Tai Chi Y3D160: Press, Push, Single Whip

Twenty push-ups again this morning — 18 in a row without stopping, two more after a pause.  I’m definitely getting stronger, although I’m still not strong enough to do a nose-to-the-floor push-up.    Getting there… not there yet.  It’s like I need to increase both the number and the intensity of the push-ups.

The two qi gong forms went mostly fine.  I tend to unbalance during the squats in Five Golden Coins.  This only happened twice today out of sixteen, but this is a thing worth dissecting and studying.

I realized, given that I don’t intend to write poems for the three forms that repeat, that I should compare them today and see whether they flow together, and make corrections if they don’t.  So, here they are, as a sequence: press, push, and single whip, all together for the first time:

To the left and down, the arms fall away
from roll-back position to guard the hip:
but don’t grab the chi in the normal way;
instead, permit all received force to slip
past and behind you. Yet don’t come to rest,
but now right hand rises to block the path,
gently seeking home on opponent’s chest.
Left hand launches, strongly but without wrath
unwinding torsion from right foot to wrist—
as your hips twist, the whole body’s full weight
pushes out the palm instead of the fist.
As left palm meets right, the right arm’s whole freight
is transferred from you to your surprised foe —
right hand deceives; while the left lands the blow.

Press completed, right forearm rides the line
defined by the right knee above the toes.
Before me is a space I might call “mine”,
but recognize what any master knows,
that both advance and retreat have their place.
Release the block, withdraw from right to left,
then wait on the left. Now relax your face
and glance around — was last action so deft
the fight is done? Align fore-arms with thighs,
and spread hands to prep for what happens next.
Shift weight left to right evenly: don’t rise
up to heaven — but sinister to dext’,
keep Tan Tien at same height off the ground:
force moves forward, not “up”, “down” or “around”.

Fold in your arms to the center of chest,
and shift your weight backwards from right to left.
Turn right toes inward from where it steps at rest,
then shift your weight back there in a slow drift.
Right hand forms hook, with all fingers pressed tight,
with left hand open — a saucer below.
Left toes turn out, as if to form a sight
indicating direction you will go.
Now everything is coiled like a spring:
Push off right foot, committing to the strike.
Right arm straightens, like the scorpion’s sting,
while left arm flails: shoulder, elbow and wrist,
ending with hand’s edge, far harder than fist.

Ok, yes.  That is starting to work.  And maybe some of you readers will see where I’m going with this. If there’s a poem, which is then made into a recording, then there’s a sound-track if you will that I can use to slow down my movements still further.

Plus, you know, maybe it will be a pretty poem.

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  1. […] roll back, press, push, single whip, Buddha’s twist (not its name but what I called it after I couldn’t remember its name), step back to drive the monkey away, cloud hands, diagonal single whip, elbow twist, fair lady works the shuttles 1, fair lady works the shuttles 2, fair lady works the shuttles 3, fair lady works the shuttles 4, […]

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