29 September 2007

Yang Long Form (Week 5)

Yes, I forgot to post a week 4, but we didn't get to anything new last week; we just consolidated the first "third" that we did know. And this week I was the only one up there, and I swear that Don would have tried to get me through the entire NEXT third if I hadn't stopped him. I don't guarantee that I can remember everything he DID get through, at least not in the proper style. Up to the place I stopped him, it was still following the same sequence as the Cheng Manch'ing form, but then it was going to go into another series of step-ups and brush-knees.

So from apparent closure, the move is described as grabbing a tiger's head and throwing it. I can't remember the long-form name, but it's a bit milder in the CMC form, and called "Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain" or, sometimes, "Carry Tiger to the Mountain." This seems to be "Carry Tiger's Head to the Mountain." It actually has a waist turn that the CMC form lacks, which is unusual; it's more often the other way around. After that, it's a sequence of grasp sparrow's tail to the corners. "Great Roc Spreads Wings" is different. The arms start facing the same way and spread during the foot placement. I'm not sure how exactly the arms are supposed to get to "Lotus Under Leaf" aka "Fist Under Elbow" in this form, but Don didn't seem interested in fixing that today.

"Step Back to Repel Monkey" is very similar to CMC, except that you step back with the feet at forty-five degrees, instead of parallel, cock the pushing wrist, and pull the down hand up to the waist. Diagonal Flying is, frankly, insane. If you've ever seen a yoga balance posture called "Proud Warrior", well, this thing is only slightly more stable. You come into it mostly the same way as in the CMC form, but it's to the front of the room rather than the corner, and you float and stand up as you shift the weight, lifting the back foot like a ruddy ballerina. Seriously, to use this in any sort of combat situation would be very nearly insane. Timed just right, it could be effective, but you're so off-balance and vulnerable that you may as well have a target painted on you. More than one opponent? Forget about long-form-slant-flying. On the other hand, the name actually makes sense in this form, which it never really did in the CMC form.

And after that, there's another raise-hands-step-up, and probably the whole brush-knee sequence repeats, but I had enough stuff filling my head right then and asked Don to stop.

On the bright side, Don actually complimented me on the Chauncer Chin today (sp? No clue; it's transliterated from Chinese, anyway, and that's roughly how Don pronounces it). It's a qigong where you trace the shape of a yin-yang by a series of weight-shifts and waist-turns. Naturally since he was finally happy with it, he added a new wrinkle: both hands at once. Maybe in another seven years I'll have THAT down.

I also surprised Don a few times in push-hands, meaning that I pushed him out without him deliberately setting up for me to push him out. There were a couple of awesome ones there. My favorite was one where I had my hand up and suddenly knew that there was a vulnerability. Normally Don is solid there (my hand was up near his shoulder), but I just knew there was a vulnerability, turned my waist, and there he went. He said that he'd been shifting his feet at that moment, adjusting his stance, and what I had felt was that he was slightly off-balance. Keep in mind that my eyes were closed, and that Don's body did not move while he was adjusting his stance. I could just feel that he was vulnerable. Don's favorite was at the very end of our practice. What I felt was one attempt to push, a realization that I didn't have his center, and a shift down to where his center was. Don said that I had readjusted several times, without tensing up, and that he'd found it impressive. Oh, and there were many MANY more instances where I tensed something up and Don pushed me out with no effort whatsoever, but those are pretty commonplace. ^/^

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