The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Different Kind of Southern Wu Sytle Taijiquan

Wu Quanyou (1834-1902) learned Taijiquan from Yang Lu Chan and his son, Yang Pan Hou. Wu in turn eventually had his own students.

When Wu relocated to Shanghai, the students he left behind continued to teach, and they became known as the Northern Wu Style of Taijiquan. It would be fair to call the art that passed down through Wu's family the Southern Wu Style of Taijiquan.

It would be fair, but that's not what this post is about.

Down in the southern United States, David Lenkovitski teaches a branch of the Wu Family Style of Taijiquan in Rogers Arkansas, at the RabBoar Studio. David has been practicing Taijiquan for over 30 years, and while he has experience in several different styles, he carries on what he has been taught by a famous inside student of Wu GongYi, Rock Ng (Wu Gaotai), where the "quan jit" or square form as taught to the family and inside students is emphasized.

I asked David if he could provide a few words to provide some insight into his study and practice of taijiquan. His response is below. Please pay his website a visit. There's a forum focused on the Wu style of taijiquan trying to get off the ground as well. Enjoy.

There are 3 elements comprising the introductory years of internal practice.

1. letting go, a process of dissolving the affects / mind knots / body armor, essentially a 'not doing' or yin process, just open your hands (mind / body...) and stop holding to the old trash.

2. chi to DT ++, a process of replenishment, accumulating post natal chi in the DT, 'cooking' it and adding the results to the one chi. This is a neutral process, where 'natural' processes are given a 'place' to occur.

3. rebuilding the original balances and alignments of the bones & joints, muscles and fascia through correct application of basic and form work. This is an active, yang process, even the re-acquisition of sung is active.

An excerpt from an article is below. The whole article may be read here.

Less Better, understanding Tai Chi Chuan


walt said...

"...letting go, a process of dissolving the affects / mind knots / body armor..."

I find that I'm always prejudiced in favor of the "results," the "ends" or the goal, rather than the means whereby. So from this perspective, "more" always seems like "better." Maybe it's a male thing.

On his website, David lists, as the forst benefit of Tai Chi, "balance and stability." These two, alone, are worthy of long work. The process described above, of letting go, etc., seems (for me, at least) to be a work that not only does not come naturally, but also does not end.

Lots of gems tucked into this post, article, and weblink!

David L. said...

A point to make, while having learned from Rock Ng the 'southern' Wu, I have aquired a bit of the N. Wu as well, and am going through a reconciliation of both transmissions.