Seminar "Tui Shou Stereo" in Berlin, 26-28 August

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Seminar "Tui Shou Stereo" in Berlin, 26-28 August

Postby Giles on Sat Jul 09, 2022 8:04 am

My good friend and training partner Martin Neumann and I are giving a seminar together at the end of August. See the text here directly or, to view our eye-candy seminar logo, follow this link to Martin's website: https://daozentrum.berlin/wp-content/up ... Stereo.pdf

Here’s the info, edited slightly for RSF readers:

A 3-day Tuishou workshop with 2 friends and teachers who share many approaches while adding their individual touch & perspective. Hence the name 'Tui Shou Stereo'.

We’ve been friends and have been training together for many years. Especially in the last 2 years we have intensively exchanged ideas, gained insights and - we believe - made progress. Now we’d like to share these practical insights and training methods with you.

Content: Starting with basic exercises (jibengong), then from single-hand tuishou and on to two-handed Tuishou with fixed and moving steps. We’ll use some techniques and patterns; the focus in all stages is on sensitivity and flow while retaining good structure and clarity.
And we’ll be giving special attention to a particular theme that has emerged for us in recent years: How can we let go of the ‘fear-driven’ desire to control the flow of movement and events? And hence to better connect within ourselves and with our partner, or indeed opponent. Ultimately, to become more free. --> It’s amazing how much new stuff, how many new possibilities and solutions, start to emerge when one can overcome that subtle urge to keep ‘putting the brakes on’ !

On the third day, those interested will have the chance to go a step further in training: putting into practice the trained material – and above all, mindset – in short and fleeting moments of free attack and counterattack. Here too we’ll be emphasizing relaxed mind and body to reduce or avoid the startle reflex and the resulting tendency to stiffen up and block the flow.

As teachers, we each have our own accents and perspectives; our own way of showing and explaining things. At the same time, we know that we complement each other, are close in our visions and goals. We hope that through our slightly different and at the same time harmonising approaches to teaching, we can create a 'three-dimensional' learning space. As the title says, 'Tui Shou Stereo'.

Experience with Tai Chi Chuan and with Tuishou is a prerequisite. Or, in consultation with us, experience inh other martial arts. At the same time, it will be possible for participants to train with each other at different levels so that everyone can work in an appropriate way. ...and yes, we speak English :) ...

Times: 26-28 August 2022
Friday 14.00 - 17.30 and 19.00 - 21.00
Saturday 9.30 - 13.00 and 15.00 - 18.00
Sunday 9.30 - 13.00 and 15.00 - 17.00 ... In total approx. 18 hours of training

Location: Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Costs: Early Bird 280,- € until 24 July / then 340,- € (incl. 19% VAT)
Contact: Giles Rosbander [email protected] / 0163 4275142
Martin Neuman [email protected] / 0177 5785581
Registration: http://www.daozentrum.berlin
Do not make the mistake of giving up the near in order to seek the far.
Giles
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Re: Seminar "Tui Shou Stereo" in Berlin, 26-28 August

Postby nicklinjm on Thu Aug 25, 2022 5:25 pm

Sounds like a really nice event, would definitely attend if I lived in Europe! Hope you can post a summary afterwards to let us know how it went.
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Re: Seminar "Tui Shou Stereo" in Berlin, 26-28 August

Postby Giles on Mon Sep 05, 2022 3:58 am

@ Nicklinjm

Thanks for the interest and here’s a brief account.
We had around 17 participants, familiar and new faces, all open to learning and exchanging. It transpired that some of the new faces were not quite up to the level of experience we had wished, but that was OK because much of what we offered in terms of material and themes enabled people to work at different levels.

A big question when teaching seminars like this one is how much you focus on presenting/teaching new material in terms of patterns, techniques etc. and how much on body/mind basics; how much you keep pushing on to ‘the next thing, the next stage’ and how much you stay with one theme/idea to let it sink in and facilitate a more in-depth experience and change. This time it seemed the right thing to keep returning to the most basic exercises at least twice a day, using these as a reference point to inform the more complex or ‘advanced’ exercises.

The basic calibration partner exercise was this: Person A stands in the neutral posture, arms hanging down. In best possible alignment (i.e. with softened kua, not leaning backwards behind the skeleton plumb line, connecting up and down). B is then in front of A, or to the side, or behind. If already close, B raises a hand as if to touch A. Or B steps towards A with raised hand. Then: B’s hand approaches but doesn’t touch; or B touches A but exerts no pressure; or B touches A and exerts a fairly gentle level of pressure (or some more pressure). A never knows which option will happen. Both persons feel/sense/observe the arising responses in A’s mind and body. Even if tiny, does this involve tensing? Or collapsing? Or freezing? Or the tai chi option, whereby A ‘accepts’ the stimulus in their mind and body, continuing to sink, rise, be soft and resilient, conducting the impulses through oneself into the ground rather like a lightning rod? All this with little or no external movement. As we moved into different types of tuishou, of varying complexity, this was the exercise we often returned to.

There was various stuff in between, as described in the orginal seminar description above, which we mostly put into practice. But more importantly, this ultimately transformed into a mode of practice in which two people engage in tuishou at the level appropriate for them at this moment and endeavour to remain soft and ‘permeable’ at all times, and of course simultaneously focused and sharp. It took the form of this rule-set or game: As you play tuishou, you remain in alignment, you don’t collapse; you continue to stay in motion and challenge your partner by aiming to disrupt or break their root/structure; you ‘protect yourself at all times’ --> And at the same time you never become hard or stiff, you never obstruct or stop the natural flow of movement, the circles and lines, by ‘putting the brakes on’. Every time that you realise that you yourself or the partner is structurally compromised or is pushed or has become hard/stiff/resistant, even if only for 1 or 2 seconds, then this round is FINISHED. Then you reset: you both immediately end the exchange, step apart and then step together again to restart. Even if each round ends after just a few seconds, and even if this happens again and again, you stick by the rules. There is no winning or losing each round, we are all in this together. No matter how the push or, more frequently, the stiffness/hardness came about, because of you or the other person, or you don’t know who or why, you simply accept it’s finished and begin again.

This worked really well because, thanks to the participants themselves and our own efforts to create a culture of mutual cooperation and learning, people were increasingly able to leave ego and fear behind them, to be honest and upright, and to let things start to happen instead of trying to keep a lid on the flow of events (even if only unconsciously). Theme tune for this stage: Let It Be :)
Of course, this is still just an intermediate stage in tuishou and in applications. But we feel it’s a very interesting one that opens up many possibilities. Some of the more experienced people frequently said things along the lines of: “I feel the moves, the techniques are starting to come by themselves instead of me trying to do them. And when they come, they feel much more natural and relaxed, and they work much better.” In future seminars we hope to both repeat the basic elements and also, with some students at least, to move further forward into even freer and also faster exchanges.

In our teaching and demonstrations, Martin and I also tried to be as open and honest as possible. When one or other of us had a suboptimal moment due to fatigue or whatever, we didn’t try to disguise this. Sometimes we corrected each other a little, too, as the students watched and listened. We’ve now reached the stage where this is no longer a threat to our respective egos. We don’t try to market ourselves as masters, but instead show ourselves as instructors who are essentially in the same boat as the participants (albeit a little further down the road), and who have no problems with this being visible. I think that in this way, too, we were able to promote a good and cooperative learning/training culture among the group.

Following this first successful seminar we now aim to give at least 3 of these seminars in Berlin each year. Open to suitable newcomers and also creating more continuity of learning for those who wish to attend regularly.
Do not make the mistake of giving up the near in order to seek the far.
Giles
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