Directions in Section Two

Discussion for senior taijiquan students only

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Linda Heenan
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Post by Linda Heenan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:31 pm

Firstly, welcome to the forum.

:D Well, I have enough trouble telling left from right, without adding another four compass points. I would just never know which direction it was. The numbers work because they go around in order and I can use them from any direction. I don't think it matters which sort of directions we use as long as they work for the students. In my opinion teachers and students should wear the same pants and shirts with different colours on the legs and sleeves, so students know which leg or arm is moving :D .

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Linda Heenan
Rank: Chang San feng
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Post by Linda Heenan » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:57 pm

I've been reminded that we have an optimal starting direction too. In Australia, since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, the beginning direction is North. Unfortunately I've forgotten the reason. I remember hearing it when my mind was full of organisational details for a seminar we were about to begin in Leura Gym, but it didn't stick. It was reason enough for me to change the position I was standing for zhanzhuang. Since everyone will surely know this, would someone please explain why it is North for us Aussies and South for the Northern Hemipherites.

Baba Deep
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Post by Baba Deep » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:42 pm

In Chinese tradition (and thus the Northern hemisphere), the Emperor faces South. The Kidney relates to the water element, the heart relates to the fire element. When one faces South, one is in alignment with the world, the Kidney in the back of the body faces it's direction, the Heart faces it's direction. In the Northern hemisphere, the North has correspondences with the Yin aspect of things (moss grows on the North side of trees, the North side of a hill will generally be the more plant-covered, the North-facing side of a riverbank will often be colder and wetter. Since things in the world are the other way around in the Southern hemisphere, the Emperor must face the North.

Roland Tepp
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Post by Roland Tepp » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:29 pm

Linda Heenan wrote::D Well, I have enough trouble telling left from right, without adding another four compass points. I would just never know which direction it was. The numbers work because they go around in order and I can use them from any direction.
:) I seem to be having trouble with numbers - they are too vague and give no indication for which is left and which is right.
Compass directions are much simpler for me when used just as relative direction indicators - the "North" in the directions might simply mean as the initial starting direction, south would then point in the opposite direction and east/west would be left/right respectively. No need to tie them directly to the geographical directions...
Linda Heenan wrote:I don't think it matters which sort of directions we use as long as they work for the students. In my opinion teachers and students should wear the same pants and shirts with different colours on the legs and sleeves, so students know which leg or arm is moving :D .
:D shure .. and make things even more difficult by color coding every movement, step and position...

In my experience, the movement of ones body and limb follows the intention of the movement and directions and hand/foot positions are all important only for a very short period while you are just memorizing the choreography of the form movements.

But in order to learn better you will sooner or later have to start looking at the movements as a whole, not as a disjoint set of ever changing limb and body positions...

To paraphrase the Scott Laoshi - "You don't have two hands, two feet, waist, head and shoulders - you have ONE body". This one body is one as a whole, not a sum of its parts...
Roland

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