Jun. 3rd, 2008 09:46 am
darren_stranger: (Default)
Last night we were playing with some self-defence stuff, and David was taking us through some Hapkido style moves he's been practising for his grading.  One, against a firm wrist-grab, involves taking the attacker's balance by pulling the grabbed arm down, using your legs by bending at the knees, then circling up to set up his hand for a wrist-lock.  The actual movement, bending the knees and turning the body slightly while dropping the arm down and out, then circling it in and up as if scooping water, looked remarkably like T'ai Chi to me.  It's interesting to see something like that, as i've noticed before that a lot of the principles of Hapkido seem to echo things from the T'ai Chi classics (be soft where your opponent is strong etc).  I don't know of any direct connection between the two, but it's interesting to see similarities, from an outside perspective at least. 

(Note for future reference, the wrist lock used is a slightly odd one - both hands held like pistols (thumb and index finger extended) with the other six fingers wrapped around his hand and thumb heels meeting on the back of his hand.  The twist itself is done directly in front, just rotating on front of the solar plexus without moving or turning the body). 


May. 28th, 2007 08:54 am
darren_stranger: (Default)

Just an interesting thing i noticed this morning, that's probably worth remembering, and ties in to the 'silence is golden' post i wrote the other week.

This morning i was doing my t'ai chi form in the little park.  My mind was wandering all over the place and i was making mistakes.  At one time i went from thinking about the mistake i had just made, to the need to stop thinking about other things and concentrate on what i'm doing, to the need to be able to not think while doing poomsae so as not to make mistakes, to how that might apply to a self defence situation, to Xena, Warrior Princess (via "act, don't react"), to things i'd been reading on LiveJournal.  In the midst of all that, i did a move that seemed to flow really well and brought my mind back to what i was supposed to be doing.  As soon as i stopped all the chatter in my mind, i noticed the trees in front of me suddenly come sharply into focus and had a few moments of crystal clarity before my mind raced away again with a thousand distracted thoughts (starting with writing this post in my head).  So the moment was lost, but i figure it's worth remembering as something to aim to recapture in the future.

Like any skill, i'm sure it's something that will get better with practise.


Oct. 26th, 2006 01:01 pm
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Still working my way through that t'ai chi form on the video, and i'm up to the first set of kicks.  It's quite strange doing them t'ai chi style as a lot of it's opposite to what we do in taekwondo - the support knee straightens instead of staying bent and the breath is inward on the kick rather than out.   What i'm really having trouble with is knowing just where to breathe.  On the video he only mentions breathing in on the kicks, but i can't work out what happens in between.  In other parts of the video where he hasn't mentioned the breathing, i've later worked out it was a no breath (often going back to re-watch it i'll even find he mentions something being on the same breath) but in this sequence i'm sure there has to be some other breathing somewhere as otherwise it's all in-breaths one after another.

I did a google search and found Erle Montaigue's website yesterday, and found another set of videos for the same form in downloadable form, which have already shed some light for me on the bits i've done so far, but it still doesn't say much about the breathing during the kicking sequence.  

Next step is to ask on the t'ai chi community and see if anyone can offer some help there (other than 'get a real teacher instead of a teach-yourself video', that is).

art space

Aug. 11th, 2006 09:40 am
darren_stranger: (Default)

Still trying to figure out the best place to do my morning t'ai chi exercises.  

My initial plan was to use the park area next to the train station - that way i can walk up there, dunk my ticket and then do the form until i hear the announcement that the train is about to arrive.  That works pretty well, except that i get sick and tired of high school kids gawking every day, so it'd be nice to have somewhere a bit less public.  I could do it at home before i leave, either on the front porch or the lawn, but i'll have to use the alarm on my phone to tell me when it's time to head off for the train.  The downside of that is that i like to be able to see a bit further off into the distance and have a feeling of space around me, which is limited when all i can see is my own garden.  Another option i tried was the open ground along by the train line, which is nice - lots of trees still, a bit of privacy if i move away from the walking track, and i can see into the distance past the houses on the other side.  The downside of that is that the train drivers seem to feel the need to blow their horns every time (probaby at seeing someone doing something wierd and poofy) and feeling like i want to punch someone isn't really the start to the day i was looking to achieve. Maybe i could try that little reserve up the street (really a vacant block with trees), though i'd still prefer to be able to use a spot near the station as it gives me the most time to do the form without risk of missing the train. May have to think on it more.

On a less whiny note, i've discovered that the front porch is big enough to practice my tae kwon do patterns on, which will save the lawn a bit (especially when it's wet and spongy).  The only ones that were too big to fit were Pyongwon and Sipjin, but i realised if i turn 45 degrees, so the + of Sipjin goes diagonally across the porch, i can make that fit too, and likewise for Pyongwon.  The only thing i have to do is sight markers to keep everything square, as the porch is rectangular and i can't use the corners as a guide.

Anyway, it's all good, as although i miss Edinburgh Gardens for Sunday morning patterns, having a few square metres to actually do stuff at home is a real bonus and should let me practice something every day, which i've never had before.

Not to mention a jogging track from the station to home so i can have a quick run on my way home in the evenings too.


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