Had only about an hour with CK last night, so we didn’t have much time to work.
She wanted to see the short open-hands form, so I ran through that. She usually doesn’t let me get more than a half dozen moves in before she stops me to make a bazillion corrections. I heard her make a sound at move three… but apparently she decided to let me get all the way through the form once!
She noted that the flow is improved… that’s the number one thing that I was focusing on. Yet she does want some pauses- pauses in the physical movement but not in the energy.
It’s tricky to get back into "tai chi mode", as it is yet another totally different energy flow. It is most similar to Dragon, though…. especially CK’s version of tai chi. I won’t go wrong if I infuse a little Dragon in there.
We did some stancework- pelvic alignment mostly. I think she is going to want to spend a lot of time on stancework and body alignment this trip. That’s good. I like to try to maximize my CK time by working on things that will help me in all three of my MA’s. Last visit, it was mostly sparring. I want to do some sparring this visit as well, but stancework is another good multi-disciplinary thing I need to work on.
Once again, the marvel that STANDING STILL in CK’s tai chi class is the most physically demanding workout I’ve done in weeks. Phew!
She is quite impressed with the BJJ-driven bodacious Popeye-state of my upper body, although she does feel that putting on a lot of muscle in the absence of correct posture and body alignment can make a lot of problems worse.
In the car (this was on the way to the gym, before she had even seen me do any tai chi this visit), she asked me how I felt about starting another form. The fact that she even suggests that is a big deal. This tradition of tai chi is much, much more anal than my kung fu tradition regarding parceling out new material. It is common to work on learning one form for three to six years before considering the next one. They don’t want to collect a bunch of forms, they want to take one form and build multiple layers in it. CK is really, really picky- but my formwork must look decent if she’s even thinking about starting to teach me another form. I told her, though, that I’d like to feel a little more solid with Cannon Fist first. That’s the tai chi form I feel least secure with right now.
She also had another idea to float me…. she wants me to think about taking on a student. Eep! I hadn’t even picked myself up off the floor from this bombshell when she hit me with the second one- the student she has in mind is DD’s wife!
Now, you’ve got to understand that DD has tried to teach some martial arts to his wife in the past- with results so disasterous that it is literally legendary in the order. No kidding, I have had at least six different people (none of whom were DD or his wife) tell me tales about the time DD tried to teach her this or that and how badly it worked out. I know the lady slightly; she’s very nice, and certainly not slow or stupid or anything… my heart goes out to her, because I’d bet anything that she is in the same boat I am- her learning style just doesn’t mesh well with DD’s teaching style, and they are confused and frustrated with each other. She’s probably completely traumatized around the whole concept by now.
This is just coming so out of left field. I taught the basic BJJ and felt fine about that. Shaolin is taught with the expectation that everyone will teach eventually… it is an actual requirement (for at least some people, I’m not sure if it’s a requirement for all) at certain levels. CC in particular is always tossing out things like, "A taller person is going to do this *this* way; that’s not going to work for your body, but you need to understand this aspect so you can teach it." Teaching tai chi has never even been on my radar.
And what black irony it would be if *I* was teaching MA to DD’s wife…. man, I couldn’t even make up something that ironic. After I get over the shock, this is probably going to look pretty funny.
I’ll need to think this over for a while. It’s a big responsibility, and the time commitment is something that would also need to be considered. RS would throw his hands up; he thinks I’m already doing way too much.
Pretty cool, though, that CK seems to think my tai chi is good enough to 1) learn a new form, and 2)teach. Wow…. I don’t feel like my tai chi is good enough to be teaching. CK says I am too hard on myself.