The Skinny Guys

Many people train and prepare by walking along the way of the warrior, but never discover, or maybe just forget, what battle they have been training for. The battle rages in front of their eyes and they don

Tuesday

Stealing from the gods the fire of passion and creativity to lighten our life is just the first step of the trip, not the destination. Passion and creativity are not our private property, not our very own toys. They are the sparks lighting the fire of a big tribal camp. Having talent and not cultivating it is a crime, but cultivating it without sharing its fruits with others may be even worse. In its highest form, the way of the warrior is that of the bodhisatva: putting one

Sunday evening

When you’re a kid, things are pretty simple. Then everything gets very complicated. At some point, it goes back to simple. Or, rather, it doesn’t stop being complicated- it’s just that you realize that the simple parts are all that matter. -Kitsune

Sunday kung fu, with CN teaching and MM in town.

We started with some reps of the Mantis bo form, then we worked on Angry Snake on our own while CN taught MM the bo form. I repped all three dao forms a few times, then moved on to some Box Form, Little Red Dragon, Little Red Dragon In the Mirror (mostly okay, there are a couple of techniques I tend to be a little hesitant on), and Lun Qi.

CN came over and asked to see my Snake (two reps) and had *no* improvement points to suggest. Zow. He did tell me about an alternate move for the kneeling step, but said the one I was doing is fine- he just wanted me to know that the other existed, in case anyone else expected me to perform it the other way.

Then some Box Form. MM and JoE do not know the form, so they learned the first bit and practiced it while Nemesis and I (who know the form) worked some apps. Noticing that he tends to find armlock apps in almost everything…. JoE is even more apt to that (he was doing it while I was working with him on Thursday), and I rarely seem to see the armlocks till someone points them out to me. I do tend to see the apps that involve getting really close and clasping arms and other parts of the bad guy against my body.

Sunday

125

Back down from a dizzying 128, trying to get my diet back on track.

Today’s FOD: Long Qi….. all the stones went back in the cup yesterday, starting a new cycle- with the Leopard At Dawn fragment.

Holy crap. I have been working my posterior off and now have ALL BUT ONE of my Shaolin forms (Hurricane Hands) transcribed. HH is about 1/3 done. I still have three Tai Chi forms to do

The battleground

There are certain things I am supposed to be doing now.

Certain social dance steps, rules of engagement. People are standing around waiting for me to take my cue. Come on, take it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have little patience for such things.

This, though…. this is a conflict situation. A battleground.

The gauntlet has been thrown- actually, it was one of those cases of you minding your own business, and this guy walks up and cracks you across the face with his glove in public: a direct assault to your person and dignity, with threat/promise of worse violation and outrage to come if you fail to rise up to defend yourself and what is yours.

As a warrior, that rising up is instinctual and right. It feels so good. I can practically taste the blood in my mouth. I can do this- and if I can’t, I’ll die a hero’s death with my sword in my hand. There’s never been a worthier cause to go to war.

But I have seen this movie before, and I know how it ends.

My shrink used to say to me, "What’s your objective?"

My only prayer of attaining my objective is to decline to run the pattern, refuse to play the game. Deny the instinct, the desire, the goading to rise up and fight. Deny the voices (both external and internal) that cry desperately, they will take everything from you if you do not fight- if you do not do what you were made to do.

[Taking script in hand, ripping it in half, hurling the torn papers to scatter and flutter everywhere on the wind]

Needing some strength.

Unhappy knees

Remembering who I am is the only thing I really need, but it is a never-ending task, because forgetting is very easy and equally easy is not realizing I have forgotten. Maybe our ideas, words and opinions remain the same, but inside a light fades. We are still who we are, but just a little less intense, less passionate, less alive, less of the person we can be. When this happens, what we need is to go through an experience that turns the switch back on. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior

Tai ch short form

+Tai Chi short open-hands form (today’s Form Of the Day)

Crazy. The transcript is as long as the transcript for Five Points. I think that because I’ve been doing tai chi for twice as long as I’ve been doing Kung Fu, I just know more details and nuances that have to go into the transcript.

The long form- and Cannon Fist- are going to be ripe bitches to transcribe.

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Begin standing straight facing north. Arms are at sides.

Three medium-sized openings and closings.

Slowly transfer weight to rt foot.

Lift left foot and deliberately step out to left (toe down first) in high horse.

Slowly equalize weight. Pause.

Bring arms up slowly in front ("zombie" pose). Shoulders are relaxed, hands loose and palms facing floor. When hands reach chest level, pause. Then press fingers gently to north.

Let arms gently fall to fronts of thighs. Pause.

Turn torso to northwest. Scoop in front of your groin with right hand, moving it left. Rt hand is floating above it, palm turned towards it, as if you are holding a basketball.

Move the basketball to chest level on your centerline.

Switch the hands so that right is on top (palm down) and left on bottom (palm up). Turn the torso to face northeast. Rt toe turns east. Shift into a front stance facing northeast, rt foot in front. As you turn, the hands pull the basketball across so that it stays on your centerline.

Lift rt knee to stand on left leg. You are facing east with the basketball at your chest. Pause.

Step out with left leg to northwest. Heel down first. As you step, both hands drop to groin and then do a spreading motion "smoothing your skirt" to end at 45 degree angles off your hips. Most of your weight shifts forward onto left foot.

Turn torso to front (north) and pull rt foot to left, then push it out front into a cat stance. Left hand turns palm-up to cup at belly button. As foot moves forward, rt hand moves with it to scoop (palm fwd) from rt hip all the way forward and then up the centerline to above brow level.

Rt fist drops gently into left cupped hand.

Rt fist goes straight back up centerline to above bow level, rt knee comes up with it so that you are standing on left leg.

Left foot stomps down as rt Fist drops firmly into cupped left hand at belly button. Pause. You are now in horse. This sequence comprises

Turn torso northwest. Stance shifts so that you are in a shallow lunge with rt leg straight. Left hand remains cupped at belly button. Rt hand (loosely cupped, palm up) reaches toward northwest on an upward diagonal. As this hand reaches, the left palm slides down the forearm to cup elbow. At the apex of the reach, rt palm turns to face northwest.

Slowly Turn torso northeast, shifting stance so that your lunge transfers to a left-leg-straight one. Rt palm (facing north) travels across at face level with you as you turn. Rt elbow is bent and dropped. Left palm remains cradling elbow.

Turn torso north and settle into horse. Left hand, palm up, drops to cup under belly button. Rt hand turns palm outward (toward northeast) at face level. Rt elbow is still bent and dropped. Pause.

Drop left hand to left hip, then let it float (palm upward, elbow bent and dropped) up to shoulder level, northwesterly. It then turns palm east, pushes past face and meets up with rt hand as your torso turns slightly northeast and your horse stance shifts into a gentle lunge (left leg straight).

Both hands (palms east, elbows bent and dropped) drop from rt shoulder to rt hip.

Turn torso north and shift into horse as hands move to groin level on centerline.

Turn torso northwest and shift into gentle lunge (rt leg straight) as both hands (elbows bent and dropped, palms toward ground and fingers hanging loosely) continue the curve from groin to left shoulder.

Settle weight back on rt foot and pull left foot back so that you are in a narrow cat. Simultaneously, pull both hands (elbows bent and dropped, wrists hanging loose and palms toward you) to your solar plex.

Turn torso northeast. Do not move feet. Turn palms diagonally downward toward floor and push both hands down to your rt hip. Pause.

Turning your torso a bit more to east, form a Tiger’s mouth with your left hand and push it overtop of the right hand to reach eastward at hip level (palm down). Then pull it back to cup beneath belly button as torso turns north again. As torso turns north, your rt hand forms a loose Crane’s beak (beak down) and lifts up (almost at arm’s extension, but elbow remains slightly bent) to northeast. Pause. This sequence comprises "Single Whip".

Turn torso northeast, shifting into a gentle lunge (left leg straight) as your left hand floats palm-up to touch your rt wrist.

Turn torso slowly north, then keep going to slightly northwest. As you hit north, shift into horse stance. As you are turning, left hand turns palm out to north, fingers eastward, and pulls across face level on centerline. Elbow is bent and dropped.

As your left hand gets to northwest, turn torso back to north and settle into stance. Left hand turns fingers-up and moves just a bit back toward center. Pause. Your arms are extended to either side, just a bit forward of the torso. Elbows bent and dropped. Rt hand is a loose Crane’s beak (beak down), left hand is palm facing northeast with fingers up. Pause.

Drop rt hand to groin, then circle it up to join left hand. Both Turn palm out and pull across face level (fingers up, elbows bent and dropped) to northeast. Torso turns slightly to left and then right to follow.

Both hands swoop down to rt hip, then your left toe and torso turn west and you shift into a fwd stance with left foot in front, facing west. Weight goes to left foot. As it does so, the rt hand stays at right hip, but left hand moves in front of groin, palm down, then slightly out in front to block (palm out). Fingers are pointing north.

Pull rt foot to left, then push it out front into a cat stance. Left hand turns palm-up to cup at belly button. As foot moves forward, rt hand moves with it to scoop (palm fwd) from rt hip all the way forward and then up the centerline to above brow level.

Rt fist drops gently into left cupped hand.

Rt fist goes straight back up centerline to above bow level, rt knee comes up with it so that you are standing on left leg.

Left foot stomps down as rt Fist drops firmly into cupped left hand at belly button. Pause. You are now in horse.

Turn torso to southwest, as rt hand turns palm-down and moves to left elbow.

Turn torso back to west, as right hand turns palm-out and moves in an arc to left shoulder, then continues in a curve over head to finish above rt temple. Elbow is bent and dropped. Palm is turned slightly upward to ward. At the same time that the right hand is moving, the left hand is making a balancing curve by moving to rt hip, then sweeping (palm south and fingers down) across groin area to finish floating palm-down slightly in front of left thigh.

Do not pause here. Continue the arm movements: They move opposite each other clockwise, palms outward, until rt hand gets to 5 o’clock and left hand is at 11 o’clock. Then they move to meet in front of your chest, as you take a step backward with rt foot and transition into a cat stance (left toe fwd).

Do not pause here. From the chest, continue the arm curves until they are in the same position as before: Rt hand above rt temple. Elbow is bent and dropped. Palm is turned slightly upward to ward. Left hand is floating palm-down slightly in front of left thigh. This sequence comprises "White Crane Spreads Its Wings". Now pause.

Turn torso slightly southwest as rt palm (facing south) passes in front of face, curves down to left hip, then moves to rt hip. Then turn torso slightly northwest as left palm (facing north) moves from left hip to curve slightly out and move across face, curving down to also end at right hip.

As left hand passes across face, turn rt toe and torso to northwest. As left hand reaches rt hip, bring rt palm up to cover right ear, and lift left knee up to stand on rt leg. Pause.

Step out west with left foot (heel first) into a fairly deep fwd stance facing west. As you step and your weight shifts to the left foot, left hand (fingers down and palm south) sweeps from rt hip to cover groin and sweep around left thigh to form Crane’s beak at outside of left thigh. Simultanously, rt hand pushes forward in a blade hand strike forward to west at chin level. Thumb toward you, fingers up.

Bring left Crane’s beak up to meet rt blade hand in front, chest level.

Spread both hands out to sides, chest level, not quite fully extended. Rt hand is now palm out. Pause.

Bring both hands down to meet and grab in front of groin. After you grab, Shift back into a cat stance with left toe in front, weight on rt leg. Bring both hands up to chest level and push them out to west in double blade hand strikes. Thumbs toward you, fingers up, palms facing centerline. Rt is in front of left. Pause.

Lift left knee up to stand on rt leg. Drop both hands to rt hip, then bring them both up to rt ear (palms together).

Step left foot into fwd stance west, both hands move from ear to blade-hand strike chin level to west (palms to centerline, fingers up). Left hand is in front, almost to extention, rt is behind it with elbow bent. The step fwd (weight shift) helps power the strike.

Step rt foot into fwd stance west, dropping left hand to left hip. Rt hand extends for a second blade-hand strike, powered partially by the step and weight shift.

Bring left foot fwd and turn northwest, dropping into horse stance. Bring rt fist to solar plex, left hand starts at left hip and swing out at extention in a big circle to end with palm down, covering rt fist.

Both arms drop and spread ("smoothing out your skirt" motion); when they reach almost horizontal to sides (palms down), they move to centerline (waist level) and meet.

Leave left hand out there (palm pressing fwd). Turn torso northeast and draw rt hand back to rt hip.

Make a fist rt hand and punch waist level northwest. Torso turns northwest again as you strike. Left hand pulls back as you punch, to chamber at waist. Pause.

Turn torso west and drop into cat stance with left toe fwd. Left hand goes to rt wrist, on centerline at waist level. Rt hand then pulls back to chamber at waist while left pushes to west in blade-hand strike at waist level (thumb toward you, fingers up).

Rock weight fwd onto left foot, then back onto rt. As weight goes rt, pull left foot back to step behind rt, and turn to south. As you turn, rt palm brushes left palm at chest level. Settle into south-facing horse with left hand chambered at waist and right hand palm-out near rt shoulder (elbow bent and dropped).

Draw rt foot in to left foot while dropping rt hand to rt hip. Both hands come straight up centerline to above brow.

Step out to rt in horse. Hands spread out above head and curve all the way down to thighs, at arm extension.

As hands reach thighs, draw them up in fists to chest. Right knee comes up so that you are standing on left foot.

Double hammer fists at horiz extention to each side, simultanously with side kick (heel) rt foot to west.

Set foot down and turn to west in cat, left toe in front. Both hands come to chest as you turn, then press palm-down at waist level.

Turn both hands palm-up and lift to chest level, while drawing rt knee up to stand on left leg.

Turn both hands palm-down and press back down to waist, while firmly pressing rt foot back to ground slightly ahead of left foot.

Turn both hands palm-up and bring both hands back up to chest, while lifting rt knee to stand on left leg.

Thrust kick waist level rt foot to west, while palm-heel striking rt hand to west chest level (fingers up) and lifting left elbow to left ear, palm up at temple, to ward.

Set left foot down just in front of rt with toe pointed northwest. Draw both hands to chest, palm out.

Palm-heel strike lft hand to west, chest level. Step west with left foot. Turn 360 degrees to the right (this may be done as a step or as a jump). Step west with rt foot. As you begin the turn, bring rt hand above rt temple, palm out. Left hand is at chest level, palm to centerline, thumb toward you. Both elbows are slightly bent. As you turn, the hands follow, keeping their orientations. End in a shallow lunge, rt foot in front and left leg straight, torso facing southwest. hands are palm-out to west, elbows bent, right hand on top at brow level, left at chin level. Pause.

Turn torso to south and sink into horse. left forearm is horiz at chest, palm down. Elbow moves/strikes left. Rt hand (palm inward) sweeps across body at groin level. As both arms pull to the left, torso turns slightly in the same direction.

Turn torso southwest as rt foot steps behind left in scissor. Arms trade orientation so that left is sweeping low and rt is elbow-striking to west.

Repeat these two techniques twice, for a total of three times. This sequence comprises "Wave Hands Like Clouds".

On the third rt-foot-step-behind, Continue the torso and arm sweeps to the right for a complete 180 degree turn. You are now facing north. Continue to turn a bit further till your torso is facing northeast. You are in a narrow cat (left toe up), drawing both hands (palms facing each other) to rt shoulder. Pause.

Step out with left leg to northwest. Heel down first. As you step, both hands drop to groin and then do a spreading motion "smoothing your skirt" to end at 45 degree angles off your hips. Most of your weight shifts forward onto left foot.

Turn torso to front (north) and pull rt foot to left, then push it out front into a cat stance. Left hand turns palm-up to cup at belly button. As foot moves forward, rt hand moves with it to scoop (palm fwd) from rt hip all the way forward and then up the centerline to above brow level.

Rt fist drops gently into left cupped hand.

Rt fist goes straight back up centerline to above bow level, rt knee comes up with it so that you are standing on left leg.

Left foot stomps down as rt Fist drops firmly into cupped left hand at belly button. Pause. You are now in horse.

Bring both hands down to groin and then spread them out to the sides in a "smoothing your skirt" motion. Continue the curves around till your arms are out in front (palms down) in "zombie" pose.

Step in with left foot to place it beside right. Let hands float gently (palm down) to groin.

Drop hands to sides.

Three medium-sized openings and closings.

Salute.