Moving Natural, what stops you?

Sometimes you need to relax and one of the things I like to do, besides sipping tea, is watch “the big bang theory”. Yesterday I came across this great scene in one of the episodes which made me write this blog about moving natural. Here’s the scene.

Actually I already wanted to do this topic for a longer time since it is one of those core principles that everybody thinks different about or hears about in their training (If you didn’t you should’ve).
What does it mean to move natural? Do we move natural? If we don’t, then what the hell have we been doing for all these years?

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internalkungfu op het Top Martial Arts Gala Almere

Internalkungfu was blij een steentje te kunnen bijdragen aan de bekendheid van Martial Arts in Nederland. Ruud Vercammen leraar bij de kungfu shool uit Haarlem samen met Ricardo Sousa en enkele van zijn leerlingen uit de school te Nieuw Vennep en Brahim van de school uit Amsterdam demonstreerden:  Bagua, Taichi, 2-mans wapenvorm, kettting en harde Qigong. En zoals je ziet, de sfeer was er! Bedank jongens voor jullie inzet.

How, Tang Ni Bu 趟泥步 or muddy water stepping is a cornerstone for great health.

Tang Ni Bu 趟泥步: muddy water stepping.

In our Bagua-way we focus on walking the circle slowly as opposed to a lot of Bagua styles you see on you tube and the internet. Neither is better, though the aim and benefit of it are different. Everybody is talking about rooting and they’re right to do so. But before a tree can grow strong and have good roots into the ground, there needs to be a seed. Just having a seed is not good enough. Throw a seed on the road and I guarantee you won’t have a tree there next year. You need to create a good environment for something to grow. That environment is slow Tang Ni Bu 趟泥步walking.

I’ll try to explain to the best of my knowledge how something simple as Tang Ni Bu 趟泥步can pave the way for future success in Kungfu and great health.

“allow yourself to make mistakes.”

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“Body needs practice, Mind needs to quiet down”

After spending yet another great weekend with Grand master Pang, we dropped him off at the airport early in the morning. For those who don’t know master Pang, check his website.

With his 80 years of age and I think roughly 40 years of teaching experience, Pang’s words and advice are simple but condense with great value.
If you don’t believe in the health promoting aspect of Taichi, just meet the man. He “is” the proof that Taichi (but also Bagua, Xingyi) is beneficial for your health and has life prolonging qualities. His mind is still clear and his body remains strong and agile.
I mean you see a lot of masters on the internet, who are throwing around youngsters like a twig and shooting Qi in all directions … but so what … . When I see them move, look into their eyes and listen to their words, none have what master Pang has; Jing, Qi, Shen (voor latere Blog).
I personally, don’t know about you guys, am not so interested in shooting Qi out of my fingers while having to walk with a stick in daily life. Continue Reading →

Understanding Xingyi Part 1

Xingyi is life and life is Xingyi. You won’t find the word “sport” on the site because that is basically selling this art form short, blasphemy.

To understand Xingyi and to be able to reach a certain level of dept into it means you have to study it.  Just waiting for your Shifu to feed you the secrets won’t help. Honestly I don’t believe in secrets, I do believe in insight and skill through practice. The system of Xingyi in itself deserves credit…by which I mean its genius!!

For those who are not familiar with Chinese philosophy … study it, really … next time you want buy useless shit, just don’t, instead buy a good book on Chinese philosophy or medicine.  Anyway I’ll try to explain a little bit in relation to Xingyi training as I understand it. Continue Reading →

Traditionele Chinese Kungfules leren begrijpen

Vandaag, na een geslaagde demonstratie, zat ik met enkele beginnende studenten na te babbelen over onze stijl en hun ervaring met Kungfu. Dat allemaal onder het genot van een Belgisch biertje (dat babbelt ook zo goed weg, he…).

Een van de steeds wederkerende thema’s is het gevechtsaspect van Kungfu. “Wat doe je nou met die beweging?” “Ik begrijp de gevechts-applicaties niet?” Als ik je vertel dat die studenten en jaar trainen zal je als leek waarschijnlijk denken; hun leraar legt het niet uit of hun leraar houdt het geheim of erger het is een slechte leraar.

Aan de grondslag van dit niet begrijpen en onwetendheid ligt een cultuur kloof.

  1. Een doel vs “De weg”:
    Wij Westerlingen zijn gewoon te leren met een duidelijk doel voor handen. Elke cursus of opleiding die je volgt zal zeggen: “Na de opleiding kan je dit of weet je dat.” (of dat zo is laat ik nog even buiten beschouwing).
    Chinees gezien is er een start maar geen einde. Je start zonder doel, geheel Continue Reading →

I believe this is something, Taichi and Bagua master: Tze Yau Pang, said once. Placing these little time-bombs in your mind is something a good master often does.. Once you’re ready to understand it hits you.

I often see students struggling with their form. All together that is not so strange, especially in the beginning, because traditional kungfu has a lot of rules and regulations. These are to ensure that you can keep growing in your practice, because you’ll start with a good foundation. Now the problem is that a lot of students, especially in internal kungfu systems/styles, do not get past this basic level. They focus so much on the internal structure that they don’t express themselves anymore.

You’ll know the feeling that your watching somebody perform but it looks dull, boring and not alive, though (and not even all the time) they have correct form/structure.

This is where master Pang is right. Do not just do the form, you are the form, you are the experience. If you can perform like that, people’ll get a complete different feeling when they themselves experience you (works well in other parts of life as you can imagine). Now of course it is not important what people think of your performance because there are deeper issues at play here. Psychological, mechanical, emotional,… (Maybe good for a future blog)

The thing is once you become an experiencer rather than a forms player, you’re Kungfu will open up to you. You will move as a unit, “Jing, Qi, Shen” as one (also for future blog)