Looking forward to another year of improvement
by Cheong Boon Chai
My name is Cheong Boon Chai, male above 70 years of age, currently training under Shifu Rennie Chong for almost two years.
In July 2014, on my first encounter with Shifu Rennie Chong, he asked me to perform the initial Taiji step "Qi Shi" Shifu Rennie commented that there was nothing in my stance - no root in my execution of my movement.
I acknowledged it and joined Shifu's class the following week. I have always wanted to learn the Yang style Cheng Man Ching 37 steps Taiji.
I found the basic training of Shifu Rennie very demanding during these two years period. However, the progress of learning the 37 Taiji Steps is slow but rewarding. I have basically able to perform the whole 37 steps Taiji form, though trying to further improve the function of each step.
The following points are my insight to taiji requirements which need further improvement in actions and in practice.
1. Learning how to relax (sung).
2. Learning how to be more conscious of my execution of body, hands and legs movements. (That is to say, to move as a whole, inter-play with the rotation of waist/pelvis[kua]
3. Learning how to sink down to execute your foot movements, also differentiating between substantial and insubstantial.
4. Learning how to use of intention, not brute force to execute your movements targeting against my opponent.
5. Learning how to be more conscious of my breath, inhaling and exhaling at abdomen.
6. Above all, learning to focus on the use of the mind to control all the movements.
Overall, my legs are stronger now and my rooting is better. Looking forward to another year of improvement.