Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On Getting Out of Your Own Way

Tonight before training, Cheng and I were practicing Ceshoufan, and attempting to articulate the force or thrust that allows you to go faster. We came to understand that it definitely involves alignment, balance, and continuous movement, but we never had that "Aha!" moment where the missing piece was revealed.

Ji suggested flipping around, the way Han teaches, and I think I've blogged about this before, but I absolutely love this exercise. This is Ceshoufan, but FAST, and in place-- and you become a spinning wheel, hovering above the floor, squelching friction, defying gravity, and yes! Getting out of your own way.

Getting out of your own way is an amazing anti-skill. It is the absence of blockage, the elimination of procrastination, the banishing of excuses, of clouded thought, of fear and doubt. It is returning-- not to where you've been, but to where you are, again and again. It is yourself chasing yourself, around and around, until you merge fully with the "you" that you're chasing, until you catch up and are fully gathered at one centered point.

To do this, to merge fully, you must make room for yourself by getting out of your own way. This requires the perfect timing of orbiting hands and feet around your center. It means using the power from your core, but letting your limbs steal the show. And it employs movement-- continuous movement, and balance, and alignment.

Every time I do it, I note the wonderful feeling of replacing myself. We are always creating and re-creating anyway, undergoing constant regeneration at every... *ahem* ... turn. And although I know part of the objective is to stay in one place in order to embody the aforementioned hovering wheel, I always get satisfaction from finding myself just a little bit ahead of where I was when I began.

I think whatever it is that helps to speed up Ceshoufan is the same thing that will help with xuanzi, and xuanfeijiao (sp? Tornado?), and it has to do with launching from your center, not your extremities, and being aware of all of it at once. This is something I'm definitely still learning about jumping and getting height in general-- how to be aware of my body when it is aloft-- how to expand that slice of time so that I can be in it and understand it.

All ponderings aside, any advice about how to jump higher is greatly appreciated. Getting out of my own way implies that I've created a way to begin with, but "up, higher" is still relatively unchartered territory.

1 comment:

  1. 1. play ddr on hard to strengthen calf muscles

    2. do those fast crunches more after class like heng nai always used to do

    3. ????

    4. Profit