Classes within the Temple of Heaven Park


Simply been going by means of some outdated notes, as I love to do every now and then, and got here throughout my reflections on some days coaching with Zhang Baosheng in Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park in the Nineteen Nineties. Zhang was in his seventies on the time and had discovered from the famend Wu fashion grasp Wang Peisheng. We met by probability throughout just a few days within the capital getting over jetlag en path to Chenjiagou. Beneath are a few of his phrases of recommendation…

On Zhan Zhuang:

• The arms are expanded outwards. The energy in every arm coming from the alternative leg if examined from the facet. If examined from the entrance, the arms prolong forwards whereas the decrease again pushes backwards – as if pushing the decrease again in opposition to a low wall.

• It may be useful to apply zhan zhuang in opposition to a tree or wall along with your again very barely away from the wall; In the identical manner you possibly can apply xu bu (empty stance) – as in zhan Zhuang, however with one foot ahead and insubstantial; or gong bu (bow stance) by going through a tree with the entrance knee, toe and nostril to the tree representing the ultimate place you possibly can prolong to – this slanted place being a function on Wu Taijiquan.  

On the significance of preserving vitality – You will need to protect pre-natal qi because the qi produced in later life isn’t so efficient. To do that:

• By no means end apply panting and out of breath.

• If changing into agitated throughout apply, then cease and regular oneself.

• It can be crucial in nei gong (inside energy) coaching that qi doesn’t grow to be excited and rise. The essential workouts talked about above are useful on this.

On intention and sustaining a “secondary vitality”:

• The thoughts clearly distinguishes between yin and yang or stable and insubstantial.

• Don’t focus completely on a selected response. As an alternative, at all times have an alternate or secondary various prepared ought to your first response be insufficient.

• Apply the concept of root, trunk and branches to the higher and decrease physique. When it comes to the arm, the shoulder is the basis, elbow is the trunk, and the wrist/hand is the department. In motion, in case you are pushing in along with your hand and the opponent responds to this, then give him the hand (i.e., soften it) and push in with the elbow. 

• When performing a motion there ought to at all times be two energies current: one acts as a dummy or ruse and subsequently, the opponent should concentrate on it; the opposite performs the true assault and is disguised. So, whereas the opponent is conscious of the “dummy” hand, intent should be with the opposite “attacking” hand.

On tuishou:

• When working towards push palms emphasis must be upon sensitivity. Connecting very softly and letting your associate reveal their weaknesses like water degree settling after it has been disturbed. In Zhang’s phrases, “Pushing an opponent must be like pushing a ship with the tide, relatively than in opposition to it.”

• The elbows shouldn’t be allowed to elevate, and the shoulder mustn’t elevate in response to an opponent’s stress.

On kind coaching:

• You could calm down whereas doing the shape, however on the similar time be filled with intent. Visualisation is as should you had been swimming throughout a river to assault an enemy on the alternative financial institution. Although your intention is severe, you do your utmost to make no noise or ripples within the water.

• Throughout kind coaching each motion should be carried out with consideration and precision. To assist with this you possibly can visualise that your prolonged hand is holding a treasured vase.  

Salute to Zhang Baozheng!