Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Frankie Says RELAX!

Since I finished erluquan, in preparation for testing, more than one person has warned me about the importance of learning to pace myself properly through the (very long) form. In fact, when I was still learning yiluquan, someone, I think Joshua, told me to relax because if I was that tense doing erluquan I'd collapse halfway through. It's hard to find the balance of doing every movement all-out with lots of chi, while making sure you aren't a sad sack of sloppiness by the end. What was pointed out to me, was that while of course everything should be sharp and clean, there are points built into the form for catching your breath to prepare for the next strike, kick, 5 kicks, whatever. And if you concentrate on being relaxed in those parts and not constantly tense (like I often am) you'll find your energy goes much further.

Finding this good advice, I've also tried to apply it to the entire class. When on line for basics, I've been trying to make sure that during those brief intervals of standing I'm totally relaxed, breathing controlled, and not tensed up waiting for the next trip down the line. I have spent a large portion of my time training trying to relax my shoulders during forms and basics, relax my muscles for stretching, relax relax relax. Most of my life I've maintained a constant state of tension and it's been a difficult adaptation. But I'm slowly getting there, and it has really helped me focus my chi into both explosive power and controlled execution. I hope I can keep it going for this weekend!

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