Live Q&A with Sifu Adam Mizner

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Re: Live Q&A with Sifu Adam Mizner

Postby Trick on Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:43 pm

Trick wrote:
Bao wrote:
Adam like others says that fighting skills comes from form practice, or from building up a tai chi body. I don't agree. I've met so many tai chi people that claim that they practice tai chi 2, 3, 4 or even more hours every day. But when you meet them and go against them, they still get stiff, hard, use hard contact, etc. Tai Chi fighting skills comes from testing your tai chi body against others, from learning to keep it and use it when you confront others. You can also develop your tai chi body when you practice against others.

Those guys you met and tested probably did not practice their "solo"(forms) exercices the right way, and for sure as you hint at did not take those "right"way solo exercises into the sparring/testing arena. But of course it's all "in the form(s)" if practiced right, I mean all the clues about correct relaxation, posture, awareness and correct timing against an "opponent" whether it's upon touch or on further distance, yes this is also in the form. So of course the more quality forms practice the deeper these "clues" sink in, then one have a good skill base to work on in push hands/application practice to sparring/fighting practice.... So actually it's all in the form, it's up to the practitioners personal goals how far one want to take it.

Should add, people that claim practicing forms for3-4or more hours a day most probably do not do very much quality practice.
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Re: Live Q&A with Sifu Adam Mizner

Postby everything on Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:51 am

Thanks, Interloper. This process sounds interesting. One can do qigong just lying down, very relaxed, or more actively when doing form in a very, very relaxed way. Of course there are muscles at work, just as there are when, say, riding a bike, but you aren't focused on any of them. Relaxing (not limp noodle) is key to flow (qi or whatever motion), as it seems to be in many, much more athletic maneuvers, not just in MA or combat sports. Maybe you're getting at this same overall point or have some specific way to get to this point. I find focusing on the thing itself (the sinking of qi (literal not figurative), bike riding, some sport outcome) and progressively getting more relaxed and better at it w/o conscious muscle-stuff works well.

Interloper wrote:
everything wrote:if you literally do and feel "sink the qi", you might feel more relaxation and heaviness or rootedness. If you try to actively do things with muscle, there isn't anything wrong with that, but it's kind of the opposite of the "song/relax" advice (unless "relax" is the thing you are doing, I suppose).


Hi everything,
The idea that everything must be "relaxed" is one that is very often misunderstood. Being "song" doesn't mean that the entire body is a limp noodle. To make make "peng" and actively move "qi," there must be some muscle and connective tissue tension. We play off the dynamic tensions of complementary-opposite (some would say "opposing") forces -- Yin and Yang, not in an esoteric way, but with very real, specific muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.

At the outset, beginners start a baseline of learning how to create a clear pathway in their bodies (i.e. their aligned vertebrae and joints) through which force can travel... at first, passively, by "dropping" the mass down through the alignment. For that, yes, most of the body is relaxed except for what is absolutely needed to maintain structure. You don't want to collapse in a heap. :)

Later, after this pathway has been recognized and can be created at will, students learn exactly which muscles and connective tissues to contract in order to condense the center of mass, in effect actively drawing it rather than passively letting it "drop." Conversely, they also learn which muscles to contract to create the effect of expansion and propulsion, to return force from the ground to the extremities and/or point of contact with an opponent.

Using these specified muscles (which are not the ones conventionally used by most people to generate force) allows the person to relax the "conventional" muscles and muscle groups, particularly the upper back, shoulder and arm muscles that people are accustomed to flexing and tensing, but also outer-layer muscles of the torso and abdomen. If you were to grab their arms, shoulders, etc., everything would feel soft and relaxed. The tissues that are working hard, however, are elsewhere.
Last edited by everything on Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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