Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Swing of the Wandering Backyard Dojo.

Last night was interesting, went over to Guy's place, we sat for a minute, had a beer, then went out on the front porch and he showed me some things he'd been studying about rooting from the principles of Yang Style Tai Chi.
'It is like a towel,' he said, 'you push me and the towel just twists and absorbs.' This is how I learned many of the things I did, by studying, so he is on the right track, indeed, he said something that I had said years ago, 'one cannot attach to an insight as it comes' because there are always more insights that may negate the previous insight.
The important thing is to pay attention, realize the mind has come upon something else, and let it go.

My Sensei would often describe seeing pictures on the floor during Zazen, something called Makkyo (or something similar, cannot remember if that is the exact word or not just now), just like the game of discerning shapes in the clouds, the mind will wander.
If one seeks to stop the wandering, then the mind will wander even more; it is best just to let it go where it may, accept it, be the blue sky behind the shifting clouds, or the calm in the eye of the storm (someone once told me this is what Seiyunchin meant a long time ago).
Seiyunchin means to Push and Pull into Battle by the majority of people who practice the Kata (again, majority rules), but this does imply a deep level of calm amid the violent flurry of someone pushing, pulling, and otherwise jerking you around.
Focus and deep rooted tranquility amid turbulence.

We did not spend much time going through some of the basic principles, we hit the back yard and just started sparring, went non-stop for a while, but my heart was not really into it, I was just goofing around, more or less.
When I found something I wanted to look at, like escapes from a half nelson or 'sleeper hold' I would stop him and play around with it for a moment, and when he wanted to examine something he would stop.
One point he stopped and was explaining a throat strike to me that he said was a good fight stopper.

Testing his focus, I was firing random strikes, punches, kicks, even grabbing his the hood on his hoody from time to time.
At certain points we ended up at close range flowing into sticking hands applications; it was pretty fun, sent some stop kicks to his knees, there was a lot of pushing and pulling, after a bit I decided to share some of what I had learned about Fa Jing.
I am no expert, but I thought he would find it interesting, so I started to practice 'connecting the whip' in the free form movements.

I explained it a little bit after a few rounds with a rather rough and unfocused form of this method, whiping around with strikes, bumps, absorbtions, and pushes, most of which were lacking even half power.
A great learning experience for us both; Guy was making more of an effort to focus and ground than I was and he was doing good, but needs to get over the idea of fixed positions.
I need to get over the idea of testing him out and really just go in, but we are both getting over a flu, so taking it easy and just goofing around, experimenting, that was the way to go.

Next time I think we will work more on some basic foundation principles, go through some Kata, and do some sticking hands.
There is still quite a bit of work to do for both of us, and I never really look at it as though I am the teacher, we are both students of the moment, even then, it is best not to grasp at the lesson, just acknowledge, then let it go.

2 comments:

Abruña said...

"'One cannot attach to an insight as it comes' because there are always more insights that may negate the previous insight. The important thing is to pay attention, realize the mind has come upon something else, and let it go."

Once upon a time, I used to have these insights, ideas, and once I had them I would hold on to them and not speak of it so as to think myself clever. Finally, when I got around to talking about them, the ideas themselves had no life in them, a corpse of words. Grasping for wind, fistful of air.

ZenHG said...

A good way of letting go of things is to write them out or talk about them.