Friday, July 14, 2006

Balance and Motion

I've gotten sick twice since I've been working at my new company. Twice. I generally don't get sick more than once every few years! I suspect it is from living a very busy life--perhaps a little too busy. I can't help but think about the idea of the Yin-Yang, about how life must be balanced between activity and recovery and how I must be unbalanced toward activity and not getting enough recovery, making me vulnerable to... germs.

There's also another aspect of the Yin-Yang I'm wondering about: it's a circle. To me that suggests that creation and destruction happens within a defined space. The space of your life, the space of a day, the space of your understanding. It means we need to think of our activities as being constrained by limited resources and that we should plan appropriately.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled lesson: footwork.

There is a particular kind of step you see often in the Tai Chi Sword form. The practitioner begins in a kind of ready stance, knees bent, feet shoulder width apart, then extends and plants their heel in the direction he/she intends to move. Then the practitioner shifts their balance to that foot as they roll from the heel to the full foot.

Try this. From your ready stance, lift the foot and extend it, but instead of planting it on the heel, thrust using your grounded leg, your glutes, and the momentum of kicking out your raised leg to cause you to burst forward. Then, land the foot by smoothly touching your heel to the ground rolling onto the foot and bending your knee all at once to bring your weight onto it. Now you have quickly and safely advanced and moved your weight at speed! This is basically the mechanic of a fencing lunge.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

In the animted GIF, you'll see what appears to be me pulling my weight back when I lift my foot. Don't do that. I just had to shift my weight to get the photo.