Tai Chi Y3D138: Brush Knee with Twist Step

A few housekeeping things.

  1. Today’s Google Doodle, about the birthday of John Venn, is kinda cute.  Take a look.
  2. I’m up to fifteen push-ups. Of these, 10 are ‘okay’ push-ups, and 5 are ‘poor’. What I mean by this, is that OK push-ups, my nose goes halfway to the floor, and then back up again.  The ‘poor’ push-ups are barely more than arm-bends.  Someone gave me some advice: when I started, I could barely do arm-bends, much less bend enough to push-up from. He recommended that I simply do 10 bad ones rather than doing 1-2 good ones, and keep adding 5 more terrible ones, week after week.  In essence, I had to build up my arm strength to the point that I could do OK ones… and that process has continued working well, although I really should start doing 20 push-ups any day now. Really.
  3. I spent the last two days on a weekend getaway with my lady, in Salem, MA.  We had a good time, but spending a lot of time trying to write a sonnet was not happening while I was with her.
  4. This week I’m teaching a summer school program on making short movies, s

Today’s movement is called Brush Knee with a Twist Step.  It occurs twice in short succession, with a slight variation the second time, which will come immediately after the next movement, called Playing Pipah.  So today’s poem will be about Brush Knee with a Twist Step, Tuesday’s will be Playing Pipah, and then Wednesday I’ll have to decide if I’m simply repeating or revising poems for repeated movements, or writing something new.

Brush Knee with a Twist Step:

Draw right hand back, as though drawing a bow,
and shift all weight to the foot on the right.
Step with left foot, and be prepared to go
forward the moment things are even slight-
ly to your advantage. Thrust the right hand,
and sweep left hand and arm across, and down.
Sink the left foot, as though it were in sand;
right foot lightens as the movement makes known
the force from left foot to right hand expressed.
Left hand sweeps attacks to the knee and thigh,
and when all defenses are thus addressed,
the body is almost ready to fly!
But check the attack: re-plant the right heel;
your forward thrust, it will anchor and steal.

I had to perform this movement, and this movement alone, about eleven times before I felt like I had a grip on what I was doing or how I was doing it. Writing these poems has been great for me to rethink my practice, but it’s not been great for completing my morning routines in an orderly fashion!

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