Saturday, June 8, 2013

Taiji Workshop - Adam Mizner (4/21)

While visiting NYC recently, I had the chance to attend a workshop with Adam Mizner (Heaven Man Earth) that was put together by Joshua Craig, whose ILC classes I attend when I visit NYC (Internal Arts Training). Due to my schedule, I was only able to attend the second day but it was a great experience.

The first day of the workshop they spent going over a set of loosening drills - Song Shen - that we reviewed on the second day as a warm up (and later, as a cool down). After warming up, we went through the four basic energies by doing Stroke Peacock's Tail (aka Grasp Sparrows Tail).

We spent the rest of the day doing two-person drills. Initially we did drills based on each of the four energies and then spent time on a drill based on Holding the Ball where we focused on how just sinking could uproot your partner. In the afternoon, we went through a push-hands training pattern that was different from what I'm used to primarily because it incorporates other energies (e.g. the bump) and it was an interesting break from my usual routine.

Overall, the essence of the second day - what Adam was really trying to stress in each exercise and drill - was how staying loose and not using arm strength really made everything more effective. Adam demonstrated this many times by launching people 5-10 feet with little effort. He demonstrated this once on me and it didn't feel like being shoved - I was standing there one moment and flying backward the next - very cool skill.

So, if you get the chance, definitely check out an Adam Mizner workshop. In the interim, he has a youtube channel HeavenManEarthTaiji with some nice videos.

Benjamin Sanchez, Joshua Craig, and Adam Mizner

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