The Olympics are here!! Yeah!!! Some really good competition.......but even at Olympic Level, you will note that being nervous and loosing focus will still end up in loosing. Some of these athletes need to practice some Taiji to help achieve calmness. Just being good at what you do often is still not enough...you need confidence but also its the calmness that allows you to make changes and adjustments if things don't go right. Very important in martial arts is this ability......the ability to change and adjust.......if you have this unforseen problems will be avoided........I had one student he was quite good at Taiji yet for whatever reason when he made a mistake in competition he would continue and re-adjjust without any breaks in his form.......and at the same time I had another high level Wushu athlete, who would do perfect practices and yet during competition he would inevitably make a small mistake that would cost him the gold. The key to this is that meditation and practice cannot be mindless, it must be mindful yet calm and non distracting. The mere thought that you might make a mistake or you have a problem with one move can and will lead to you making a mistake. So you have to work out that move or just leave it out......If you were watching the Olympic Gymnastic competition you saw many of these thing play out...it doesn't matter what the sport is the mental game at the highest level is of utmost importance. Jiayo to Gabby Douglas and the Fab 5.......!! Of what importance is this to Bagua or wushu.......for either one its not enough to just do the form you must practice the mental aspects too. In modern wushu all we do is teach you a from but it has no internal cultivation...its just physical drilling.......and for Bagua most of the students efforts is spent trying to learn the form....but its the mental part that allows you to reach the highest level of skill. For those who practice Bagua your time should be spent practicing Dinshibazhang. Most students practice it a few times and go............. what's next? While Dinshibazhang is simple, it is the real training for the mind and body....you practice each separate posture so in the heat of battle,,,you can maintain the integrity of the movement. Beyond that, contained within this form is also applications which are found in the transitions...which help you learn to both move from posture to posture but also help you learn to move from stillness to motion.While its cool to see Michael Phelps win his 20th Olympic medal...it so neat to see first timers win...that's what the Olympics is about...seeing all your hard work pay off!! On another note it was interesting to see all the comments by the media on the training in China...about how brutal it is, and how the athletes are ripped from their families. While certainly true in the past.....nowadays in China, those who can afford it get the training they want for there kids. Also, while its tough on the families....being selected to be on a team is often the way to a better life in China......not every one lives in those nice high rises. And is the training brutal......hell yes, but then they are really good and disciplined. Those who have trained at Shichahai in Wushu know how tough the training is......Coach Wu who I have known most of my Wushu life use to beat the kids......but he told me in the nineties, we don't do that anymore.....its not a modern training method......we are adopting more western training methods......having said that their training is still over the top by American standards! And oh yes doping......is a China problem........you ever heard of Barry Bonds, Raphael Palmiero, Marion Jones, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire.......weren't they Americans........Don't cast stones let the athletes speak for themselves!Anyway enjoy the Olympics and forget the media circus.....they aren't athletes....just wantabees!! For those of you in my area this weekend will be giving a workshop for those interested in Fu Style Taiji......created by Bagua Grandmaster Fu Zhen Soong and Masters Yang Cheng-fu and Sun Lu Tang. The form is a mixture of Yang Taiji Postures with Bagua hands. Drop by if it peaks your interest. See ya!!
Coming: Sept 14 Mid-Autumn Festival Sept 15 Dragon Boat Festival Oct 12 4th Annual Golden State Chinese Martial Arts Champions