Keeping up in form...

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Keeping up in form...

Postby caesar » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:21 am

Hi...

Just a simple question again spreading fear and terror to my sleepless nights...

What do you see as benefits when doing the form at the same pace than others...? A situation usually when attending class. I know some schools want students to keep the same rhythm...and there are teachers who prefer everybody, new and old students to just focus on their own rhythm, ignoring others.
caesar
 

Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby chh » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:35 am

I guess two benefits of everyone going at the same pace are that beginners can watch everyone else without getting confused, and people don't bump into each other as much.

I kind of enjoy it whenever I notice that I've sped up and gotten ahead, because it's a good opportunity to try slowing down in a smooth, continuous way rather than just standing in place for a second.

At the same time, I'm really hesitant to try and match the pace of solo stationary, repetitious exercises like qigong or silk reeling with others, I guess I feel like being internally consistent is more important there. I'd like to know what other peoples' perspectives are on that!
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby Monsoon » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:49 pm

That's an interesting point caesar.

What makes me laugh (when I used to attend a group class) is participants craning their necks to see what the next part of a move is, thus wrecking any alignment they had. To me this is just plain bad teaching. I prefer to be shown a position/move/transition/whatever that I can then go and practice on as an individual. That way I can concentrate on what I am doing. Following others in a class I think inhibits the learning process, particularly when you take it away and practice by yourself and have nobody to follow.

And the same with qigong. It is an intensely personal practice, not synchronised swimming!

Monsoon
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby wpgtaiji » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:34 am

The reason you do taiji as a group is the same as to why you do it solo, just magnified. Qi flow! Think of a battery, made up of smaller batteries. Then again, you actually have to be doing taiji correctly first, which most have no clue on, so yes, its a waste of time!

Ever hear of the "one qi"? :)
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby Monsoon » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:53 am

Well, I'll call you on that one :D

If I put a bunch of people close together their collective intelligence does not increase. Similarly, the collective heat output is larger than that of the individual, it does not represent a 'whole is greater than the sum of its parts' scenario.

While I accept that some people get more out of practicing in a group, others simply do not. There is no right and wrong of it, merely differences.

Then again, you actually have to be doing taiji correctly first, which most have no clue on


Well, you're entitled to your own opinions I guess, but I would request that you provide an example of someone who can 'do' taiji properly who isn't named Montaigue or in any way connected with them or their particular group. Good luck!

Monsoon
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby chh » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:13 am

Monsoon- I know what you mean about 'neck craning'/alignment problem in big classes. Even after that ceases to be an issue for most people, it seems like many have trouble breaking the habit of slipping through a move at a quick pace and then standing there, waiting for the next move to start and repeating the process. Both those things mess with enough major objectives in taiji that I think they should be addressed as bad habits from early on!
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby caesar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:02 am

I'm glad I asked this. What Monsoon and chh are currently talking about is actually the question that lead me to ask it here. Classes are starting again in a few days and to be honest...I already have a little stress about it...because I know that I just can't yet keep up with the class so, that I wouldn't injure myself. I'm honestly thinking if I'd take a break for 1-2 months and just train and improve by my own as long as it takes for me to feel loose, although I would be missing the partner training. What do you think? Anyone else experienced with similar situation?
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby Monsoon » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:48 pm

Personally, I think that following and copying in a group scenario is sub-optimal. A better way is for a teacher to demonstrate a move/position/transition to the class, then have everyone repeat it over and over as the teacher wanders around correcting alignments. When you have learned two consecutive moves you can practice running them one after the other. It takes longer to teach a class this way but the results are generally better, and people seem to understand more about the art.

Regarding your 'looseness' I wouldn't worry about this too much if you are at an early stage in your training. It takes time to understand and achieve the requisite relaxed feeling. It will happen, but don't try to force it right now, just concentrate on smooth accurate movements until you are confident in your forms and positions. It's a bit like zen meditation: beginners sit down and try to force some kind of mental emptiness. This ends up as counterproductive and usually means it takes longer to reach an appropriate mind state.

Another approach for the class is to split it into distinct 'experience' groups - like beginners and more advanced. I remember a long time ago as my (UK) master's "first" student that I helped train the newer members while he concentrated on the more advanced ones. This is not uncommon in martial arts groups in general, although seems less common for TJQ classes in the West. When in China I get taught on a strictly one-to-one basis (for free I might add!), but there is another group that I am friendly with who regularly train with their "first" student as the lead while the real master is about other business. But I digress.

Relax, don't worry, enjoy the movement. Stress is not your friend here... leave it at home.

Monsoon
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby caesar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:39 pm

Thanks Monsoon!

I'll just clarify that in our school, the form is usually been done together in the beginning. And after...

A better way is for a teacher to demonstrate a move/position/transition to the class, then have everyone repeat it over and over as the teacher wanders around correcting alignments.


...and after it's all that. Let's just say that after 20-40 minutes of trying to keep up with others, I might be pretty emotionally and physically exhausted, and it seems to affect my ability to learn for the rest of the class.

Regarding your 'looseness' I wouldn't worry about this too much if you are at an early stage in your training. It takes time to understand and achieve the requisite relaxed feeling.


Yeah well...it wouldn't be such a problem for me, if I'd not get so tensed from training. I mean, I might feel how my facial and neck and chest muscles are very stiff after practice...affecting my breathing, walking, standing...and this of course has an effect on my emotional well being. I've noticed it often takes like 1-2 hours after training, for me to feel "normal and okay" again. Well...positive side is that the pains and tensions were much stronger a few months ago, and my lower back was wicked. Perhaps it's a sign that some improvement is happening anyway...oh yeah, and nothing beats constipation like doing the form, yippeee!!!

Relax, don't worry, enjoy the movement. Stress is not your friend here... leave it at home.


Music to my ears buddy. :)
caesar
 

Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby yeniseri » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:34 pm

caesar wrote:Hi...
What do you see as benefits when doing the form at the same pace than others...? A situation usually when attending class. I know some schools want students to keep the same rhythm...and there are teachers who prefer everybody, new and old students to just focus on their own rhythm, ignoring others.


When you are starting out learning the form in a school format, you are learning the 'choreography' of form per the teacher, the rhythm, the sequence of movements, etc so when you are on your own, you can practice according to your own methodology. It also helps the student by having the front, back, and side examples of the form in order to pick up the cues of the form with the 'speed'

As much as I hated to do taiji to music, one of my teachers had a five minute music tape for a short form and we were all supposed to start and stop per the music. After awhile, I began to see the learrning methodology because there were always people starting and stopping despite the 'metronone' quality of balancing the form with music. The 'self adjustment' had to come from the student based on the music qualities.
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby sub_human » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:50 pm

In a group, cadence becomes important due to golden ratio... our lungs ared the right size for us. Thus, allowing same pace, all (should) be breathing in cadence. This harmony itself, is a natural tool.
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby wpgtaiji » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:46 pm

Monsoon wrote:Well, I'll call you on that one :D

If I put a bunch of people close together their collective intelligence does not increase. Similarly, the collective heat output is larger than that of the individual, it does not represent a 'whole is greater than the sum of its parts' scenario.

While I accept that some people get more out of practicing in a group, others simply do not. There is no right and wrong of it, merely differences.

Then again, you actually have to be doing taiji correctly first, which most have no clue on


Well, you're entitled to your own opinions I guess, but I would request that you provide an example of someone who can 'do' taiji properly who isn't named Montaigue or in any way connected with them or their particular group. Good luck!

Monsoon

Call me on what?

I think this is interesting that a person who claims to study an internal art, which deals in energy, doesnt understand energy, nor what we, as human beings, actually are! Thank you for clarifying this for me.
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby caesar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:18 pm

Blaaaaaaaaaah...

Not interested in a fight. Only help for my problem if somebody can provide, thank you...and thank you for all who already gave their thoughts and help.

Peace.
caesar
 

Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby Monsoon » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:04 am

@caesar, sorry about that. By the way, I am not saying you should leave your group. You will have to find a way work with the group. Just try not to fret too much about the class dynamics though.

Monsoon

edited to avoid pointless bickering.
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Re: Keeping up in form...

Postby Josh Young » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:43 pm

For me matching a pace teaches or employs listening skills, so to speak.
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