moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Good lunch

Having started with 3 mins swinging/twisting and a minute standing, I had a really good 25 mins doing one each of my two forms this lunchtime. Despite a pre-existing splitting headache, I felt relaxed, smooth and energetic:

- loads of connection sensation between the palms

- an inkling of inner heaviness

- the occasional thought of developing forward-going power (as in Ward Off) as the front leg softens, as oppossed to as the root leg strengthens (which it does by itself).

I also worked on the Lotus Kick, and got closer to being able to feel where it was supposed to go. The first one was crap -- hands and feet nowhere near each other and uncoordinated -- so I tried about 10 more kicks. Let's see if next time the pattern is stored.

I've launched a Surrey/Hants bulletin board area on the Palmchange site. You'll see me in there as RepulsiveMonkey.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004


It came to my awareness that Aarvo has hooked in with PALMCHANGE where the Godalming classes are listed under Hampshire (close but not quite). There's a BB there which might be nice ...


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Telegraphing intent

Another example of Zaha Sensei's understanding of karate also occurred at the All-Japan Tournament held at the Osaka Central Gymnasium. Sensei and I were watching the tournament from the main seats; Sensei indicated one fellow, remarking that he would probably win the tournament. He won, just as Sensei predicted, but he merely commented, "I question his skill from a budo perspective." Another example occurred when I was doing kumite with Sensei at his home. As I took my stance, he asked, "Are you planning to kick, Mr. Ushiro?" "Now, a punch?" before I could even make a move. I was shocked and wondered how Sensei could read my intentions. I asked how he could foresee my movements, and he replied that with the stance I had taken I was only able to kick, or could only throw a punch. I hadn't noticed-though I understand clearly now-that I only kicked using a certain stance, and only punched with another.

Through these experiences, I began to realize that something was wrong with my karate. At the same time I was really excited about this Zaha Karate that was so different from my own.

From Okinawan Koryu Karate
by Kenji Ushiro
Aiki News #98, 1994, 21:1



A bit of a mixed armful today!

Have you seen, on BBC channel Three (digital/sat in the UK) Mind, Body & Kick Ass Moves. A bit "MTV" for my liking, but nice to see. The presenter, Chris Crudelli, is expert enough to gain the respect of all the masters he introduces, normal enough to be totally whupped by them, yet sensible enough to demo/teach real-world applications that people in the bus stop can use. Which inspires me to crack on with the Chen style practice.

Which brings me to. Now, I'm sure my dearly belov'd would say it's cos I expect too much, but I am uncovering difficulties with this form. My flexibility being one of them. One particular other thing is balance in the cloud hands technique, wherein the foot is stepped behind the other on each step. I just feel so unstable. Must SINK the weight! And practice.

The final berry brought back is simple. How beneficial a holiday can be. I didn't read much (I found a nice enough DK Tai Chi book in a secondhand store - recommended for beginners doing Chen Man Ching's Yang style form) so my usual holiday suitcase'o'books came back unscathed, but I did spend a good while just doing the forms on some beautiful Cornish beaches.

Recipe: Stand on any patch of clear sand. Children and dogs are not a problem. Perform the form once or twice to clear the mind and free the joints, again to focus and strengthen. One more time to discover something about the form or the performer's errors. Rest and repeat ad lib.