2015年9月4日 星期五

從不同的角度看鄭曼青太極拳 Seeing Cheng Man-Ching from different angles

20141023日至114吳榮輝老師獲美東華盛頓DC張瓊瓊教練(Joanne Chang)Charles Votaw,及北卡羅納州(North Carolina)賴富康教練之邀,舉辦太極拳講習課。


湯耀洋吳聖瑋先生同行協助策劃、聯絡及翻譯等工作,Charles Votaw是一位深具慧根的美籍教練,在美期間我們借住他家,所以有充分的時間溝通太極拳的哲理,及東西方對鬆柔太極拳的觀點,我們彼此獲益良多,返台後他撰寫三篇心得跟我們分享,這是其中一篇文章由吳聖瑋翻譯,提供同好們參考指教。
            


每週日在美國東岸華盛頓特區外的馬利蘭州,由我的老師-朱殿蓉所指導的太極拳練習,他是太極拳大師羅邦楨的弟子,朱老師有許多有天分的學生,每週日的練習重心主要都放在推手部分,在練習完太極拳架、刀及劍之後,老師要求我們面對面排成兩排,互相演練推手,然後老師會讓我們交換對手繼續練習,並持續幾小時的時間,總是讓大家略感疲憊且汗流浹背,雖然馬利蘭州的夏天十分炎熱,但我們十分開心且享受這樣的練習。
在一次爾然的機會下,有一位來自台灣的新面孔出現在我們團隊中,他的名字叫吳榮輝,這次訪美主要的行程,除了認識新的朋友也拜訪了陳志誠大師。

十六年後我們再度和吳榮輝先生碰面,並邀請他來我們馬利蘭州的太極拳團隊指導,我們希望能分享他的太極拳觀點,以及多年來在推手比賽中所學的經驗,吳老師向我們展示他的拳架後,馬上可以看出與我們在馬利蘭州所練習的稍有不同,吳老師是鄭曼青大師在台灣的學生宋志堅大師的入門弟子,宋志堅大師從新加入一些楊承甫108式的動作到鄭曼青大師的鄭子37式中,成為易簡64式,鄭曼青大師的簡易太極拳架及宋志堅大師的易簡太極拳架,不同之處在於宋志堅大師的拳架更為精細,但是仍然保有鄭曼青大師的精神,我們這裡許多學生都是跟羅邦楨大師學,所以我們相當熟悉太極拳經論,也非常習慣站樁訓練,因此對於理解及領悟宋志堅大師的易簡64式並不困難,當我們練習宋志堅大師的易簡64式時,感受到其動作非常精細,對於各大環節的放鬆非常有幫助。鄭曼青大師為了使習者更容易放鬆,以及體會內勁的運行,而簡化其老師的拳架,宋志堅大師也秉持相同的理念,依其訓練所需調整老師原有的拳架,相對來說羅邦楨大師則保留鄭曼青大師拳架的原汁原味,未曾做過修正,我們非常榮幸的能夠看到當代的兩位大師對於鄭子太極拳的不同詮釋。

吳老師讓我們對於太極拳的訓練法有非常詳細的了解,這裡大多數的學生都無法確實達到「鬆腰落胯」及「含胸拔背」的動作,對於西方人來說因為肌肉(腱)較為緊實,因此很難確實將下沉及放鬆的動作應用到招勢中,為了幫助我們體會,吳老師向我們展示宋志堅大師的舒筋運動,這些運動對於各大環節的舒展十分有幫助,但是除了要調整到正確的位置,還要在正確的位置上持續一定的時間,舒筋運動是幫助太極拳架進步的好方法,如羅邦楨大師花費無數時間在站樁練習上也是相同道理。

每一個能像羅邦楨大師一樣站樁或是像宋志堅大師做舒筋放鬆運動的人,往往能進步神速,這些動作使我們拳架進步,因此我們更輕鬆的達成楊承甫大師所說的太極十項要領。

無論在美國或是台灣,人們總是非常努力專注於事業上的成就,我們應該藉由太極拳,對自己的健康如事業般做出貢獻,每一點的進步都是往後身體健康的本錢。


Seeing Cheng Man-Ching from different angles
by Charles Votaw, Nov. 11, 2014

Every Sunday in a park in Maryland, just outside Washington DC there is a Tai Chi practice lead by my teacher Julian Chu, a student of Master Benjamin Lo. He has many talented students and the focus of our weekend practice is push-hands. After practicing the tai chi form, sword and saber, our teacher would have us face each other in two long rows. We would push for a few minutes and the then the teacher would have us change partners and continue. This could go on for hours. Everyone would be a bit tired and sweaty, it gets very hot in the summers here, but we were all happy and really enjoyed the practice.
On one such occasion there was a new face in the crowd, a visitor from Taiwan. His name was Wu RH and he was visiting the US to meet with William CC Chen and to make new friends in America.
Sixteen years later we met Mr. Wu in Taiwan and invited him to come to Maryland and work with our Tai Chi community here. We were eager for him to share his insights and some of what he learned from his many years of push hands competition. Mr. Wu showed us his form and right away we could see it was a little different from what we have been practicing here. Mr. Wu is an indoor student of the Late Master Soong JJ, a student of Professor Cheng Man-Ching in Taiwan.
Master Soong JJ modified the Professor's form by reintroducing a few moves from Yang Cheng Fu's long form back into the Professor's short form. The differences in the form are subtle but you can still see the CMC's sprit in the movements. Many of the students here have studied with Master Benjamin Lo, so we were familiar with the Tai Chi principles and used to holding postures for a long time. It was relatively easy for us to understand and follow Master Soong's modified form.
Master Soong's form is very detailed and is very helpful in generating softness and relaxation in the joints as we practice the form. Professor Cheng modified his teacher's form in order to make it easier to relax and follow the internal Chi. Master Soong modified Professor's form with the same idea in mind. Master Benjamin Lo, on the other hand never felt there was any need to change Professor's teaching, so his form remains the closest to the Professors original form. We are very lucky to be able to see professor's teaching from slightly different angles; both Master Soong and Master Lo give us great insight into the Tai Chi of Cheng Man-Ching.
Mr. Wu was very helpful in explaining to us how to follow the subtle details of Tai Chi principles. Many of the students here are not able to relax the waist and sink the hips enough to fulfill the postures requirements. The same was true with plucking up the back and hollowing the chest. For westerners, sinking and relaxing into the postures correctly is not always easy, the muscles and tendons are often just too tight. To help us fix this situation, Mr. Wu showed us Mr. Soong's Tendon Stretching exercises. These were a great help in opening up the joints. Of course, it takes time to completely change your posture and even more time to get to a point where you can hold the posture in a relaxed way. The tendon stretching exercises are a great tool help improve our form. The Professor had Ben Lo hold the postures for countless hours with this purpose in mind. 
For those who can hold postures like Master Lo and also do the stretching exercises and loosening exercises of Master Soong, progress will be very rapid. All of these exercises are to help us improve our posture so we can follow Yang Cheng Fu's Ten Principles in a relaxed way.
In America and in Taiwan people are so focused on their careers and put in long hours of hard work to get ahead. We should try to have the same dedication to our own health by putting time and attention into our Tai Chi practice. Every small improvement we make is like money in the bank. 


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