. Indeed, “no pain, no gain” has been Ben’s core training discipline. In addition to his love for T’ai Chi Chuan, David Chen was an accomplished artists.  Building on this concept, he captured Ben Lo’s teaching in this epic painting: a practitioner in post standing, a flame burning on his weighted thigh, underscored by the caption ‘No Burn, No Earn’.

In “no burn, no earn”, Ben pointed out clearly the path he took to learn Tai Chi Chuan--a way forward for Tai Chi Chuan practitioners everywhere.

Master Ben Lo passed away on October 12, 2018, in San Francisco, California at the age of 92.


2018年10月9日 星期二

No arms in Tai Chi (NAIT)


No arms in Tai Chi (NAIT)
In Tai Chi Chuan, the arms never move by themselves. Instead, they move only as a result of a preceding movement in the waist or the leg. In other words, the arms are moved by gravity, ground reaction force, or inertia.Only when the arms don’t move by themselves can a practitioner remain light and agile, with which he or she can control steel with cotton.



2018年9月10日 星期一


On the peculiarity of Taichi to refrain from using force
                         By Wu RH, Compiled and Translated by Alex
The Taichi classics read : “Energy comes from the feet, expands through the legs, is controlled by the waist, and is released through the fingers.” To transmit the ground reaction force through the body from the ground up, movement must be self-restrained so as to not use force. This is because if the arms use force, they will hinder efficient transmission of this ground reaction force, and furthermore, the body will not able to unfold its whole-body energy. Therefore Cheng Man Qing said : “Don’t move your arms in Taichi”. According to the Treatise on Essential Points, the meaning of “Don’t move your arms” is that “movement of the arms is initiated by the waist and the legs, change of the stance is initiated by the body”. It means that the body and the arms only move when they are made to move as a reaction to circumstances, but they don’t forcefully make attacking or defensive movements. This is the fundamental training principle for accomplishing the supple martial arts that is Taichi, where “softness overcomes hardness” and “stillness overcomes motion”.
By keeping the hands passive, the mind remains clear like the mind of a spectator, which is essential to train the skills of listening to the opponent (tingjing (聽勁)) and understanding the opponent (dongjing (懂勁)). It also allows the body and hands to be sensitive and to be linked together as one. “Sensitive” must start from relaxing all the major joints so that they remain fully independent; but the joints must also be able to tighten and support each other in an instant, this is “linked together”. According to the Taichi Classics : “Extreme softness is followed by extreme hardness”. By first being soft and nimble, a strong attack can be neutralized. Right afterwards the whole body links together as one and can transmit a strong counter-attack. “Sensitive” and “linked together” interact mutually like Yin and Yang. Switching between the two is important practice, as it will lead to a deeper understanding of the saying “Yin is never far from Yang, Yang is never far from Yin, alternating between Yin and Yang leads to dongjing (懂勁 - understanding the opponent).”




[太極拳不用力的特質]
太極拳經言:「其根在腳,發於腿,主宰於腰,形於手指」,身體藉由對地面的反作用力,再由下而上傳遞能量的運動模式,是不用力的內涵,因為手臂用力時,會阻礙由下而上的能量,使身體整體的能量無法完全發揮,所以鄭曼青大師言:「太極不動手」,「不動手」的意義依經論要義是「手隨腰腿而動,步隨身而換」,也就是身手隨勢而動,身手不採取主動積極的進攻或防守動作,這是太極拳「以柔克剛」、「以靜制動」之柔克技藝的基礎訓練,「不主動」的手,保有旁觀者的清淨心,是訓練聽勁與懂勁必須具備的基本功,也是達到身手輕靈與貫串的門徑之一。「輕靈」要從身體各環節的放鬆著手,使各大環節具備各自的獨立性,而又能於瞬間合而為一,即為「貫串」。如十三式行功心解:「極柔軟,然後極堅剛」,前者柔軟敏捷利於化解強力,後者整體貫串利於勁道的傳遞,二者互為陰陽,訓練得宜即能進入:「陰不離陽,陽不離陰,陰陽相繼方為懂勁」的領域。


2018年8月29日 星期三


Push Hands with the Blind

Written by Wu RH, Translated by Tang YY

Sightless people face obstacles almost everywhere they go. Often because they can’t exercise easily, they don’t. Many of them gain weight as their quality of living declines and their health deteriorates.

The video shows blind folks at the Institute for the Blind of Taiwan practicing Tai Chi push hands, getting all sweaty, which they don’t get often.

Tai Chi form and push hands are among very few exercises that the blind can do and can do well in spite of their disability. In fact, their ability to push hands may be enhanced by their lack of sight, and consequently a lack of visual distractions. Sightless people are more sensitive than sighted people in the sense of touch, and that is a precious property in the practice of push hands.

Therefore, the blind and perhaps even people with other disabilities are a population who can benefit greatly from the practice of Tai Chi Chuan push hands.


[盲人練習太極拳推手影片]
盲人朋友因活動空間的設限,使他們無法與明眼人一樣正常走路運動,尤其面對不友善的環境,處處受到阻礙,寸步難行。無法正常走路運動,身體的肥胖自然跟隨而來,健康及生活品質也受到影響。
太極拳架與推手訓練是少數盲友能跟明眼人ㄧ樣,可以盡情揮灑體力,享受運動流汗及切磋技藝的運動項目,影片是台灣盲人重建院的盲友練習太極拳推手技藝的畫面。所謂:眼不見為淨,盲友的手感、聽感皆比正常人敏銳,但因缺乏友善的活動空間與良好的運動環境,使他們的體能及身體素質,不如常人,若能藉由規律的太極拳架與推手訓練,培養運動習慣,即可鍛鍊身體,又能朝太極拳的聽勁與懂勁方向探索。


2018年8月24日 星期五


Suppleness in pushing hands

By Wu RH, Compiled and Translated by Alex

        Most people believe pushing hands to be a difficult skill to learn with a risk for injury while training. This misconception results from erroneous ideas and inappropriate technique.
Suppleness in pushing hands means to stick to the opponent, to listen and follow his movement, to move in a continuous way without using force. Practicing in this manner not only safeguards from injury, but it also stimulates the body’s deeper potential. At a higher level, the skills of neutralization and fajing (discharge) are refined, as the coach draws the opponent’s upper body joints (wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, waist) to disrupt the structure of his lower body joints (hips, knees, ankles). For most people to keep their balance, they will need to rely on the full participation of their brain and nervous system, on the whole range of movement of their muscles, joints and ligaments. It is in this way, to keep the body stable, that the deeper potential is activated.
A coach must be light and agile with his body and hands. He should not clumsily push and pull with hard strength, otherwise he might cause injury or bring about unwanted results. Not being light and agile also preempts the development of the skills of tingjing (hearing the opponent) and dongjing (understanding the opponent). As for his mental attitude, the coach must cultivate the qualities of humbly receding, yielding, and guiding.


【一般人皆可參與的推手訓練課程】
對一般人而言,推手訓練是遙不可及的技術,深怕推手訓練時身體受到傷害,這是錯誤的觀念與不當技術所造成的誤解,黏、貼、連、隨、不丟頂為法之鬆柔推手訓練法,不但不會受傷,而且具備激發身體潛能的功能,及鬆柔走化與發勁技巧之趣味性,教練可以藉由腕、肘、肩、背脊等關節部位之牽引,破壞對手髖、膝、踝等關節部位之結構。一般人為了維持平衡,必須透過腦部的神經系統,動員全身各部位之肌肉、關節與韌帶之機能,以確保身體的穩定,而身體的潛能也將被激發。
唯教練必須具備輕靈的身手,不得以拙力硬推硬拉,否則將造成身體的傷害及反效果,失去身手的輕靈,也等於放棄聽勁與懂勁的訓練方向。在心理素質方面,也必須調整為謙讓、柔順、牽引及誘導等等心法及訓練法。