Understand weapons ARE the big equalizer. Up until the introduction of very efficient weapons that did not rely on strength (think the revolver, first), might DID make right. Not morally, but any moral argument put forward could be beaten to the ground. –Rory Miller
2 afternoons training with Tylik.
Mostly stancework (using the long form, although said stancework translates to all the other forms as well as, uh, standing. My most eggregious sins continue to be 1)failure to have the pelvis tilted at the right angle (which in turn messes up everything else all up and down the body), and 2)allowing my knee(s) to collapse inward (which in turn messes up everything else all up and down the body). Erroneous foot position also looms large. Some arm position stuff- bad crossing of centerline, not having arms low enough to guard against groin kick, and spreading arms too wide as if in a “ta-da!!!!” dance pose (which is NOT Tai Chi). Going over one or two tiny snatches of the form and being utterly dazzled at how many things you have to pay attention to in order to make a seemingly simple 180 degree turn. As soon as I start focusing on pelvic alignment and arm position, I forget foot position and torso turning… and vice versa.
We also did some Chen dao (actually got through the whole form). Many of the stancework items we’d been working on came up again here. I was able to troubleshoot my least favorite movement in the form- keeping in mind that the things I don’t like are always the things I feel inept at. In this case, it was a motion that Tylik performs like an avenging sword goddess and I perform like a lame chimp on opiates. But I think we pinned down what I was doing wrong this time.
I felt really good about the progress we made both days. I have a very limited attention span, and my knees start hurting after only a modest amount of stancework. But we broke the time up into managable chunks, and switched to sword (“And now for something completely different!”) just as I was about to start tearing my hair out over stancework.
It also felt very good to work on forms. I have so neglected my formwork. I am so unhappy not having a regular Tai Chi teacher/class nor a regular Kung Fu teacher/class. I miss forms. I miss Tai Chi. I miss Kung Fu. I miss striking and kicking.
Also- having spent almost the entire month on the bench for injuries, I have been very unhappy at not being able to train. It was so nice to get some training in.
Another good thing: my plantar fasciitis- while not totally gone- has slacked off to an amazingly relieving degree. That PF sucked so bad, but it did serve to be a constant un-ignorable reminder to watch my posture and balance and foot position 24/7. I was bad about doing my exercises, but the things Tylik showed me on her last visit about how to stand and step made the difference, I think. I really hope that these adjustments are now automatic and permanent, and that it will both avoid future PF as well as improve the way I move around in general.
Holy cow, Rory Miller left a comment on one of my blog posts. He probably Googled himself and went to see who the heck has posted about five hundred of his quotes. Hope he doesn’t think I’m a stalker. I suspect that attempting to stalk Rory Miller would be a special kind of suicidal.
FYI, tattoos on the side of the ribs hurt like a mother. I have a small tat on my flank that has previously held the record for being the most painful… but the flank at least has a small layer of fat, and the side of the ribs is skin over bone. I’ve never had a tat still hurt nearly a week later, either. Additionally, I can’t put on a bra because the spandex would go right over the tat. It really is obscene and terrible for me to go around braless. It also made the Tai Chi interesting. Tai Chi is pretty much the only workout that is even on the table sans bra, and I had to wear layers of billowy clothes that completely concealed my body. Somehow, Tylik has no trouble seeing my knee turn in or my pelvis tip wrongly- I think she has X-ray vision. But seriously- these body parts were not visible by any stretch of the imagination, and it really makes a point for how those particular stance errors fuck up your posture in such an obvious way that she didn’t need to be able to see much to tell what was happening.
But as far as the tattoo- Lindsey did an awesome job. It is very meaningful to me to have tattoos- which are all martial-arts-related power glyphs to some degree, in my case- done by a fellow martial artist, and a back belt teacher of mine to boot. Makes me want to let him ink me up head to toe, ha ha. I’m working on a Sak Yant inspired design, contaminated with Chinese elements. It’s going to take a lot of time and research, though.