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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Implied and applied

I can't stop watching this video it is Junko Fukuda doing a form from Tai Chi. Wathcing her and listening to the chosen music is really hypnotic.

Watching this is not a dreamy passive activity, however. Think about some of those shapes

she has. How might they have martial art applications? There are direct attacks in there

like pushes. There are indirect shapes in her movement that need a tweak to be applicable

for self-defence. Sifu Slippers uses a distinction in his speech, (and therefore thinking),

between applied and implied actions and meanings in forms.

Applied, are direct one-to-one uses for shapes in forms. A punch - in the form = a punch

anywhere. An implied shape, is one that is suggesting the existence of of moves ... subtlety and

deliberately vaguely, I think, to maximize it's use to diverse situations. [I see her knee

to chest as a defence to kicks - they do this in Thai boxing, but it can also be an obvious chambering

for her kick subsequently, too]. Seeking out the implied moves is half the battle, half the

mystery and half the frustration of classical arts. It involves homework and repeated viewing

and learning and relearning. Using the language of our social science course at the Open

University - it is making and remaking .... of understanding. The practitioner is also making

and remaking these moves and gaining new insights as well as building the body and mind,

(but I cannot really talk about Chi flow etc. as I do not do Tai Chi - which has a medical

side to it).

Also, watch the background. How does that grid on the wall help the viewer?

It shows her moving in 2 dimensions: imagine her moving into the boxes (X-dimension), and

also moving up and down them (Y-dimension). What is missing? The Z dimension - although her

body remains on one plain, her feet and arms do stray - which is hard to capture in 2D,

unless she has a straight line on the floor and we can see her feet - especially - when

they move into and out the Z dimension.

That music. Think about that. That dreamy violin does not play any broken sounds but bends

the pitch of the sounds. This implies the moves are not broken either, perhaps but flow

from one to another. Yet also the pitch stretches back and forth - like the practitioner in

her movements. The way the key changes in the other sounds and repeats also shows a

pattern of repetition. There is no beginning or end in this tune. Although there are 24

moves in this form - you are meant to keep these up everyday ... forever ... as life moves

on in a cyclical pattern like the tune. There is no break. 24 hour cycles go on, and life-

death-new life patterns are made and remade. I *think* this is why the ying and yang shape

is a circle - as there is no begging or ending in that. Like the music.

One of my goals in life is to learn this form. I know it can be done - but it will be no 

joyride. It is called the Yang 24 simplified form. Simplified because it used to have

something like 80 moves in it and take up more space to enact. But the Chinese state

wanted a shorted exercise to fit in with workers life patterns to perform before work, hence the 'simplified'.

This does not mean simple, however. Look at her balancing on one leg, in parts of this. Wow.